Hawaii COVID-Joint Information Center Daily News Digest, June 19, 2020Posted on Jun 19, 2020 in Latest Department News
Gov. Ige says Friday COVID Case Count was Anticipated, Manageable
Gov. Ige released a statement Friday after DOH announced 27 new COVID-19 cases, saying; “Today’s spike in positive cases was anticipated as we began the process to re-open our community. It is still manageable, but it serves as a reminder that we must continue to be vigilant in the battle against COVID-19, especially because of the potential harm that the virus can cause to our most vulnerable populations.
We are well-prepared to handle this level of new cases. We have good capacity for testing, contact tracing and care within our hospitals and other healthcare facilities. In addition, the increase in cases is a clear sign that our contact tracing and testing programs are working and we’re finding more COVID-19 in our communities.
It’s critically important that we slow the spread of the disease by continuing the safe practices that have become the new norm. The reopening of our communities and our ability to remain open depend on how successful we are at preventing surges that could overwhelm our healthcare system.”
Department of Health:
Highest Number of Cases Reported in 2 ½ Months
27 additional cases of COVID-19, reported by DOH today, is the highest number in Hawai‘i since April 2. O‘ahu has 25 new cases, with one each on Maui and Kaua‘i (reported by the county yesterday). At least one (1) new case and potentially five (5) others that are still under investigation are associated with a gathering in Waipahu (see item below). DOH reports that as many as 35 recent cases may be associated with this gathering. In Waiʻanae, five (5) new cases are believed to be associated with multiple adult care homes, all located on the same property. All of the new cases are Hawai‘i residents. 22 are adults and five (5) are pediatric cases.
Hawai‘i COVID-19 Counts as of 12:00 noon, June 19, 2020
|Island of Diagnosis||New Cases||Reported since
(including new cases)
|Total Released from Isolation*|
|Residents Diagnosed outside HI||0||12|
|Total released from isolation||642|
* Includes cases that meet isolation release criteria.
** Negative unknown counts indicate previously reported cases that were not included in county totals, but have been
Reclassified based on new information.
Laboratory* Testing Data
There were 990 additional COVID-19 tests reported via electronic laboratory reporting.
|Total Number of Individuals Tested
by Clinical and State Laboratories
*Electronic Laboratory Reporting **14 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/
Despite Spike, State Officials Say All Systems Working as Planned
Health Director, Dr. Bruce Anderson said, “Despite our recent spike in cases, all of our testing and contact tracing procedures are working exactly as intended. Additional cases are being identified and added to the case count as a result of aggressive investigations, contact tracing and testing of household contacts.”
The majority of new cases reported over the past week are associated with community clusters in large households with crowded conditions, adult care and long-term nursing facilities, and with a faith-based group gathering at a home. Hawai‘i State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park, commented, “These clusters really emphasize our call for the continuation of safe practices, including physical distancing, using face coverings, frequent hand washing, and staying home and away from others when sick. Virtually all of the newly reported cases of COVID-19 are due to community-spread, often from a group setting.”
One faith community in Waipahu, having gatherings in a home, has prompted health authorities to reiterate safe practices for people being together in crowded conditions. Guidance, prepared by the City and County of Honolulu, based on best practices from sources such as DOH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and from research institutions and municipalities across the country is available online: https://www.oneoahu.org/house-of-worship-guidance
There has been speculation that the recent rise in cases is due to large protests. Dr. Park added, “At this time there is no evidence that recent protests have led to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Hawai‘i. Nonetheless, we continue to strongly encourage physical distancing and the use of face masks when people are engaged in practicing their First Amendment rights, or while in any other large gatherings, with people who don’t live in the same household.”
The health department says testing is based on a low threshold to test. In other words, once a resident or caregiver tests positive and the health investigation determines the source of infection, DOH supports broader testing of exposed healthcare givers and residents in conjunction with public health investigation. Part of DOH’s investigation procedure continues to be extensive contact tracing to get close contacts of an infected person into isolation and monitoring. The department and its partners continue to conduct outreach and education for impacted individuals and communities. Read more here: https://governor.hawaii.gov/newsroom/latest-news/hawaii-covid-19-joint-information-center-news-release-largest-since-day-increase-in-case-since-early-april-june-19-2020/
Hawai‘i Public Housing Authority:
Public Housing Authority Taking Multiple Steps to Protect Residents
Packing and distributing thousands of masks, distributing hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies, and participating in COVID-19 outreach events, are just a few of the things the staff and management of the Hawai‘i Public Housing Authority (HPHA) have been engaged in.
HPHA is working hand-in-hand with the Dept. of Health and the Hawai‘i Air National Guard (HIANG), at outreach events at its large public housing properties. These events are designed to educate the community about COVID-19 and to show people how they can stay safe and healthy. Anyone with flu-like symptoms are tested. The agency administers about 6,200 federal and state low-income public housing units on five islands.
“None of these activities could be carried out without the dedicated support of all our staff who remained hard at work since the start of this pandemic, including property managers, office and maintenance staff, and many others, said HPHA Executive Director Hakim Ouansafi. He added, “The HPHA continues to step up its efforts to keep our at-risk seniors and families as safe as possible during these trying times.” View the full news release:https://governor.hawaii.gov/newsroom/latest-news/hawaii-covid-19-joint-information-center-news-release-public-housing-authority-covid-19-prevention-june-19-2020/
Hawai‘i Tourism Authority:
1,767 Passengers Arrive on Thursday
Yesterday marked 12 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 1,767 people arrived in Hawai‘i including 575 visitors and 519 returning residents. There was a total of 18 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 THURSDAY, JUNE 18, 2020
|Relocate to Hawai‘i||7||3||68||78|
Department of Human Services:
Applications Being Accepted for Energy Assistance
Did you lose any income during COVID-19 and need help paying your energy bill? You might be eligible for DHS’ LIHEAP Energy Credit Assistance Program. LIHEAP provides heating or cooling assistance to households in need by giving them a one-time payment towards their utility bill. Applications are being accepted statewide. To view if you qualify and to apply: https://humanservices.hawaii.gov/bessd/liheap/
University of Hawai‘i:
Update on UH, DOH Contact Tracing Training Program
Track two of the UH and DOH COVID-19 Contact Tracing Training Program started Monday, June 15. Thirty-one people are registered in this track and will be participating in a six-week intensive program co-led by UH West O‘ahu Associate Professor of Health Science Ricardo Custodio and Assistant Professor Camonia Graham-Tutt. Custodio said, “This is an innovative and unprecedented training opportunity and our overall goal is to train participants to be competent, effective and caring community contact tracers who are empathetic communicators. The expectation is that when called upon, they will serve their communities, especially if they are from a Neighbor Island or underserved Native Hawaiian, Filipino or Pacific Islander community.” Track two participants require an undergraduate degree and they can also earn college credits. Over the next year, the track two program will have seven cohorts of students, ultimately training a workforce of 250. To learn more about the program or sign up: https://www.hawaii.edu/news/2020/06/19/community-contact-tracer-training/
Lead Public Information Officer
Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center
Senior Communications Manager
Hawaii Dept. of Land & Natural Resources