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County Imposters Spread Inaccurate COVID Policies at Puna Businesses, Officials Say

February 19, 2021, 1:24 PM HST
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Imposters posing to be county officials have been reported to be spreading inaccurate information about COVID-19 policies and procedures in the Puna District.

Reports claim that two women were seen at multiple businesses in the Puna Kai Shopping Center, allegedly informing employees and patrons that the use of face coverings and masks is no longer necessary, along with other social distancing practices. One report brought to the Mayor’s attention stated that the two imposters claimed to be from the “Hawaiʻi County Assembly of Health and Safety Commission.”

No such commission exists. Hawaiʻi County officials are currently investigating the matter.

“It’s disheartening to think that there are folks out there who are trying to trick people into abandoning the practices that have allowed us to keep our (COVID-19) counts some of the lowest in the Nation,” said Mayor Mitch Roth. “We have done a great job of keeping each other safe and caring for our community in these uncertain times, and I truly believe that we are close to the finish line. As those most vulnerable continue to receive their vaccinations and are deemed truly safe, we will begin to ease restrictions, but we aren’t there just yet.”

Roth signed the Mayor’s Sixth Supplementary Emergency Proclamation on Feb. 12, extending the current state of emergency through April 12. The extension maintains all policies and procedures related to deterring the threat of COVID-19 and is in accordance with the Governor’s Eighteenth Proclamation related to the COVID-19 emergency.

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Anyone encountering similar activity is asked to call the Hawaiʻi County Police Department’s non-emergency line at 808-935-3311.

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