County warns of imposters spreading pandemic misinformation in Puna

Hawaii County urges residents to beware of COVID-19 misinformation being disseminated around Puna.

According to a County news release, a pair of women have been reported at multiple businesses in the Puna Kai shopping center, allegedly telling employees and patrons that masks and face coverings, as well as other COVID-mitigation practices, are no longer necessary.

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The two women allegedly claimed to be representatives of the “Hawaii County Assembly of Health and Safety Commission,” an agency that does not exist.

“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 in a statement. “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

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yet.”

The county is investigating the false claims. Anyone encountering similar activity is asked to call the Hawaii County Police Department via its non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.