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Hawaii’s Lanai imposes stay-at-home order, closes to visitors

Hawaii’s governor has implemented a stay-at-home order and travel restrictions for the island of Lanai beginning Tuesday because of an outbreak of coronavirus infections.

Gov. David Ige signed the order Monday requiring residents and visitors to remain at home or where they’re staying, except for essential purposes such as grocery shopping.

Travel to and from Lanai, which is the smallest inhabited island in Hawaii and is nine miles from Maui, is expected to be restricted to essential workers or for medical purposes, while anyone arriving on the island must quarantine for 14 days.

Even though it’s tiny, Lanai is big in the luxury vacation world. Larry Ellison snapped up nearly all of the Hawaiian island of Lanai for $300 million in 2012, and has since poured millions into transforming the former “Pineapple Isle.”

Ellison closed, renovated and reopened two five-star hotels, the 213-room seaside Four Seasons Resort Lanai (reopened in 2016) and the 96-room Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort (Formerly the Lodge at Koele), located in the island’s interior highlands. After closing due to COVID-19 last spring, both reopened to visitors on Oct. 15, but now their websites state they “are currently closed but accepting reservations for stays from November 10, 2020, onward.”

A Four Seasons spokesperson told SFGATE that all hotel guests have returned home or moved to other islands, and confirmed both hotels are now closed.


Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino said the order would remain in effect for two weeks but could be extended if the number of cases keeps rising on Lanai.

The state Department of Health reported 79 infections there as of Monday, but officials predicted the figure could grow. Lanai had not reported any cases before last week.

The number of cases could be higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

Straub Medical Center in Honolulu and the Hawaii National Guard planned to send personnel to help with testing.

Social distancing to slow the spread of the virus is a challenge for residents crowded at home and elsewhere, Victorino said.

“All they have to do is one person gets sick and it transmits very quickly throughout the community because they go to the same churches, they don’t wear masks as often or as they should,” Victorino said. “I think that’s something that’s been really negligible on their part. But we’re now trying to educate them.”

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

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Galloway Library Closes After Coronavirus Exposure

GALLOWAY, NJ — The Galloway Branch of the Atlantic County Library will remain closed until further notice because of coronavirus exposure. Someone who had been in the facility tested positive for COVID-19, according to county officials.

The library closed Friday, when the Atlantic County Division of Public Health began contact tracing. Officials instructed employees to self-quarantine and monitor their health.

Anyone identified as a “close contact” with the individual will be asked to self-quarantine and monitor their symptoms including fever, cough, shortness of breath, nausea, muscle aches and new loss of taste or smell. Unless health officials contact you, you’re not considered a close contact.

Additional deep cleaning and sanitization of the library will occur.

County and health officials remind the public to remain vigilant. The amount of coronavirus cases in the county, state and nation has seen an uptick. New Jersey’s total of 1,994 new cases on Saturday was the highest single-day count reported since May 6.

“We are all concerned about the resilience of this virus and the devastating toll this pandemic has taken,” County Executive Dennis Levinson said in a statement. “Until we have a vaccine and can mitigate the spread of Covid-19, it is vitally important to continue to protect ourselves and others by wearing facemasks, maintaining social distancing, avoiding crowds, and practicing frequent handwashing and other hygiene protocols.”

State officials have reported 5,045 cases, 253 confirmed coronavirus deaths and 11 “probable” deaths in Atlantic County since the pandemic began.

Click here to get Patch email notifications on this or other local news articles or get Patch breaking news alerts sent right to your phone with our app. Download here. Follow Galloway Patch. Have a news tip? Email josh.bakan@patch.com.

This article originally appeared on the Galloway Patch

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Mobile Testing, Nearby MVC Closes

OCEAN CITY, NJ — Here are the latest coronavirus updates around Ocean City and Cape May County.

Cases
The Cape May County Health Department reported the following in Ocean City as of Sunday morning — figures from Ocean City Patch’s last update Oct. 15 are in parenthesis.

  • resident active cases: 19 (11)

  • residents cleared off quarantine: 112 (98)

  • community deaths: one (one)

  • nonresident active cases: zero (one)

  • longterm-care active cases: zero (zero)

  • longterm-care cleared off quarantine: five (five)

  • longterm-care deaths: two (two)

New Jersey Coronavirus Updates: Don’t miss local and statewide announcements about coronavirus precautions. Sign up for Patch alerts and daily newsletters.

The CMCHD reported the following county-wide numbers as of Sunday morning:

  • community resident active cases: 122 (73 on Oct. 15)

  • community residents cleared off quarantine: 1,130 (1,089)

  • community deaths: 32 (30)

  • nonresident active cases: four (nine)

  • longterm-care active cases: two (two)

  • longterm-care cleared off quarantine: 188 (188)

  • longterm-care deaths: 62 (62)

See more data here.

Recent Updates

  • Mobile coronavirus testing will come to Ocean City and Cape May County in the coming months. The county will develop mobile and walk-up testing options for people who have trouble accessing the county’s stationary testing sites. It may take some time though. Cape May County received a $552,513 grant through the New Jersey Department of Health, which the county will use to expand COVID-19 testing over the next six months. MORE.

  • An employee at the Motor Vehicle Commission Licensing Center in the Cardiff section of town tested positive for the coronavirus, the MVC announced Tuesday evening. The facility will reopen next Wednesday. MORE.

  • Despite a small bump in coronavirus inpatients, doctors told Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian they are not “overly concerned.” But Gillian said everyone should continue to take precautions. MORE.

Here’s what else you should know:

  • Gov. Phil Murphy on Saturday extended New Jersey’s public health emergency amid the coronavirus crisis for the seventh time as the state reported its highest daily case number in five months. MORE.

  • Long lines have plagued New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission Centers since its reopening in July. Starting Nov. 2, some of the MVC centers will no longer allow walk-ins, shifting to an appointment-only system. MORE.

  • Murphy has signed four coronavirus bills into law – two dealing with long-term care. MORE.

Click here to get Patch email notifications on this or other local news articles or get Patch breaking news alerts sent right to your phone with our app. Download here. Follow Ocean City Patch on Facebook. Have a news tip? Email josh.bakan@patch.com.

This article originally appeared on the Ocean City Patch

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Northford Ice Pavilion Temporarily Closes Due To Coronavirus

NORTH BRANFORD, CT — The Northford Ice Pavilion has made the decision, on the recommendation of the East Shore District Health Department (ESDHD), to temporary close its facility for a week, in light of a significant increase in COVID-19 cases among players, coaches and their family members associated to the sport of ice hockey locally and throughout Connecticut, officials announced Sunday.

The local public health department reports that cases of Covid-19 connected to ice hockey have been happening sporadically in the last eight weeks and there was a sudden increase over the past few weeks with over 20 positive cases related to ice hockey.

In addition, as recommended by the CDC and State Public Health Department, there are a number of persons in quarantine. Michael Pascucilla, the Director of Health and health department staff met virtually with the operators of the rink on Friday and it was mutually agreed that the facility should temporarily pause all ice hockey activities.

Pascucilla “expressed his sincere thanks to the Northford Ice Pavilion operators for their proactive leadership in protecting the ice hockey sporting community and the local residents of North Branford and the surrounding towns.”

Rink Manager, Bill Maniscalco stated “that it’s important that the Northford Ice Pavilion do its part to keep the skating community and staff protected with the increase of cases. The reopening of the ice rinks will be revisited as cases subside. Hopefully we can return to normal soon, but in the meantime, we ask that people remain safe and vigilant”.

It should also be noted these sport precautional measures are being implemented in other states, most recently in the States of Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

ESDHD wants to inform all residents that our local COVID-19 infection rates have significantly increased, and we want to reminder everyone to be diligent in taking the everyday preventative actions to help protect themselves, their families and our community, these include:

  • Staying home if you are sick except to get medical care.

  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

  • Washing your hands with soap and water frequently and for at least 20 seconds.

  • Wearing a face mask or covering when around others.

  • Keeping a social distance of 6 feet or more from others.

  • If you do become ill, immediately call your doctor.

  • Avoid large gatherings and social events

For the most current updates and recommendations, visit ct.gov/coronavirus. For general questions, please call 2-1-1.

Symptoms of COVID-19. include fever, uncontrolled new cough, difficulty breathing and loss of taste or smell. Other symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. For more information, resources, hotlines, testing, and how you can support local businesses while practicing social distancing, please visit: http://www.esdhd.org/coronavirus.

This article originally appeared on the North Branford Patch

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Coronavirus surge closes schools on Eastern Shore

Dorchester County School Superintendent W. David Bromwell said about 20 percent of the school system’s 4,700 students were on campus part time — a number slated to more than double next week under a hybrid-learning plan for pre-K to grade 12.

“We were doing well and moving slowly,” he said. But a sudden spike in the prevalence of the coronavirus brought the plan to a halt.

The test-positivity rate jumped from 2.9 percent to 6.1 percent in a eight-day period, said Dorchester County Health Officer Roger Harrell.

Coronavirus cases have not spread in schools, school and health officials said. They called the closure a cautionary measure taken to prevent a school outbreak.

“The scary part is how quickly it flipped, and it seemed to be growing exponentially,” Bromwell said. “It just appears that it’s hitting rural America.”

The sharp increase has not been traced to a particular event or outbreak in any part of the county and has affected people across age levels, Harrell said. The county includes the city of Cambridge, amid an expanse of farmland and waterways.

“We’ve not really figured out why,” he said. “I wish we had the magic answer, but we don’t have it yet.”

It will take at least two weeks of consistently lower positivity rates before schools can reopen, officials said.

At that point, Thanksgiving — and the possibility of spread during family get-togethers — may be around the corner and “certainly a concern,” Bromwell said.

“It kind of takes the wind out of your sails,” he said. “You start to get the impression that you’re returning to normalcy, and then . . . it takes the wind out of you.”

In recent months, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and State Superintendent Karen Salmon have visited schools around the state, lauding efforts to revive classroom instruction. Hogan said in late August that school systems were fully authorized to begin safely reopening for in-person classes, based on improving health metrics.

Nineteen of the state’s 24 school systems have opened school buildings to students to some extent this fall, state officials said Friday.

Hogan’s office issued a statement Friday saying Dorchester’s approach is consistent with data-driven health metrics provided by the state.

“The recent rise in the county’s positivity rate is connected to a small number of family clusters, which is in line with trends we are seeing statewide,” spokesman Mike Ricci said.

Salmon called the changes in Dorchester “an example of the metrics being utilized to inform health-based decisions at the local level,” according to a statement provided by the Maryland Department of Health.

Dorchester opened Sept. 8 and soon brought back seniors in career programs and later students with special needs. More recently, it embarked on a hybrid approach that combined online and in-person learning for students in pre-K, kindergarten, sixth grade and ninth grade.

Since schools opened, nine people related to schools in Dorchester have tested positive: four students, all teenagers, and five employees, only some of whom worked in school buildings.

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Thailand closes Myanmar border crossings

BANGKOK — Thailand has closed all border crossings between its northern province of Tak and Myanmar after five people in the Thai border town of Mae Sot tested positive for the coronavirus.

The five, none of whom exhibited symptoms, are the first locally transmitted cases confirmed in Thailand since early September, when a prison inmate tested positive.

All five are members of a family of Myanmar nationals residing in Thailand. Two were initially confirmed to be affected and added to Saturday’s total of Thai cases, while three were officially added Sunday.

Along with cases found among people quarantined after arriving from abroad, seven additions on Sunday brought Thailand’s total number of cases to 3,686, including 59 deaths.


In response to the new cases, schools in the Mae Sot area were ordered closed for seven days and only take-out service is allowed at restaurants and food stalls. Shops, malls and fresh markets remain open but must take temperature checks and enforce social distancing.

Thai authorities in the past two months have sought to tighten crossings in northern Thailand, which shares a long border with Myanmar, where there has been a surge of coronavirus cases since August.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Rural Midwest hospitals struggling to handle virus surge

— Trump plays down virus as he steps up pitch for second term

— US resorts adapt to new normal of skiing amid pandemic

— Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Germans to come together like they did in the spring to slow the spread of the coronavirus as the country posted another daily record of new cases.

— Iran has its death toll from the coronavirus has passed the milestone of 30,000, in what has been the Mideast region’s worst outbreak.

— Europe’s economy was just catching its breath from what had been the sharpest recession in modern history. A resurgence in coronavirus cases this month is a bitter blow that will likely turn what was meant to be a period of healing for the economy into a lean winter of job losses and bankruptcies.

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Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

NEW DELHI — India has added 61,871 new confirmed cases in the past 24 hours, raising its total to about 7.5 million.

The Health Ministry on Sunday also registered 1,033 new fatalities, taking the death toll to 114,031.

The country is continuing a downward trend in new cases, but virus-related fatalities jumped after recording the lowest daily figure of 680 in nearly three months on Friday.

Some experts say India’s numbers may not be reliable because of poor reporting and inadequate health infrastructure. India is also relying heavily on antigen tests, which are faster but less accurate than traditional RT-PCR tests.

Health officials have warned about the potential for the virus to spread during the religious festival season beginning later this month. New Delhi is also bracing for high air pollution levels, making the coronavirus

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Belgium imposes Covid curfew, closes bars and restaurants

BRUSSELS (AP) — Faced with a resurgence of coronavirus cases, the Belgian government on Friday announced new restrictions to try to hold the disease in check, including a night-time curfew and the closure of cafes, bars and restaurants for a month.

The measures are set to enter force from Monday. The curfew will be enforced from midnight until 5:00 a.m. Alcohol sales will be banned after 8:00 p.m. The number of people that Belgians should see socially outside family members will be reduced from three to a maximum of just one — all month.

People have been ordered to work from home wherever possible.


Belgium, which has a population of around 11.5 million, is one of the European countries hardest hit by the disease. Almost 6,000 new cases were recorded each day on average over the last week. In all, about 192,000 people have contracted the disease and 10,327 have died.

“The number of confirmed cases is rising, every day, and not just by a few percentage points,” Prime Minister Alexander De Croo told reporters in Brussels as he unveiled the new restrictions. “We can see that our hospitals and medical services are under tremendous pressure.”

“Thirty-five people died yesterday from the effects of COVID-19,” De Croo said, and he warned that the number of cases is likely to keep rising this week and next. “In the days to come, the news will be bad,” he said.

The country’s finance and employment ministries will launch a support plan to help keep restaurants and cafes afloat. They’ve been struggling to get back on their feet in recent months due to the impact of the virus. Earlier this month, bars and cafes in the capital Brussels were ordered to close early.

The impact of the closures will be reviewed in two weeks.

Yves Van Laethem, a spokesman for Belgium’s COVID-19 crisis center, said earlier Friday that “new measures are needed, because we see all the figures, all the data, mounting and all the indicators … remain in the red.”

Almost 2,000 people are currently in hospital due to the virus, more than 300 of them in intensive care. Around 180 are being admitted every day, on average.

Van Laethem urged people not to hit bars and night spots or gather in large groups for a final party.

He warned of the impact of such acts after Belgium first went into confinement in mid-March, saying that “this kind of behavior led to the infection spreading and quite a few people found themselves in hospital. So, please, avoid this kind of stupid behavior.”

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Follow AP pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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