(BIVN) – There are now 90 cases of COVID-19 in the state of Hawaiʻi, the health department reported in a noon update, an increase of 14 from the previous day. However, the number of cases reported on Hawaiʻi Island has actually gone down to 2, apparently due to the way the state is reporting the cases.
The March 24 update includes new categories for presumptive and confirmed cases: U.S. Non-Hawaii Residents, International Residents, and a category for “pending”. This new method appears to have resulted in a decrease of cases identified as residents of Hawaiʻi island.
The State Department of Health will hold its daily media telebriefing later today.
As of 9 a.m., March 24, there have been 44,183 total cases detected in the U.S., officials say. This represents an increase of 10,779 cases in the past day. There have been 544 total deaths (increase of 144 in the past day).
Hawaiʻi County Mayor Harry Kim recorded a civil defense message this morning, in which he reported there are 4 cases of COVID-19 confirmed on Hawaiʻi Island. “Of this, none have been hospitalized and one has returned to the mainland after total recovery,” the mayor said. “The remaining three are being closely monitored by Department of Health and are quarantined.”
Hawaiʻi County Warns About COVID-19 Phone Scam
The County of Hawai’i is alerting the public to a telephone scam involving people seeking donations for the County’s first responders amid the COVID-19 emergency.
One scam caller asked for donations for “the overworked and under-paid” first responders.
Please be aware that County agencies do not make requests for donations by telephone or any other means. In the event of receiving such a call, the public is advised to hang up immediately.
If you receive such a call, please report it to the Police non-emergency number at 935-3311.
The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation (HDOT) Highways Division announced the following changes to its vehicle licensing and safety check programs as part of the effort to reduce face-to-face interactions during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Driver’s Licenses and State IDs
The state is invoking a 90-day waiver on all expired driver’s licenses and State identification cards. If your driver’s license or State ID expires between March 23 and May 15, your credentials will be considered valid in the State of Hawaii for an additional 90-days.
In coordination with the county driver’s licensing centers, HDOT has suspended all in-person driver’s license transactions and in-vehicle testing. There are limited non-in-person driver’s license services available such as online ordering of duplicates currently offered by the City and County of Honolulu for eligible residents, and mail-in duplicates and renewals offered by all counties. Please visit the county’s website or contact the county that issued your driver’s license or state ID for instructions on using their mail-in services.
The 90-day waiver for driver’s licenses also applies to Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders. Additionally, HDOT is allowing extension of the Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC) and hazardous materials endorsement expiration for motor carriers through the period of the Governor’s emergency proclamation which began March 4 and was extended to May 15.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is accepting expired driver’s licenses or State IDs that expired on or after March 1 for use at TSA checkpoints. See tsa.gov for more information.
On March 23, President Donald Trump announced that the Oct. 1, 2020 REAL ID deadline would be extended. The new deadline has yet to be announced.
Periodic Motor Vehicle Inspection (Safety Check)
The annual safety check requirement is suspended, and no safety checks will be done through the month of April. If your safety check is expired, it will remain valid through May 31. Also, you may renew your vehicle registration online or with your expired safety check certificate during this grace period.
The Hawaiʻi DOT says vehicle registrations may still be done online or by mail, even though your safety check may have expired. “Not all counties allow online renewals after your registration submission deadline,” the DOT said. “Please check your county’s website or contact your county office for further information.”
The website for the Hawaiʻi County DMV is here.
Revised Permitting Processes Announced
The County of Hawaiʻi says permitting agencies are closing their offices in Hilo and Kona to walk-in traffic and will remain operational. This media release was issued on Tuesday morning:
The County of Hawai‘i Departments of Public Works (DPW) and Planning announce that they are implementing revised permit applications and inquiry processes effective immediately due to COVID-19 concerns.
Starting Tuesday, March 24, 2020, the Hilo and Kona offices of DPW Engineering, Building, and Administration divisions, as well as Planning offices will be closed to walk in inquiries and submittals until further notice.
Both Planning and DPW offices will remain operational and will continue to review and process permits. The two agencies will have permit and document submittal stations established outside permit offices which will be monitored throughout the day. Staff will tape a note to the box indicating the day and time the box is received in the office. Submittals will be intaken and begin processing within 48 hours. All applications need to include the applicant’s name, email and a contact phone number.
The County requests that general inquiries to the departments be made by phone or email to limit in-person interaction, and personnel will strive to respond within one business day. Those applicants needing a consultation should call or email to make an appointment.
We ask for the public’s patience as we expect longer response times. For more information, contact the respective department and/or DPW division.