(BIVN) – There have been 486 cases of COVID-19 identified in Hawaiʻi, the state health department reported at noon on Saturday, after an increase of 21 new cases.
UPDATE – The Hawaiʻi Department of Health, after its noon update, reported a ninth COVID-19 death. “A woman, over 65-years-old is the ninth death from COVID-19,” the state said. “She had underlying medical conditions and had tested positive for the virus when she was hospitalized on O‘ahu. The Dept. of Health extends its heartfelt condolences to the friends and family or our latest neighbor to pass from this disease.”
The health department said twenty adults and one minor are among today’s newly reported cases of COVID-19. “Of this number, sixteen (16) are Hawai‘i residents, two (2) are non-residents, and three (3) cases are of unknown residence, pending investigation,” the state said. “Eleven (11) cases are community-spread, while ten (10) are unknown, and none are associated with travel. Lana‘i remains the only island with no reported cases.”
In total, 300 people have been released from isolation after testing positive for COVID-19. “Isolation should be maintained until at least 3 days (72 hours) after resolution of fever and myalgia without the use of antipyretics OR at least 7 days have passed since symptom onset, whichever is longer,” the state says.
There have been 34 total cases on Hawaiʻi island, with no one needing to be hospitalized. Of the 34 cases, 25 people have been released from isolation.
Hawai’i County Civil Defense Message
Note the total number of cases on the Big Island reported by the county is three less than the number reported by the state. This morning, the county stated:
On the COVID-19 status, the total number of people tested positive for Hawaii Island is 31. From this, 25 have been cleared as recovered by the Department of Health. The remaining 6 are quarantined at home and closely monitored by your Department of Health. At this date, for Hawaii Island, no one tested positive had to be hospitalized.
At this time, know that the COVID-19 Drive-through Testing is being conducted today April 11th at Hilo Civic Center parking lot. Hours are from 8 in the morning till 3 o’clock in the afternoon. You are asked to bring a picture I.D. and a pen. Testing is free. Thank you, Premier Medical Group and Bay Clinic for doing this. Know that early testing means early detection, early care, protection of loved ones, and our community.
Keeping within the policies of Stay at Home, social distancing and gathering, do maintain the best physical and emotional health that you can. Get your exercise, fresh air, lots of water, and keep connected to your kupuna. Text, phone, send a birthday card even if it’s not their special day, make it so.
Feds To Fund Hele-On Bus Operation
U.S. Senator Brian Schatz today announced Hawaiʻi island will receive $4.5 million in federal funding, part of the $2 trillion CARES Act, to keep public transit services operational during the pandemic.
“For the essential workers who rely on public transportation, this new funding means the Hawai‘i County bus system will have the resources to continue operating, while keeping passengers and transit employees safe,” said Senator Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Schatz’ office wrote:
The federal funds can help pay for the expenses necessary to operate, maintain, and manage the Hawai‘i County bus system, and can be used for such costs as driver salaries, fuel, personal protective equipment, and cleaning supplies. The CARES Act funding can also be used for administrative leave, such as leave for employees due to reductions in service or leave required for a quarantined worker.
Hawaiʻi Passenger Arrivals By Air (HTA)
Yesterday, 424 people arrived in Hawaii including 104 visitors and 135 residents. In comparison, during this same time last year, nearly 30,000 passengers arrived in Hawaii daily, including residents and visitors. This past Thursday marked two weeks since the state’s mandatory 14-day self-quarantine started for all passengers arriving in Hawaii from out of state. Those who arrived on March 26th, 27th and 28th no longer need to self-quarantine. The quarantine order was expanded on April 1st to include interisland travelers. This table shows the number of people who arrived by air from out of state yesterday and does not include interisland travel.
Sentinel Testing Continues (DOH)
To date, 925 specimens have been tested, of which 17 (1.8%) have been positive to date. Surveillance findings for the previous week have been assessed weekly since the program began in the 2nd week of March to determine the geographic spread of community associated COVID-19 in combination with severity of influenza-like illness activity. The COVID-19 Sentinel Surveillance program is operated based on the framework of the existing influenza surveillance program. Healthcare providers should continue to evaluate patients with respiratory illness and order influenza diagnostic testing as clinically indicated. They are asked to send the DOH influenza requisition form (used for both the influenza and COVID-19 surveillance programs) and submit with respiratory specimens collected for a clinical diagnosis of influenza-like illness, to facilitate DOH’s investigations.
Hawaiʻi Colleges Urged To Disburse Emergency Cash Grants For Students
From the Hawaiʻi Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs:
The DCCA is encouraging Hawaiʻi’s accredited colleges to figure out how they will distribute the U.S. Department of Education’s cash grants provided by the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. The grants were authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and allows schools to help cover expenses for students that had their education disrupted due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Expenses may include, but aren’t limited to course materials, technology, food, housing, healthcare, and childcare. Bobbi Lum-Mew, Hawaii Post-Secondary Education Authorization Program Administrator said, “We want to ensure that these colleges and universities are working quickly to get funding to the students who need it the most. We encourage them to take action so that affected students can continue their education without worry.” The Hawaii Post-Secondary Education Authorization Program will be requesting authorized institutions to submit information on how they are disbursing the U.S. Department of Education cash grants, to ensure they’re distributing the funds in accordance with applicable laws.
This story is being updated.