Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center Daily News Digest, Sept. 18, 2020

Posted on Sep 18, 2020 in COVID-19 News Releases, Latest Department News

Joint Information Center:
COVID-19 Quarantine Exemption Requests Go Digital Beginning Saturday
In an effort to make the quarantine exemption process easier and more efficient, the State Office of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS), developed a new web-based form which goes live on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. Previously those seeking exemptions, such as critical medical or infrastructure workers had to communicate with, and provide information to, the State via emails. The new online form and submission system will mean more efficient interactions with exemption seekers, better data gathering and access for decision makers. 

Currently, exempt travelers will still have to provide an e-mail approval documenting exempt status at State airports. Work is already underway to synchronize the exemption digital platform with Hawai‘i’s SafeTravels platform for a more integrated and seamless experience. This applies to trans-Pacific travel and not interisland as each county has its own exemption rules and process. Before the digital system is active, applicants can still submit their requests by email to [email protected]. Any requests submitted before Sept. 19, 2020 will be processed via email in the usual course. People seeking exemptions are asked not to submit duplicate exemptions requests via email and the digital system, as that may delay processing.

As a reminder, people who receive approval for the modified quarantine exemption 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 duties and not for grocery shopping, outdoor exercise, or anything else outside their self-quarantine location. Beginning Saturday, exemption seekers can fill out their requests online as well as review a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) at: travelexemption.hawaii.gov


Department of Health:12 Additional Covid-19 Deaths Confirmed at Yukio Okutsu Veterans Home
Twelve deaths among residents of the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo have been confirmed and added to the state’s reported COVID-19 related deaths today. These deaths include 11 men and one (1) woman, all in the 70 to 80-year-old age group and with underlying health conditions. Ten of the residents passed away at the home and two others were hospitalized. Reporting on these deaths was delayed due to pending medical reports required for verification and classification of deaths as COVID-19.

An additional death from COVID-19, unrelated to the home, is also being reported today. A 70 to 79-year-old O‘ahu man, with underlying health conditions, who had  been hospitalized at the time of his death. This brings the cumulative total of COVID-19 related deaths to 120.

Hawai‘i COVID-19 Counts as of 12:00 noon, Sept.18, 2020

Island of Diagnosis New Cases Reported since


(including new cases)

O‘ahu 106 10,119
Hawai‘i 9 632
Maui 0 366
Kaua‘i -1 57
Moloka‘i 0 15
Lānaʻi 0 0
HI residents diagnosed outside of HI 0 28
Total Cases 114 11,217++ 
Deaths    13 120

Hospitalization numbers as of 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 17, 2020: Hawai‘i-22, Maui-2, O‘ahu-176, Kaua‘i-0 

++As a result of updated information, two (2) cases from O‘ahu were removed from the count and one (1) case from Kaua‘i was recategorized to O‘ahu

Laboratory* Testing Data
There were 4,559 additional COVID-19 tests reported via electronic laboratory reporting.

Total Number of Individuals Tested by Clinical and State Laboratories Positive Negative
273,888** 11,217 262,647
Total Number of Surge Tests++ 
51,375 319 51,056

*Electronic Laboratory Reporting **24 test results were inconclusive

++ Tests results from unique individuals. Total numbers may be higher due to repeat tests on single individuals. 


Assessment Reports on Veterans Home Expected to be Released Soon
In total, there are now 15 deaths confirmed by the State among residents of the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans home. Three separate assessments into the infections and deaths at the facility were initiated, are completed or near completion. One was conducted by a team from the U.S. Veterans Administration (VA), a second by the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), and a third, an unannounced inspection of infection control measures was conducted by the DOH Office of Health Care Assurance (OHCA).

The findings and recommendations in the two assessments conducted by the VA and the Incident Command Medical Support Team (HI-EMA, ESF-8) have been transmitted to the Yukio Okutsu Veterans Home and are being prepared for release. It is expected these reports will be ready soon. The DOH/OHCA unannounced inspection report is being completed today and will be transmitted to the facility before being shared with the public.


Department of the Attorney General: 
Three More Hotels Visited for Quarantine Compliance Checks 
Special Agents from the Investigations Division of the AGs Office and DOT Harbor police checked on 95 different rooms of people who are in quarantine at three different hotels in Waikīkī this morning. The teams went door-to-door to ensure that those under the State’s mandatory 14-day quarantine were indeed in their rooms. Investigators said they are doing follow up on two rooms because there was no one present. An earlier compliance check of two lodging properties agents found that everyone they checked was following the terms of their quarantine orders.

Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism:
State Offering $10 Million in Innovation Grants for PPE Supply Chain
Three companies were among the first group of businesses to receive funding to manufacture PPE under a program administered by the Hawai‘i Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) and DBEDT. Over $1 million in grants were awarded to Hawai‘i small businesses to help establish a local supply chain of cleaning supplies and PPE in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Awards can range between $10,000 to $500,000, with larger awards possible if determined necessary by HTDC. The program was appropriated $10 million of federal CARES Act funds by the Hawai‘i State Legislature. 

The PPE Supply Chain program provides grants to Hawai‘i small businesses with 50 employees or fewer. The main goal of this program is to increase the local capacity for producing cleaning supplies and PPE to help keep Hawai‘i safe. The program also has secondary objectives of providing economic support for Hawai‘i’s struggling small businesses and supporting businesses that provide job opportunities for displaced workers. Additionally, HTDC’s priority is to advance innovative solutions related to the PPE supply chain. The participant must be producing or plan to produce PPE/Cleaning Supplies commonly procured by the State through HI-EMA. DBEDT Director Mike McCartney said, “We’re trying to keep people safe and accelerate the economic recovery. If we can start producing our own supplies to meet the local demand, the jobs stay in Hawai‘i and the money circulates in the local economy.” Online applications are being accepted now through HTDC’s website at www.htdc.org, and are due by Oct. 26, 2020. To view more:


State Launches Job Program for Displaced Workers
The State is helping to launch a new job program that will help workers displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonprofit organizations, the private sector, and government joined together to launch the program using federal CARES Act funding that will support Hawai‘i’s economy by providing businesses with up to 650 workers who have been displaced. The program matches the workers with companies in emerging industries and sectors such as conservation, renewable energy, agriculture, creative arts, aerospace, entrepreneurship, and STEM fields. Gov. David Ige said, “This is a great example of how we can pull together during difficult times and rise to the challenges facing our economy from the pandemic.” The programs’ positions will offer:

  • 2-1/2 to 3 months of on-the-job training (to December 15)
  • Wages starting at $13-$15 an hour
  • Health care benefits
  • Introduction and mentoring within the emerging, innovation sectors
  • Workforce training

Ideally, after the on-the-job training, individuals will be hired at the sites they are placed at or within the network of their organization, pursue careers in the emerging, innovation sector, or continue with higher education 

In order to be eligible, you have to be a displaced worker, recent college graduate, or recent high school graduate. There are two different tracks, one for innovation and the other for conservation. You can access the different tracks here:
Innovation: https://www.edahawaii.org/
Conservation: https://www.kupuhawaii.org/ainainnovation/
To learn more: https://dbedt.hawaii.gov/blog/20-21/

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority:
August 2020 Hawaiʻi Hotel Performance Report
Hawai‘i hotels across the State continued to report substantially lower revenue per available room (RevPAR), average daily rate (ADR), and occupancy last month compared to August 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to HTA, statewide RevPAR in August 2020 decreased to $34 (-85.9%), ADR fell to $158 (-45.5%), and occupancy declined to 21.7 percent (-62.4 percentage points). During August, all passengers arriving from out-of-state were required to abide by a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine. On Aug. 11, 2020, a partial interisland quarantine was reinstated for anyone traveling to the counties of Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i, Maui, and Kalawao (Moloka‘i). To view more:


Helpful Resources 

  • Safe Travels Information (Frequently Asked Questions) 


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

To report violators: 808-935-3311

  • City & County of Honolulu
    Honolulu COVID-19 webpage: oneoahu.org

Interisland passengers arriving on O‘ahu are not subject to the mandatory quarantine.

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

Beginning Oct. 15, 2020 

Hawai‘i COVID19 Joint Information Center
(808) 636-8194
[email protected] 

Krystal Kawabata
Information Specialist III
Hawai‘i Department of Defense
(808) 441-7000
[email protected]