Maui mayor exposed to COVID by pandemic safety rules foe

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — Maui Mayor Michael Victorino said he tested negative for COVID-19 after seeing on social media that an opponent of pandemic safety rules he met with earlier tested positive.

Victorino had a meeting Thursday with three unvaccinated residents opposed to state and county emergency public health rules meant to curb the spread of the virus. The three residents had negative test results prior to the meeting and wore masks, Victorino said.

He said Monday that two of them later tested positive, but on Tuesday issued a corrected news release saying that only one meeting participant tested positive.

Victorino said he learned he was exposed through a social media post late Saturday.

“I am disappointed that no one reached out to my office to immediately let me know of the positive test,” Victorino said. “That was irresponsible, and could result in the spread of the disease by myself and several executive staff members.”

The infected individual did not contact the mayor’s office until Monday morning, Victorino said.

Members of his staff who attended the meeting also tested negative. Victorino and all members of his executive staff are fully vaccinated.

“Ironically, the infected individual is a shining example that masks do work to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Victorino said. “I wish him a speedy and complete recovery from his illness.”

The residents had requested the in-person meeting to advocate for a town-hall style public event with others opposed to safety measures, Victorino said.

Victorino said he won’t participate in any in-person town halls but will continue to meet virtually with members of the community.


This version corrects how many people tested positive.