(BIVN) – As of noon on Tuesday, there have been 517 cases of COVID-19 identified in Hawaiʻi, an increase of 13 from the day before.
The number of cases on Hawaiʻi island reported by the County of Hawaiʻi and the State of Hawaiʻi has differed, as it has nearly every day since the pandemic began. The County says there have been 39 cases, and the state says there have been 41 cases.
Also this morning, the County attributed a recent uptick in Kona cases to “a fast food establishment employee contact with fellow employees and family,” but neither the County or the State would confirm the name of the establishment.
UPDATE – During a 2:30 p.m. news conference today, State Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson identified a McDonald’s restaurant in Kona as the location of the “limited, localized community spread” of COVID-19. After the news conference, the state DOH wrote:
The establishment has closed its operation and performed enhanced cleaning. The twelve (12) employees who have tested positive are in isolation and exposed employees without symptoms are self-quarantined at home. Two individuals are both employees and live in the same household. The investigation is ongoing and based on findings so far, DOH does not believe this outbreak poses a risk to the general public. The department is continuing to work with the restaurant to ensure all possible precautions are being taken to prevent further spread of disease. There is no risk to the public, as only workers were involved, and the restaurant was taking necessary physical distancing measures to protect customers.
Big Island Video News will have more on this update, including the full remarks made by officials on the Kona COVID-19 cluster.
North Hawaii Hospital Screening Update
From the Queen’s North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital:
COVID-19 screening and testing at Queen’s North Hawai’i Community Hospital (QNHCH) has moved to the Emergency Room on the main hospital campus in Waimea.
Physician’s orders are not required but individuals must have symptoms and complete a screening. Patients are asked to bring photo ID and insurance information.
Leaving one’s home to seek medical care is an essential and allowable activity under the State’s Stay-at-Home order.
Emergency Financial Assistance
The following media release was shared by Hope Services Hawaii, the Neighborhood Place of Puna, and the Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council:
Thanks to a $100,000 grant from Hawaiʻi Community Foundation and a $141,000 grant from Hawaii Island United Way’s Rent & Utility Assistance Program, financial help is available to low-income Hawaiʻi Island residents experiencing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Resilience Fund was established by Hawaiʻi Community Foundation and Pierre and Pam Omidyar to “rapidly deploy resources and encourage community giving to address the COVID-19 Pandemic,” according to the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation website. United Way’s Rent & Utility Assistance Program was established to assist those who are in immediate and urgent need of support with paying their rent and utility bills due to their income being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding will allow three Hawaiʻi Island non-profit organizations, Hope Services Hawaii, Neighborhood Place of Puna and Hawaiʻi County Economic Opportunity Council, the opportunity to approve one-time emergency financial assistance of up to $1,000 per household to Hawaiʻi Island residents who have recently been laid off or whose income has been reduced.
Also, eligible applicants for financial emergency assistance must meet income limits, currently earning at or below 80% of Hawaiʻi County’s Area Median Income (AMI). The 80% AMI cap starts at $46,700 for an individual, and increases with each additional family member. Verification of income, proof of economic hardship as a result of the pandemic, and a government-issued Hawaiʻi ID is required. For a full list of required documents and grant guidelines (including AMI limitations) contact the following agencies for additional information:
Hope Services Hawaii
Phone: (808) 935-3050
Neighborhood Place of Puna
Phone: (808) 965-5550
Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council
Phone: (808) 935-5219
Or call United Way at 211 for more information.
Funding is limited and agencies are asking for your consideration in making sure you meet all requirements before applying.
HOPE Services Hawaiʻi will be able to assist households seeking mortgage, rent or utility assistance. HOPE will assist with the payment of one household bill or expense.
Neighborhood Place of Puna and Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council will assist with rent and utility costs only. Applicants of this program can apply once a month for up to 3 months.
Payments will be sent directly to creditors on behalf of applicants.
“More than half of Hawaii Island’s residents live paycheck to paycheck making ends meet even before this pandemic,” says HOPE CEO Brandee Menino. “We are grateful to Hawaiʻi Community Foundation and the Hawaii Island United Way for stepping up to assist our island’s most vulnerable residents.”
Hawaiʻi Passenger Arrivals By Air (HTA)
Yesterday, 691 people arrived in Hawaii including 164 visitors and 205 residents. In comparison, during this same time last year, nearly 30,000 passengers arrived in Hawaii daily, including residents and visitors. The state’s mandatory 14-day self-quarantine started on March 26th for all passengers arriving in Hawaii from out of state. 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.