Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center Daily News Digest, July 2, 2020Posted on Jul 2, 2020 in Latest Department News
Editor’s Note: The Joint Information Center will not be sending out a Daily News Digest on July 3, due to the holiday weekend. Media questions will still be taken by phone and email.
Department of Health:
20 New Cases of COVID-19 Reported
Twenty (20) new cases of COVID-19 were reported Thursday by DOH. The cases include 17 from Honolulu, most which were associated with identified cases or clusters, as well as three (3) cases on Hawai‘i Island. Community outreach and testing activities are ongoing.
Hawai‘i COVID-19 Counts as of 12:00 noon, July 2, 2020
|Island of Diagnosis||New Cases||Reported since
(including new cases)
|Total Released from Isolation*|
|Residents Diagnosed outside HI||0||17|
|Total released from isolation||746|
* Includes cases that meet isolation release criteria.
Laboratory* Testing Data
There were 959 additional COVID-19 tests reported via electronic laboratory reporting.
|Total Number of Individuals Tested
by Clinical and State Laboratories
*Electronic Laboratory Reporting **15 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
Holiday Weekend Safety
With the 4th of July holiday weekend quickly approaching, DOH wants to remind everyone to wear masks and to continue practicing physical distancing. One reported cluster the DOH is monitoring involved people that had gathered and shared food at a potluck. This serves as a reminder that COVID-19 is still in our communities and everyone should follow proper guidelines to reduce the risk of catching the virus and spreading it to others. State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park said, “During this long 4th of July holiday weekend, many people will be celebrating with family and friends. As we do so, we all need to remember to keep protecting our community by maintaining safe practices. We should wear our masks and stay six feet from others outside our household or those we don’t normally see and interact with every day. Hawai‘i has kept COVID-19 case numbers manageable thanks to all of us diligently following infection prevention measures – and please keep up those efforts even during times of celebration.” Other things to keep in mind include washing your hands properly and staying home if you’re sick.
Avoid the 3 Cs: Closed, Crowded, and Close-Contact
To remind people to practice physical distancing, DOH has released infographics the public can share on its social media pages to remind their family and friends to “Avoid the 3 Cs;” closed spaces with poor ventilation, crowded places with many people nearby, and close-contact settings such as close-range conversations.
Department of Education:
DOE Announces Re-Opening Plan for Schools
The DOE has announced how it will safely welcome back students and staff in the fall. The DOE released its “Return to Learn: School Reopening Plan” on Thursday. As part of the reopening plan, DOE school leaders have created elementary, middle/intermediate, and high school models for reopening. In general, models include face-to-face learning where all students are on campus daily for instruction, and various blended learning models where a combination of in-person learning, and structured online distance learning is provided. Priority for daily face-to-face learning will be given to K-2 students and vulnerable students. All schools are preparing for the possibility of future school closures by increasing device accessibility to students, building teacher capacity for virtual engagement, and expanding course offerings for credits toward graduation. There are also options for students who prefer to do solely online learning.
To keep students safe while they’re on campus, the DOE has worked with public health officials to develop guidelines focused on health and safety. This includes:
- Cohorts: for on-campus learning, the same group of students should be kept with the same staff throughout the day; all day for younger students and as much as possible for older students.
- Physical distancing: a distance of six feet between students and staff members should be maintained whenever possible.
- Face coverings: face coverings should be worn by employees, students, and visitors, especially when physical distancing is difficult or impossible.
- Meals: individually plated meals are to be consumed in classrooms or at designated outdoor locations, or distancing precautions must be instituted in cafeterias.
- Ventilation: windows should be opened for greater natural air circulation when possible.
- Monitoring health: employees, students and visitors should be screened for overt signs of illness in a safe and respectful manner.
- Hygiene: adequate cleaning supplies, including soap, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer will be made available to schools and offices.
- Sanitation: campuses, classrooms and offices will be cleaned and disinfected on a routine and frequent basis. High-touch surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected at least daily.
- School buses: students, drivers and anyone else riding the bus should wear face coverings, and physical distance should be maintained between students on buses.
The department says it’s committed to maintaining the standard 180 days of instruction in the new school year. DOE Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto said, “As we move forward in our commitment to reopen schools on Aug. 4 for the fall semester, we know that the delivery of instruction in Hawai‘i, across the nation and globally is going to look very different. Our DOE ʻohana has been diligently working on plans for the new school year, growing from our experience navigating a global pandemic and applying lessons learned toward our commitment to high-quality learning and equity of access.” As the situation evolves and as new guidance becomes available, the DOE says it will adjust as necessary to uphold its commitment to providing a safe learning and working environment. To view the full reopening plan:
Hawai‘i Tourism Authority:
2,424 Passengers Arrive on Wednesday
Today marks 14 weeks since the state’s mandatory 14-day self-quarantine started for all passengers arriving in Hawai‘i from out of state. Yesterday’s 2,424 passenger total was the highest number since the quarantine began, but the numbers are still considerably down from last year – when 35,000 passengers arrived per day. A total of 754 visitors and 516 residents were part of the incoming passengers. There was a total of 24 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, JULY 1, 2020
|Relocate to Hawai‘i||7||38||196||9||250|
Department of Labor and Industrial Relations:
State Has Issued $1.85 Billion in Benefits Since March 1
DLIR announced Thursday updated unemployment insurance claims information, including paying $1,853,823,044 since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. DLIR Deputy Director Anne Perreira-Eustaquio said, “Despite nearly a thousand new claims a day over the past week, the department has managed to maintain a 93- percent level of payouts of the valid unemployment insurance claims that have come in since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic. We also reduced the number of clean claims without certification by 950 so we still have 10,455 clean claims ready for payment of benefits by filing weekly claim certifications at https://huiclaims.hawaii.gov/#/.”
As reported across the nation, fraudsters are targeting state unemployment insurance systems in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic through various schemes and identity theft. Bad actors are using stolen personal information from sources outside of the department, such as from massive external data breaches like the Equifax breach, to apply for benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and attempt to route payments to their own bank accounts. As of June 24, the department has blocked $95M in possible fraudulent payments and detected a potential of $18M paid out in PUA benefits. Investigations are ongoing and will confirm the exact total of erroneously paid benefits.
Hawai‘i COVID-19 Joint Information Center