DOH NEWS RELEASE: State and County partnership builds capacity for isolation and quarantine rooms

Posted on Aug 25, 2020 in Latest News

HONOLULU – The City and County of Honolulu and the Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) have joined forces to activate a coordinated plan to address the needs of O‘ahu families and individuals in need of resources to isolate and quarantine themselves to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Department of Health Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) has partnered with the City and County to provide intake and support services for isolation and quarantine and the City has executed a contract with a local hotel to provide an additional 130 rooms for isolation and quarantine on O‘ahu. With this expanded capacity, there will be a total of more than 300 rooms available for use in Honolulu. DOH will provide case management and wrap around services to support families and individuals who may need resources and social services during their 14-day isolation or quarantine.

The City has contracted with the hotel and provided the funding for the additional 130 rooms through federal grant funds available for COVID-19 response.

“As cases increased, we realized the tremendous need for more isolation and quarantine units and stepped in with support, said Mayor Caldwell. “With sometimes crowded living conditions for large households on O‘ahu, these units will help to support families and individuals without the means to effectively prevent spreading the virus.”

“We are grateful to the City for providing the additional resources needed to offer temporary rooms for individuals to safely isolate and quarantine,” said Eddie Mersereau, deputy director of the DOH’s Behavioral Health Administration. “Working together, the City and State are providing social services and basic supports to those who do not have homes or places to safely stay while they quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19.”

BHA has activated the Hawai‘i CARES hotline to provide assistance and triage of cases. The Hawai‘i CARES call center is the state’s centralized resource for mental health and substance use treatment assistance. During the pandemic, the call center duties will be expanded for arranging appropriate placement for isolation/quarantine. The Hawai‘i CARES hotline can be reached on O‘ahu by calling (808) 832-3100, Neighbor Island residents can call toll free at 1-800-753-6879, or reach by fax at (808) 453-6994. For more information about Hawaii CARES, email [email protected].

In April 2020, the DOH formed the Behavioral Health and Homeless Statewide Unified Response Group (BHHSURG) to oversee the state’s public behavioral health and homelessness services systems. Partners include the Department of Health’s Behavioral Health Administration, the Governor’s Office, Department of Human Services’ Homeless Program Office, and all four counties. For information visit https://health.hawaii.gov/bhhsurg/.

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Media Contact:

Janice Okubo
Communications Office
Phone: (808) 586-4445