Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center Daily News Digest, August 25, 2020

Posted on Aug 25, 2020 in Latest News

Governor’s Office:
Governor Ige Approves Two-Week-Long Stay-at-Home Order for O‘ahu
A new “Stay-at-Home, Work-at-Home” order for the City and County of Honolulu goes into effect on Thursday for the following two weeks. At a news conference at the Honolulu Fire Dept. headquarters, Governor David Ige, Mayor Kirk Caldwell, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams, Lt. Gov. Dr. Josh Green, and others, spoke about the need to get O‘ahu’s daily, triple-digit case numbers under control quickly. “On O‘ahu, the surge over the past few weeks threatens to stress our healthcare system beyond its capacity. We appreciate the support from the City and County of Honolulu and the federal government. This is clearly an all-country and all-community effort. The surge testing announced today, allows us to reach deeper into specific communities and to make sure we reach every single individual who has been infected. The surge testing is a game changer,” said Gov. Ige (surge testing information in story below).

The governor detailed intensive discussions he’s had with Mayor Caldwell over the past two weeks about how to flatten the curve. He explained the decision to reimpose a Stay-at-Home order was data driven. Gov. Ige said, “The mayor and I agree that we wish all of the actions and restrictions now in place would have been more successful, but we need to do more.” He again called the fight against coronavirus a marathon, that will only succeed with everyone accepting personal responsibility. Success, he concluded is through all levels of government and every member of the community working together.

View entire news conference: https://vimeo.com/451654555

60,000 Tests in 12 Days
The other major announcement today is the availability of “surge testing” on O‘ahu beginning tomorrow and continuing for 12 days. The federal government is funding this mass testing in cooperation with various state and county partners and supporters. As Surgeon General Adams put it, “When we talk about positivity rates (green-less than 5%; yellow-5% to 10%; red-greater than 10%), Hawai‘i is yellow; at a turning point, and can go either direction very quickly. It is important to combine this shut down…this temporary shut-down, while we get tested, quarantine, and have contact tracing done. You have the power to make it temporary.”

Reinforcing previous State and County guidance, Dr. Adams said all it takes is one party or one large gathering to undo the progress. He explained, “We know what works, the 3 W’s:”

  • Wash hands
  • Watch your distance
  • Wear your mask when out and about

He said he’s noticed the majority of Honolulu residents doing the right things, but all it takes is one weak link. “I’m confident that if you do this for the next two weeks and then you’re back in the green,” Adams said. For more information on free and pain-free tests & to make a reservation: www.doIneedacovid19test.com

Governor Announces Hawai‘i Will Apply for New Unemployment Bonus Program
Gov. David Ige and DLIR Acting Director Anne Eustaquio announced Tuesday that Hawaiʻi will apply to participate in a new unemployment insurance plus up program called the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program. The program, under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), was created by the president via a memorandum earlier this month in response to the July expiration of the unemployment $600 weekly benefit. Gov. Ige said, “This will bring relief to many who are still unemployed due to the impact of the coronavirus on our economy. I’m taking this action to maximize all available federal funds to help people in Hawaiʻi who are unemployed because of COVID-19.” Eustaquio added, “In anticipation of FEMA approval, the DLIR has already begun working to build a new program within the unemployment computer system to implement and pay LWA benefits. In conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor concerning program administration, the state will work diligently to complete this process as quickly as possible.”

Upon approval, Hawaiʻi will offer an additional unemployment compensation benefit of $300 per week to eligible unemployment recipients. To qualify for this benefit, recipients must be eligible for at least $100 in weekly benefit and must certify that they are unemployed or partially unemployed due to the disruptions caused by COVID-19. Payments would be retroactive to August 1, 2020. Unlike the FPUC program that ended in July, LWA is a grant with a finite amount of funding. When FEMA exhausts its grant funding, it will no longer have the resources to provide LWA payments and the program will end. If the federal program does not exhaust the LWA grant funding, payments will end on Dec. 26, 2020. To read more: https://governor.hawaii.gov/newsroom/latest-news/office-of-the-governor-news-release-gov-ige-announces-hawaii-will-apply-for-new-unemployment-bonus-program/

Lieutenant Governor’s Office:
Lt. Gov. Josh Green says the current healthcare situation, particularly on O‘ahu, necessitated the strong order. “Staying at home will keep people alive,” Green commented. He detailed the current capacity of hospitals and the medical system, pointing out that Honolulu has 4,472 of the 4,669 cases active across the state. He and Surgeon General Adams demonstrated the ease which anyone can self-administer a test at one of the surge testing sites. You can watch the demonstration here: https://vimeo.com/451663548

Department of Health:
Community Spread is Primary Source of Infection Among Cases
Of the 215 reported cases today,112 are attributed to community spread. Three (3) cases have travel as a risk factor, and 100 case are pending investigation. The majority of new cases are on O‘ahu, with Hawai‘i island reporting 11, and Maui reporting three (3). The new cases include 180 adults and 35 children (18 yrs. and younger). All the minors are household contacts who were exposed to positive adult cases.

Hawai‘i COVID-19 Counts as of 12:00 noon, August 25, 2020

Island of Diagnosis New Cases Reported since

2/28/2020

(including new cases)

O‘ahu 201 6,382
Hawai‘i 11 220
Maui 3 300
Kauai 0 56
Moloka‘i 0 3
Lana‘i 0 0
HI residents diagnosed outside of HI 0 23
Total Cases 215 6,984
Deaths    0 49

Hospitalization count as of 8/24/20 at 5:30 pm: 10-Hawai‘i,2 -Maui, 233-O‘ahu, 0-Kaua‘i 

Laboratory* Testing Data
There were 2,307 additional COVID-19 tests reported via electronic laboratory reporting.

Total Number of Individuals Tested

by Clinical and State Laboratories

Positive Negative
183,157** 6,984 176,150

*Electronic Laboratory Reporting **23 test results were inconclusive

Hawaiicovid19.com 

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

State, County Partnership Builds Capacity for Isolation and Quarantine Rooms
The City and County of Honolulu and DOH have joined forces to provide resources for O‘ahu families and individuals that need to isolate or quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19. DOH’s 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. Mayor Caldwell said, “As cases increased, we realized the tremendous need for more isolation and quarantine units and stepped in with support. 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.” Eddie Mersereau, the deputy director of DOH’s BHA said, “We are grateful to the City for providing the additional resources needed to offer temporary rooms for individuals to safely isolate and quarantine. Working together, the City and State are providing social services and basic support to those who do not have homes or places to safely stay while they quarantine or isolate due to COVID.”

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].

Healthcare Association of Hawai‘i:
Nurses Needed to Assist Hospitals as COVID-19 Cases Surge in Hawai‘i
Hawai‘i hospitals are urgently seeking nurses, including recent nursing graduates, because of the increasing number of hospitalizations due to the surge in COVID-19 illnesses. All recent graduates, even if they have not yet taken the NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN licensing exams, are needed to work in a variety of nursing roles, and not necessarily with COVID-19 patients. The state has waived license requirements during the emergency proclamation period to allow new nursing grads to work to their full scope of practice immediately upon graduation. This provision enables the nursing workforce to respond to and support the nursing needs as the number of COVID-19 cases has increased. All available nurses, including spring and summer 2020 graduates from a licensed practical nurse (LPN) program, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree program in nursing, and graduate entry program in nursing students (GEPN) who completed their pre-licensure year of education in August 2020, are encouraged to respond to this call for employment by completing the survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HRNVLM7 

This survey, sponsored by Hawai`i State Center for Nursing, HAH, and Hawai‘i Healthcare Emergency Management, a subsidiary of HAH, will be shared with employers in Hawai`i who will reach out to respondents for employment opportunities.

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority:
July 2020 Hawai‘i Vacation Rental Performance Report
HTA released its monthly Vacation Rental Performance Report Tuesday. It showed the supply of vacation rentals in Hawai‘i last month was down 55.6-percent, and unit demand was down 91.9-percent compared to the same time last year. On O‘ahu, short-term rentals (rented for less than 30 days) were not allowed to operate during July. For Hawai‘i Island, Kaua‘i and Maui County, legal short-term rentals were allowed to operate as long as they were not being used as a quarantine location. During July, all passengers arriving from out-of-state were required to abide by a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine, but inter-island travelers did not have to quarantine. To view the full report:

https://www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/media/5097/hta-july-2020-hawaii-vacation-rental-performance-final.pdf

 

Department of the Attorney General
Two Residents and One Visitor are Latest Arrested for Quarantine Violations
This morning an anonymous witness contacted the AG’s Investigations Division to report a visitor posting on social media, showing scenes of her violating her mandatory 14-day quarantine. Special Agents arrested 23-year-old Julia E. Abraham of Germantown, Maryland, as well as her Honolulu host, 22-year-old Antoinette Hebron. The pair were arrested after shopping inside a store at a local shopping center. Both individuals were booked and charged and are being held on $2,000 bail.

Today, 37-year-old Brian Alves of Aiea was arrested for a quarantine violation. Alves, according to a witness, was with his companion at a grocery store last Saturday, one day after arriving in Honolulu. The witness took photos of the pair and the photograph and information was forwarded to Special Agents. He was arrested, booked, charged, and posted $2,000 bail.

Hawai‘i COVID-19 Joint Information Center
(808) 636-8914
[email protected]

 

Hawai‘i COVID-19 Joint Information Center

Helpful Resources

To report violators:  https://www.kauai.gov/KPD-Online-Reporting

To report violators: (808) 244-6400 or [email protected]

To report violators:

Non-emergency line (808) 935-3311

  • City & County of Honolulu

Interisland passengers arriving on Oahu are not subject to the mandatory quarantine.

To report violators: 808-723-3900 or [email protected]