Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center Daily News Digest, August 13, 2020Posted on Aug 13, 2020 in Latest Department News
Office of the Governor:
Governor Addresses Recent COVID-19-Related Deaths, Record Number of Infections
Gov. David Ige held a news briefing Thursday, to address the recent COVID-19-related deaths and record number of cases reported by DOH. Gov. Ige said, “This is a record number of daily cases and it follows several days of triple digit case numbers. We are saddened by the news that two more of our community members have died from this disease. We are seeing numerous clusters and wide community spread. Clusters are occurring in all areas of the community and common work-place activities like sharing lunch in work rooms and water cooler conversations. These are natural person-to-person contacts that occur every day. We are facing a critical situation that could get out of control very quickly.” He also highlighted some of the clusters the State has been seeing and the efforts to enhance Hawai‘i’s contact tracing capacity (details outlined in DOH section).
The governor added that it’s been a week since the State re-instated some of the restrictions and two days since re-starting the inter-island travel quarantine. Gov. Ige said, “We hope that these measures will help control the virus. But if things do not get better, we will have no choice but to look at more restrictions. This could include going back to the stay-at-home orders. It also means that we may have to delay trans-Pacific travel. I know that going backwards will cause further harm to our economy, but we may have no choice. Before we can fix our economy, we need to fix our health. I know you’re frustrated. Everyone wants our lives to return to normal. You have sacrificed so much, and I am asking you to sacrifice even more. Remember that taking personal responsibility is still the best way to fight COVID-19. You all know what to do. Wash your hands, wear your mask, avoid large gatherings and stay home if you feel sick.”
Twenty Cases Under Investigation at IHS Shelter
At Thursday’s briefing it was also reported that the State and City and County of Honolulu is working with the Institute for Human Services (HIS) Sumner’s Men’s Shelter in Iwilei to isolate and quarantine individuals at the shelter, as 20 cases in connection with the shelter were under investigation by DOH. The Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness, Scott Morishige, said at the briefing that State, City, and other service providers have been planning for impacts of COVID-19 on the homeless population since early March. Morishige added, “As a result of our planning and coordinated effort, we have had almost no positive cases in the homeless community for the past five months. When IHS first learned of the positive cases, they notified DOH and worked quickly with them and the City to transition individuals into quarantine and isolation sites. Due to the close coordination and preparation, homeless services in our system can continue while IHS temporarily quarantines its Sumner St. location.” Outreach to homeless individuals to provide access to quarantine, testing and other services will continue. As a precaution, the State will also be temporarily suspending cleanups on State lands that adversely impact or may displace homeless individuals, with the exception of enforcement actions that are necessary to address immediate health and safety concerns.
Office of the Lieutenant Governor:
Update on Hospital Capacity
Lt. Gov. Josh Green addressed the spike in COVID-19 cases Hawai‘i has seen recently, saying, “While our new record daily number of 355 cases is startling, the current trend in new cases and hospitalizations is even more so, particularly for O‘ahu … Today we have more than 150 currently hospitalized for COVID-19, and 258 cumulative to date. Major and acute care hospitals on O‘ahu are already transferring patients and expanding ICU capacity to accommodate the growing number of COVID-19 positive patients. Many are reaching ICU capacity.” Statistics include:
- 137 out of 244 ICU beds in use (56%)
- Of the ICU beds in use, 29 are COVID-19 positive
- 73 out of 459 ventilators in use (16%)
- Of the ventilators in use, 22 are COVID-19 positive
Lt. Gov Green added, “The biggest takeaway today is that the surge in cases is now seriously threatening to overwhelm our hospitals and it’s coming fast. Individuals and our government need to mobilize now to drastically curb the spread of this virus and save lives.”
Department of Health:
Two Additional Deaths Reported, COVID-19 Case Count Reaches Record Number
Two O‘ahu men, both over 60-years-old are the latest victims of COVID-19. DOH also reported Thursday that there are dozens of newly diagnosed cases of coronavirus, which is part of an existing cluster, at the O‘ahu Community Correctional Facility (OCCC). The total count at the facility now stands at 105. DOH is also continuing its epidemiological investigation into a cluster of cases at Honolulu Hale, which now totals 11 individuals, who may have been infected during gatherings at offices during breaks or social get-togethers, according to employees who have been interviewed. DOH Director Dr. Bruce Anderson said, “With the virus actively being spread throughout the community on O‘ahu, congregate settings like prisons and institutions are at increased risk of introduction and should prepare as PSD and IHS have done. These agencies were ready and stepped into action quickly, working with the DOH on control and prevention measures to protect those at risk and the community. We extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the latest people to succumb to this disease.”
DOH Deputy Director Danette Wong Tomiyasu also added, “Hawai‘i is at a critical juncture. We are receiving a record number of new positive cases. Clearly, we can do better. Hawai‘i’s people deserve better. There is an urgent need to do things differently. We need to turn the tide to protect the health and wellbeing of Hawaii residents and to reopen our state.”
Update on Contact Tracing Program, New Leader
DOH recently announced that the new Disease Investigation Branch Chief, Dr. Emily Roberson, would take over contact tracing at DOH. Tomiyasu said, “Dr. Roberson comes to us from Hawai‘i Pacific University, where she served as a professor, instructing public health students in epidemiology and developed the advanced degree programs in public health. She has hit the ground running. We’ve tasked her with making significant upgrades to the contact tracing program within two weeks.” Dr. Sarah Park had previously been leading the contract tracing program. Tomiyasu added “As you can imagine, we are all stretched. Dr. Park is still a part of DOH and will focus on other aspects of the pandemic. There is more than enough to do. We are fortunate that Dr. Park was able to recruit Dr. Roberson to fill this important role.”
Tomiyasu also outlined changes to the contact tracing program that Dr. Roberson is helping oversee, which includes automating processes to reduce workload for contact tracers, standing up a call center with support from outside agencies to help with case management, and building in real-time monitoring and rapid-cycle evaluation of procedures and messaging. Other statistics/activities include:
- 76 individuals working on contact tracing and investigations
- 9 additional staff providing supervision and other support
- 15 additional contact tracers and case investigation staff working this week on O‘ahu to investigate cases
- 21 additional personnel from the Hawai‘i National Guard providing assistance on O‘ahu
- 20 new contact tracers being onboarded from the UH training program, another 20 will begin onboarding process next week
- Additional COVID-19 surge staff from other divisions within DOH assisting, including disease investigators, epidemiologists, nurses, etc.
- Volunteers also assisting with contact tracing, data analysis, and other disease response activities via the Medical Reserve Corps, university internship programs, medical residency programs, nursing clinical rotations, and community volunteering partnerships
- Additional space has been procured and equipped. Overtime is being compensated
Laboratory Testing Services Update
While contact tracing is a key component of tracking and preventing future COVID-19 cases in the State, DOH points out it’s just one tool the department uses. Another key component is testing. The Hawai‘i State Laboratories Division and private labs currently have a combined capacity of 8,000 tests each day. Tomiyasu said, “Hawai‘i has excellent laboratory services and good testing capacity; however, any nationwide shortages of testing supplies can be a looming threat to our local laboratory capacity. Delays in laboratory reporting can also affect our ability to investigate and trace cases.” DOH says it continues to investigate new and alternative testing procedures that meet national standards and accuracy requirements. In addition, DOH conducts routine laboratory surveys of state and private capacity to monitor this situation and plan for contingencies.
Hawai‘i COVID-19 Counts as of 12:00 noon, August 13, 2020
|Island of Diagnosis||New Cases||Reported since
(including new cases)
|HI residents diagnosed outside of HI||0||23|
Hospitalization count as of 8/12/20 at 5:30 pm: 1-Hawai‘i, 0-Maui, 145-O‘ahu, 0-Kaua‘i
Laboratory* Testing Data
There were 3,384 additional COVID-19 tests reported via electronic laboratory reporting.
|Total Number of Individuals Tested
by Clinical and State Laboratories
*Electronic Laboratory Reporting **28 test results were inconclusive
For more tables, charts and visualizations visit the DOH Disease Outbreak Control Division: https://health.hawaii.gov/coronavirusdisease2019/what-you-should-know/current-situation-in-hawaii
Joint Information Center:
Inter-Island Quarantine Information and Enforcement
Gov. Ige announced the partial reinstatement of the inter-island quarantine effective Aug. 11, 2020. The 14-day quarantine requirement applies to any person traveling to the counties of Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i, Maui and Kalawao (Moloka‘i) as stated in the 11th supplementary emergency proclamation. Inter-island passengers arriving on O‘ahu are not required to quarantine. Inter-island passengers may submit a limited quarantine request with the applicable county. Those who receive approval for the partial exemption should note they are still required to self-quarantine when they are not performing their approved essential functions. This means they may only break self-quarantine to perform their critical infrastructure and not for grocery shopping, outdoor exercise, or anything else outside their self-quarantine location. Arrangements can be made to have food and groceries delivered. A list of delivery services operating in Hawaii can be found by clicking here.
People traveling inter-island can find additional information and the inter-island limited quarantine request by visiting the following county webpages:
Kauai COVID-19 webpage: https://www.kauai.gov/COVID-19
Modified quarantine request form: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/94ea5e6a72dc4818a9927724fff03152
Maui County mandatory travel declaration form and request for limited quarantine form: https://www.mauicounty.gov/travel
Hawaii County COVID-19 webpage:
Critical infrastructure and medical travel request: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/e2f4ce19aa854964a8fd60bec7fbe78c
City & County of Honolulu
Interisland passengers arriving on Oahu are not subject to the mandatory quarantine.
To report violators, contact local law enforcement by utilizing the following resources:
On O‘ahu, call 808-723-3900 or email [email protected]
Maui County’s non-emergency line is (808) 244-6400 or email [email protected]
Hawai‘i County’s non-emergency line is (808) 935-3311
Kaua‘i County offers online reporting at https://www.kauai.gov/KPD-Online-Reporting
Department of Public Safety:
Additional Inmates, Adult Corrections Officers, Test Positive for COVID-19
Seventy (70) additional OCCC inmates and seven (7) adult corrections officers (ACOs) tested positive for COVID-19. The results were announced Thursday. PSD coordinated with DOH to conduct mass testing of all OCCC inmates in each of the 19 individual housing units there. Two housing units were tested on Tuesday and Wednesday. One housing unit is being tested today. The remaining units will be tested in the coming days. A total of 105 positive cases have been identified through the testing, including 86 inmates and 19 staff members. Five housing units are now on lockdown due to COVID-19 related measures. PSD Director Nolan Espinda said, “As the mass testing continues, we expect to see more positive cases. We appreciate how fast the DOH and National Guard are moving to coordinate the testing of identified staff and inmates. quarantine these individuals. We will continue to be vigilant in our efforts to mitigate the spread of this virus.”
In the meantime, court transports have been suspended through Friday. PSD will continue to take individuals the courts send and place them in an automatic intake quarantine. Video hearings will still be accommodated to the extent possible and legally permissible. If an inmate begins to show symptoms consistent with COVID-19, PSD health staff will perform a full evaluation, including testing for COVID-19 and infectious respiratory illnesses, such as the flu. Upon receipt of test results, positive cases are placed in medical isolation. Negative cases continue to quarantine until cleared by the medical director.
OCCC operations/maintenance staff and work lines have increased cleaning of all housing and intake modules. A deep cleaning vendor is scheduled to perform professional sanitation services as had previously been done in the Sheriff Division when there was a confirmed exposure.
Hawai‘i State Judiciary:
Second O‘ahu Family Court Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19
An O‘ahu Family Court employee has tested positive for COVID-19. The announcement was made Thursday afternoon. It’s the second confirmed positive case of an O‘ahu Family Court employee, and the third employee statewide. A South Kohala District Court employee on Hawai‘i Island tested positive last week. The O‘ahu employee last worked at the courthouse on Tuesday, was asymptomatic, and was tested as a precaution.
A positive test result was confirmed Thursday morning. Out of an abundance of caution, the Judiciary is closing the fourth floor at the Kapolei Courthouse for deep cleaning and disinfecting. Employees with close prolonged contact with the affected individual have been identified and directed to leave the facility. They have been advised to seek guidance from their medical providers and will return to work when medically appropriate to do so. Partner agencies have also been informed of the situation. The Judiciary continues to confer with DOH regarding any additional actions needed. The Kapolei Judiciary Complex will remain open; however, most Kapolei Family Court proceedings will be rescheduled. For more details: https://www.courts.state.hi.us/news_and_reports/2020/08/second-oahu-family-court-employee-tests-positive-for-covid-19
Department of Labor and Industrial Relations:
State Issues $2.7 Billion in Unemployment Benefits Since March
DLIR announced updated unemployment insurance claims information Thursday, including paying $2,733,150,415 since the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic on March 1, 2020. Acting DLIR Director Anne Perreira-Eustaquio said, “We are still experiencing a significant increase of workers still attached to an employer being fully released from employment. These individuals will need to report the separation when filing a weekly claim certification. After filing a weekly claim certification, these individuals then reactivate their claim and select ‘Report Separation from an Employer’ in the online portal at huiclaims.gov/#/.”
Perreira-Eustaquio also added, “The department has worked to hone and refine Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) data to more strategically target those with pending claims as well as to evolve processing operations. We have released nearly 8,700 PUA claims for payment in the last two weeks by using predictive analytics to auto clear identity verification issues.” To view more:
Hawai‘i Tourism Authority:
2,023 Passengers Arrive on Wednesday
Today marks 20 weeks since the State’s mandatory 14-day self-quarantine started for all passengers arriving in Hawai‘i from out-of-state. Yesterday, a total of 2,023 people arrived in Hawai‘i including 526 visitors and 583 returning residents. There was a total of 29 arriving flights. This table shows the number of people who arrived by air from out of state yesterday but does not show interisland travel.
AIRPORT ARRIVALS FOR WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 12, 2020
|Relocate to Hawai‘i||8||15||143||166|
Hawai‘i COVID-19 Joint Information Center