(BIVN) – The first death from COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi was reported by state officials on Monday evening.
From the State of Hawaiʻi:
An O‘ahu adult is Hawai‘i’s first death from COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.
The Department of Health reports the person passed away on March 20th and suffered from multiple underlying health conditions. The available history for this person suggests they had a potential indirect travel-related exposure.
The person had been tested at a clinical commercial laboratory, and the results were indeterminate. Follow-up testing today, by the State Laboratories Division, confirmed COVID-19.
All of Hawai‘i expresses condolences to the family of the person who died and shares in grieving their loss. Everyone is encouraged to take care of themselves and their loved ones during these difficult times.
Governor Orders “Stay At Home”
Governor David Ige announced on Monday that he has signed a third supplementary emergency proclamation ordering all persons within the State of Hawaiʻi “to stay at home or in their place of residence except as necessary to maintain continuity of operations” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The action, which starts at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, March 25, and continues through April 30, complements orders issued by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino over the weekend.
“The threat of COVID-19 is unprecedented and requires aggressive action,” said Ige. “I have been in discussions with our county mayors who are developing their own plans to meet the unique needs of their counties. We also agree that a statewide order is necessary for cohesion and consistency.”
From a state media release:
To ensure that the state continues to provide essential, core services, there are exemptions in the following categories: Healthcare services, grocery stores and pharmacies, food production and farming, public and private schools, restaurants offering take-out services, hotels and motels, construction, and essential government functions.
In turn, residents can leave their homes for various needs, including healthcare, purchasing food, medicine and gasoline, taking care of the elderly, minors, and those with disabilities, returning to a place of residence outside of Hawai‘i, picking up educational materials for distance learning, receiving meals and any other related services, and outdoor exercise – including surfing, swimming and walking pets.
Non-compliance would be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, or up to one year in jail, or both.
Senate President Supports Ige’s Proclamation
Hawaiʻi State Senate President Ron Kouchi (D-Kauai) made the following statement today after Governor David Ige issued the order:
“I strongly support Governor Ige’s decision to issue this stay-at-home order. It is critical that we act now to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect our community from this disease. This action is a huge sacrifice that we could have never imagined a year ago, but we must face this challenge. All of us working together can stem the tide of COVID-19. I thank the Governor for implementing our recommendation for the stay-at-home order.”
State Tax Deadline Extended
Gov. Ige also announced the state is extending tax deadlines for the Hawai‘i 2019 individual and corporate income tax filing and payments. The deadline is extended from April 20 to July 20.
Taxpayers do not need to take any action to participate in the tax relief program. The department is making necessary system changes to include the new dates. However, taxpayers expecting a refund for tax year 2019 should file as soon as possible.
Community Donations Needed
According to the Hilo Medical Center Foundation:
Our hospital is in desperate need of medical grade masks to protect our healthcare workers and patients as the COVID-19 crisis escalates. Please consider making a donation if at all possible: any amount will make a difference.
For more information, call 932-3150.
Department Of Public Saftey Updates
The Hawaiʻi Department of Public Safety reports no inmates have met PUI (Persons Under Investigation) criteria for COVID-19. The Department also provided this information:
Work Furlough Program
Effective today 3/23/20 at 4:30 p.m. and until further notice, all inmate work furlough passes are suspended. This is in addition to the already announced suspension of job-seeking and resocialization furlough passes.
Hawaii Correctional Industries (HCI) outside community service work lines are suspended until further notice.
Correctional Facility Programs and Services
In an effort to limit possible exposure to staff and inmates, all non-essential programming has been temporarily suspended.
Correctional services such as: security, health care, food service, and facility operations/maintenance will continue as scheduled.
Essential medical specialist transports, hospital and emergency transports will continue as needed.
Inmate phone calls
Alternative measures to accommodate inmates during the temporary program suspension include:
1) Increased phone accessibility – Inmates are afforded an unlimited number of pre-paid and collect 15-minute personal phone calls. The personal call duration has been increased to allow up to 30 minutes per call.
2) Free phone calls – GlobalTel Link (GTL) is providing two free five-minute calls per week for the next four weeks.
Previous update information issued 3/20/20:
1) Enhanced screening implemented at entry points to include no-touch temperature checks and verbal health screening questions.
2) Correctional facility entry suspensions include volunteers, non-essential program staff and personal inmate visitors. (Attorneys and vendors/contractors providing inmate health and safety products and services are still allowed).
3) The Hawaii Paroling Authority (HPA) board suspended all parole hearings for two weeks. Hearings are tentatively scheduled to resume on 4/3/20.
Health care staff have had continuous, open dialogue with the Department of Health, and facility staff are being briefed on the protocol as the situation changes day-by-day.
Staff have been reminded to frequently wash their hands and refrain from touching their faces, per CDC-recommended guidelines. Daily emails with the latest COVID-19 information, guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and from the Hawaii Department of Health are being sent to all employees to keep everyone informed.