Lanai High & Elementary, the island’s only public school, reported 15 positive COVID-19 student cases as of late Friday afternoon, the Hawaii Department of Education said in a release.

The island, whose population is just under 3,000, is experiencing a sudden surge of coronavirus cases, with a total of 65 confirmed cases as of Friday. Maui County mayor Mike Victorino is requesting the governor’s approval to put the island under a stay-at-home order starting at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, according to Hawaii News Now.

Earlier this week, the island’s case count was zero.

A free produce pick-up line at the Lanai High & Elementary School parking lot from August this year. Courtesy: Robin Kaye/2020

Lanai High & Elementary, enrollment 565 this year, had been gradually bringing more students back to campus at the start of the second quarter, which began Oct. 12, according to its distance learning plan.

The K-12 school switched immediately back to all-distance learning as of Thursday, according to DOE.

The school is reaching out to potential close contacts of the students and passing information along to the state Department of Health, according to the DOE release.

“Professional cleaning and sanitization will be coordinated as needed,” the release said.

None of the positive cases at the school involve staff, according to the DOE.

In the past week, there were 26 positive COVID-19 cases from within the DOE system in total.

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