Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center Daily News Digest, Sept. 24, 2020Posted on Sep 24, 2020 in COVID-19 News Releases, Latest Department News
COVID-19 Emergency Period Extended & Pre-Travel Testing Program Authorized
Late yesterday, Gov. David Ige signed a 13th supplementary emergency proclamation that extends the COVID-19 emergency period through Oct. 31. The emergency proclamation leaves in place the 14-day mandatory quarantine requirement for out-of-state travelers. However, beginning Oct. 15, a pre-travel testing option will allow travelers an alternative to the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
“Our response to COVID-19 has always been driven by the need to protect the safety of our residents and community. The pre-travel testing program allows us to do this while welcoming more people to our state. The increased economic activity will help strengthen our communities,” said Gov. David Ige.
Travelers who, upon entry into the state, provide written confirmation from a state approved COVID-19 testing facility of a negative test result from a test administered to the traveler within 72 hours from the final leg of departure, will be exempt from the mandatory quarantine.
The inter-island quarantine for travelers arriving in the counties of Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i, Maui and Kalawao (Kalaupapa) remains in place. However, the proclamation empowers the counties to adopt a negative test exception process for travelers subject to the inter-island travel quarantine.
The proclamation also mandates that all people must wear masks in compliance with the county orders, rules and directives approved by the governor. It also extends the prohibition on evictions, as well as expiration of state IDs and driver’s licenses until Oct.31. Read more here: https://governor.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/2009139-ATG_Thirteenth-Supplementary-Proclamation-for-COVID-19-distribution-signed.pdf
Department of Health:
Two Deaths and 90 New Cases Reported Today
Two (2) O‘ahu residents increase Hawai‘i’s COVID-19 death count to 124 people. Both were males and one was between 50-59 years-old, the other was between 60-69 years-old. Both had underlying conditions and passed away while hospitalized. DOH is also reporting 90 new cases with 81 on O‘ahu, five (5) on Hawai‘i Island, two (2) on Maui, and two residents diagnosed outside of Hawai‘i
Hawai‘i COVID-19 Counts as of 12:00 noon, Sept. 24, 2020
|Island of Diagnosis||New Cases||Reported since
(including new cases)
|HI residents diagnosed outside of HI||2||30*|
Hospitalization count as of 9/23/20 at 3:46 pm: 16-Hawai‘i, 2-Maui, 150-O‘ahu, 0-Kaua‘i
++ As the result of updated information, one case from Hawai‘i County was removed from the counts.
*One resident diagnosed outside of Hawai‘i has a Moloka‘i address.
Laboratory* Testing Data
There were 1,737 additional COVID-19 tests reported via electronic laboratory reporting
|Total Number of Individuals Tested by Clinical and State Laboratories||Positive||Negative|
|Total Number of Surge Tests++|
*Electronic Laboratory Reporting **25 test results were inconclusive
++ Tests results from unique individuals. Total numbers may be higher due to repeat tests on single individuals.
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
DOH Uses $14 million of CARES Act Funding to Help Staff Hospitals
DOH is administering $14 million to provide more than 200 additional nurses and other specialists for hospitals statewide over the next four months. Some of the out-of-state personnel will begin arriving this weekend. Gov. Ige approved the award of funds from the Coronavirus Relief Fund earlier this week. The funding, provided through the federal CARES Act, will provide vital healthcare capacity.
DOH collaborated with the Healthcare Association of Hawai‘i and contracted ProLink Healthcare, an Ohio-based healthcare staffing company, to provide specialized personnel for nine different medical centers. “As Hawai‘i faces increases in hospitalizations due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the Department of Health wants to be sure our hospitals have sufficient surge capacity,” said Dr. Elizabeth A. Char, Director of Health. “During their time here, these experienced healthcare professionals will be providing critical patient care as well as respite for our dedicated local healthcare workforce.”
They will be deployed in two waves.134 people in the first wave and 200 in the second. Each group will work in Hawai‘i for two months through the end of the year. As essential workers, the out-of-state traveler nurses will be allowed to work with an exemption from the mandatory 14-day quarantine, and they will be regularly tested for COVID-19. See full news release:
Department of Public Safety:
Mass Testing Underway at Correctional Facilities Statewide
PSD’s Health Care Division is continuing to work with DOH to conduct mass testing for COVID-19 at all correctional facilities statewide.
The broad-based testing being administered by PSD health care, mental health, and security staff at Halawa Correctional Facility (HCF) and Kulani Correctional Facility (KCF) is complete. The third batch of HCF inmate test results have come in for 94 additional inmates. All 94 were negative. Kulani testing completed on Tuesday for 164 inmates. The final batch of 86 results came back negative Thursday and 78 results came back negative Wednesday. KCF Warden Wanda Craig said, “I couldn’t be more pleased with my staff for the amazing job they are doing executing the pandemic plan daily, to keep our inmate population free of COVID. I commend all of my security, medical and civilian staff for their hard work and effort, and the team who coordinated the testing for the smooth implementation and quick completion of the testing plan.” The order of the facilities next in line for testing is being worked out. PSD is also working with DOH and the Hawaii National Guard to coordinate the testing of correctional officers and staff.
The outbreak at the O‘ahu Community Correctional Center is under control. There were no new positive inmate or staff tests to report Thursday. There are currently no inmates hospitalized. Over 96% of all inmates who tested positive have recovered.
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs:
State Reminds Renters of Eviction Moratorium and Relief Options
The Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) is reminding residential landlords and tenants of the moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent. Gov. Ige’s Thirteenth Proclamation issued Wednesday extends the period through the end of October. In addition, renters may meet the conditions of the federal eviction moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) earlier this month, which is effective through the end of the year. Those that meet the guidelines in the CDC order would also need to execute a signed declaration form.
OCP Executive Director Stephen Levins said, “Renters need to know their rights and landlords should not be threatening action that they are not allowed to take. However, renters should make their best effort to meet their financial obligation, and parties are encouraged to work out payment arrangements and take advantage of available relief options.” The State recently announced its Rent Relief & Housing Assistance Program for rent payments due between Aug. 1 and Dec. 28, 2020. More information on the program is available at www.hihousinghelp.com. To view more:
Department of Land and Natural Resources:
State Parks, Beaches, Trails and Boating Now Allowed for Five or Fewer
To avoid confusion and to mirror City and County of Honolulu emergency orders, DLNR today began allowing larger groups of people in State Parks that are currently open, on State beaches, and on State trails on O‘ahu. As with the city rules, groups on State lands are limited to five people or fewer and both the State and the County encourage continued use of safe practices. Five-person groups do not have to be related or from the same household. Canopy-type structures are not permitted at this time at State parks, beaches and trails.
There are rules for both recreational and commercial boating on O‘ahu (please see news release below).
The Ahu O Laka sandbar in Kāne’ohe Bay also reopened today, with the restrictions outlined above being enforced. Some campgrounds in State Parks are scheduled to open this weekend. Further details and reservations:
Select campgrounds in State Parks are scheduled to reopen this weekend and you can get further details and make reservations at: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/
For information about camping in areas under the jurisdiction of the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) visit: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dofaw/
Everyone recreating in parks, on beaches, on trails, must continue following mandatory safe practices, such as wearing face coverings and maintaining six feet of physical distancing from those not residing in the same household. These practices are intended to prevent another surge in COVID-19 cases and having to revert to more restrictive measures or closures again. More details in the full news release: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/blog/2020/09/23/nr20-150/
Department of Labor and Industrial Relations:
State Has Issued $3.3 Billion in Benefits Since March 1
DLIR announced updated unemployment insurance claims information Thursday, including paying $3,298,070,537 since the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic on March 1, 2020. DLIR Director Anne Eustaquio said, “96-percent of the valid unemployment insurance claims that have come in since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic have been processed and paid out by the DLIR. We also saw a 29% reduction in outstanding claims during the last week, which is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our DLIR staff as well as the volunteers working at the Hawai‘i State Library and Hawai‘i Convention Center.” To view more:
https://labor.hawaii.gov/blog/news/state-releases-updated-unemployment-insurance-information-15/ Department of Hawaiian Home Lands:
HHC Approves DHHL Loan Deferral Extension
The Hawaiian Homes Commission (HHC) has approved the continuance of postponement of mortgage loan payments for all Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) direct loans and loans assigned to the department for an additional three-month period, effective with the October 2020 payment. Commissioners approved the extension at the regularly scheduled September 2020 meeting.
On March 24, 2020, HHC approved the initial postponement of mortgage loan payments for DHHL direct loans and loans assigned to the department for six months, effective with the April 2020 payment. Under the initial approval, lessees with DHHL loans had the option on a case-by-case basis to extend the postponement for an additional six months. HHC Chairman William Ailā, Jr. said, “As we navigate through these unprecedented times, we know many of our lessees are facing the unforeseeable financial consequences of COVID-19. The extension of the emergency mortgage payment postponement is one way the Department is trying to provide relief to our beneficiary community. The COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance program continues to run for Waiting List applicants. It is the hope that these extended services provide respite during such an uneasy time.”
The deferment is an auto-enroll postponement. If a borrower decides to continue making payments during the deferral period, DHHL will process the payment as in the normal course of business. As with the initial deferment, interest will continue to accrue during the postponement period, however, no late fees will be added. The billing of payments will resume in January 2021. https://dhhl.hawaii.gov/2020/09/24/hhc-approves-dhhl-loan-deferral-extension/
Hawai‘i Tourism Authority:
August 2020 Hawaiʻi Vacation Rental Performance Report
HTA released its monthly Vacation Rental Performance Report Thursday, and the supply of vacation rentals in Hawai‘i last month was down 60.1-percent, and unit demand was down 92.7-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 August. 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. To view more:
- Safe Travels Information (Frequently Asked Questions)
- Trans-Pacific Passenger Arrivals Statistics https://www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/covid-19-updates/trans-pacific-passenger-arrivals/
- Kaua‘i County
Kaua‘i COVID-19 webpage: https://www.kauai.gov/COVID-19
To report violators: https://www.kauai.gov/KPD-Online-Reporting
- Maui County
Maui County mandatory travel declaration form and request for limited quarantine form:
To report violators: (808) 244-6400 or [email protected]
- Hawai‘i County
Hawai‘i County COVID-19 webpage:
Critical infrastructure and medical travel request: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/e2f4ce19aa854964a8fd60bec7fbe78c
To report violators: 808-935-3311
- City & County of Honolulu
Honolulu COVID-19 webpage:
Interisland passengers arriving on O‘ahu are not subject to the mandatory quarantine.
To report violators:808-723-3900 or [email protected]
Joint Information Center
Lead Public Information Officer
Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center
Senior Communications Manager
Hawaii Dept. of Land & Natural Resources