UPDATE: Governor David Ige announced on Friday that he has signed a fifth emergency supplementary proclamation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic which includes an eviction moratorium (preventing any eviction from a residential dwelling for failure to pay rent), as well as enacts “enhanced social distancing requirements”, orders the closure of all state beaches in Hawai‘i and restricts recreational boating, hiking and fishing outings “to no more than two people unless the group is from the same residential family.” (MORE: Full Text Of Governor’s 5th COVID-19 Proclamation)
UPDATE: The Hawaiʻi Department Of Education announced on Friday that school campuses across the state will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. (MORE: Hawaii Schools Closed For Remainder Of 2019-2020 Year)
(BIVN) – The State of Hawaiʻi is reporting 12 new cases of COVID-19 statewide, bringing the cumulative total to 553. Of those cases, 48 (9%) have required hospitalization, and over 80% were residents returning from other areas.
The state has now identified 44 total cases on Hawaiʻi island.
Hawaiʻi County has a slightly different number. The civil defense reports a total of 42 cases, and says “29 have been cleared as recovered, and the remaining 13 are quarantined at home and monitored by the Department of Health.”
Hawai’i County Civil Defense says:
This increase of two from yesterday, stems from the fast food establishment cluster. This so clearly demonstrates how important it is to follow the health advisories of, if sick, stay home and seek medical advice, sneezing and coughing etiquette, physical distancing, gatherings, your good health and other advisories.
To keep Hawaii safe, your help is needed. We expect those that take care of us to always be there, please do your part.
On Thursday evening, the state health department reported one new positive case associated with the cluster among the McDonald’s restaurants in Kailua-Kona. “Another employee at the Walmart location has tested positive,” the health officials wrote. “DOH is continuing to monitor employees and family members, all of whom are in isolation or quarantine. Both restaurants (at Kona Commons and at Walmart in Kailua-Kona) are temporarily closed.”
Governor Working on Economic Plan
From the Office of Governor David Ige on Thursday evening:
Gov. Ige and his administration are continuing to look into the economic crisis Hawai‘i is facing. Today the governor said the State expects to have a better financial picture by May, but is projecting a $1.5 billion budget shortfall due to the decrease in tax collections. When commenting on how to make up the funds, Gov. Ige said, “Salary reductions or furloughs are the last thing anyone wants to see happen. I want to assure everyone that we will explore all options before making any decisions about salary reductions for government employees. We have already been looking at cost controls on the expense side. We are also looking at what can be done to access the rainy day fund. This requires action by the State Legislature, and we are in discussions to determine what is possible. We are also looking at using budget reserve funds and federal monies available through the CARES Act.” Gov. Ige also reiterated if there were to be any salary cuts, it will start with him and his cabinet.
U.S. Senators Call For Flexible Emergency Funding
U.S. Senators Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono, both Democrats from Hawaiʻi, joined 31 colleagues in calling for state, local, and tribal governments to receive dedicated, flexible funding in the next COVID-19 emergency funding package. Hawai‘i is already set to receive $1.25 billion under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act’s Relief Fund, however more flexible, dedicated funding in the next emergency funding package is necessary, they say.
“On behalf of our state, local, and tribal governments, it is essential that you include robust, dedicated, and flexible funding to all units of state and local government in the next interim emergency coronavirus package to support their ongoing efforts in the fight against this pandemic. Not only are these public servants on the front line of the immediate response effort, they are also major employers navigating unprecedented declines in revenue just as the need for their services hits an all-time high. We can and we must work together to get this essential funding to our local partners as quickly as possible,” Schatz and the senators wrote in a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Veterans To Receive Direct Relief Payments
On Friday, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced that veterans and their beneficiaries in Hawai‘i – totalling 42,000 – will now automatically receive their Economic Impact Payments and will not need to file any additional paperwork.
“This is welcome news for veterans,” said Senator Schatz. “I’m glad the Treasury Department and the VA heard us out and are taking action to get these payments to our veterans without delay.”
Hawaiʻi Rolling Out Telehealth Initiatives
From the Office of Lieutenant Governor Josh Green:
As the state’s COVID-19 healthcare liaison, I’m working with our healthcare task force to ensure continuity of care, particularly for individuals with chronic underlying conditions. Telehealth or “virtual health” is a great tool for Hawaiʻi residents to take care of their health needs during this time. It allows patients to meet one-on-one with their healthcare provider without leaving home. For providers, it’s a great option for keeping their practice operational during this difficult time.
Basic medical care, psychological appointments, dermatology, post-surgical follow-ups and consultations for other chronic diseases like diabetes can all be handled via telehealth. There are some medical needs that people will need to continue to visit their healthcare provider. If you think telehealth might be right for you, contact your healthcare provider. Always think “Call before you click.”
Thank you to our partners from Queen’s, Kaiser, HMSA, JABSOM and DHS Med-Quest for joining us today. We appreciate your support.
Hawaii Passenger Arrivals By Air (HTA)
Yesterday, 386 people arrived in Hawaii including 110 visitors and 157 residents. During this same time last year, nearly 30,000 passengers arrived in Hawaii daily, including residents and visitors. Yesterday marks three weeks since the state’s mandatory 14-day self-quarantine started 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.
Crew = flight crew members
Intended Resident = people who are moving to Hawaii such as military members and their families, and former residents who intend to live in Hawaii
Resident = people who have a Hawaii ID
Transit = people who are in transit to another location through Hawaii and aren’t leaving the airport
Visitor = people who do not have a Hawaii ID including essential health care workers, essential federal workers, former residents such as mainland college students coming to stay with family, military on temporary assignment, and leisure travelers
This story is being updated.