(BIVN) – There have been 607 cases of COVID-19 identified in Hawaiʻi, the State Department of Health reported at noon on Monday, with 70 of those cases occurring on Hawaiʻi island.
One Death and One New Case of COVID-19 Reported
The Dept. of Health is reporting another death associated with COVID-19 in the state. The 16th death is an Oʻahu woman, over 65 years old with underlying health conditions who had been hospitalized since early April. DOH is investigating whether the cause of infection was travel-related or community-associated. Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson said, “It’s hard to hear about these additional deaths as the coronavirus continues to take its toll on our community. The Dept. of Health extends its sincere condolences to the family and friends of the two most recent deaths reported today and last night. While the number of positive cases in the state has dramatically decreased, we can expect to continue to see deaths of those seriously impacted by the disease.” Last night, DOH reported that the 15th death associated with COVID-19 was an O‘ahu man over 65 years old with underlying medical conditions who had been hospitalized since early March.
DOH is also reporting one (1) new positive case for Monday, an adult on Maui. The patient is an employee at Maui Memorial Medical Center and the source of infection is unknown and under investigation at this time.
Hawaiʻi Hospitals Receiving More Than $33 Million
From the office of Hawaiʻi U.S. Senator Brian Schatz:
U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced that 55 health care providers in Hawai‘i will receive $33,205,143 in new federal funding to respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The funds will cover lost revenue due to delayed or canceled non-emergent services or procedures, as well as additional health care expenses attributable to the coronavirus, including testing, treating patients, and instituting preventive measures.
“Hawai‘i’s hospitals and health care workers are on the frontlines of this pandemic, and these federal dollars will be a big help,” said Senator Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “While we expect more federal funding to flow to Hawai‘i, I will continue fighting to keep our hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care providers up and running during the pandemic.”
The new funding is part of the $100 billion grant program for health care providers in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The initial $30 billion of this program was distributed earlier this month and included $132,536,076 in direct federal funding to 1,776 health care providers in Hawai‘i. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be making additional disbursements of grants. In addition, the recently enacted Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act included an additional $75 billion in grants for health care providers as well as $25 billion specifically for testing.
North Hawaiʻi Hospital Outpatient Services Re-open
From the Queen’s North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital:
Queen’s North Hawaii Community Hospital has expanded the availability of its clinics and outpatient services. Clinics and outpatient services, such as imaging and rehabilitation services, were significantly reduced last month and elective procedures were ceased in order to limit the spread of COVID-19 and increase hospital capacity to treat COVID-19 patients.
“We understand that many people have delayed getting routine and elective care. In recent days, the growth of new coronavirus cases has slowed and data suggests that the state won’t run out of hospital beds and other resources as many had feared. With this positive trend and the added precautions we have taken, we can safely care for our community members’ healthcare needs,” said Cindy Kamikawa, President, Queen’s North Hawai’i Community Hospital. “Telehealth is still an option but we want people to know if it safe to come in for an in-person visit.”
The hospital says it has initiated numerous procedures to ensure a safe environment for patients and staff, such as:
- Everyone entering the hospital or clinics will be screened and asked to wear a mask and sanitize their hands. If a patient does not have a mask, we will provide one for them.
- Seating in waiting rooms has been adjusted to help assure social distancing.
- Visitors are not allowed in hospitals or clinics.
- Staff members have been trained in the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols, and have all the necessary equipment to safely care for all patients in our community.
- All equipment, surfaces, and public areas are cleaned with a disinfectant approved for use and effective in killing COVID-19.
The hospital says it plans to resume surgical services next week, and says “leaving one’s home to seek medical care is an essential and allowable activity under the State’s Stay-at-Home order.”
Hawai‘i State House Select Committee on COVID-19 Meets
(video of Rep. Ed Case’s update can be seen in the video above)
The House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness held its sixth informational briefing Monday on the economic impacts of COVID-19 on Hawai‘i. The committee received updates from Congressman Ed Case and the latest information regarding federal relief; Rona Suzuki, Director of Hawai‘i’s Department of Taxation regarding non-profit access to FEMA funds; Director Kenneth Hara, Dr. Mark Mugiishi, and Alan Oshima regarding implementation of the public health plan to reopen Hawai‘i’s economy; and Rep. Richard Onishi regarding the USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. The briefing was conducted remotely.
Water Supply Extends Suspension of In-Person Services
From the Hawai‘i County Department of Water Supply:
In line with the Governor’s 6th Supplementary Proclamation related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Water Supply (DWS), County of Hawai‘i announces that the suspension of in-person payment collections and customer service inquiries has been extended through Sunday, May 31, 2020.
DWS will accept only telephone, online, auto-payment, mail, or payments left in a secured DWS payment drop box while the state’s stay-at-home order and other emergency provisions remain in effect. To pay a bill online, please visit hawaiidws.org, click either the “Pay Your Bill Online” or “Pay Online” tab and follow the self-service portal. Customers wishing to pay by telephone should call toll-free 844-216-1994 anytime. There are no fees for these services.
Hawaii Gas Maintaining Service
Hawaii Gas says it will maintain gas service through the extended stay-at-home order. The company provided this media release on Monday:
With the extension of Hawaii’s statewide stay-at-home order through May 31, 2020, Hawaii Gas continues to maintain gas service for customers with social distancing to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
Throughout the stay-at-home order, Hawaii Gas has reliably supplied nearly 70,000 customers statewide — including first responders, hospitals, restaurants, businesses, and residents — with gas energy for cooking, water heating, backup electricity generation and other essential needs. Hawaii Gas crews continue to service customers and make propane deliveries, and are maintaining social distancing protocols for the health and safety of our community.
Hawaii Gas offices statewide will remain closed through May 31, 2020. Customers may pay their bill by mail; online or by phone via Speedpay®; or through the drop box at their local Hawaii Gas’ office (checks only). Customers may also pay their bill at the Western Union® counter at their local market. More information about payment methods is available at hawaiigas.com.
Hawaiʻi Gas says customers who are unable to pay their gas bill will not have their gas service interrupted at least through May 31, 2020. The company added:
Be aware as phone scams are on the rise. If customers receive a call threatening to cancel or shut-off service, they should hang up and call Hawaii Gas directly.
Customers who are experiencing financial difficulties are encouraged to call Hawaii Gas, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., to discuss payment plan options.
The phone number for Hilo is (808) 935-0021, and Kona is (808) 329-2984.
Hawaii Passenger Arrivals By Air (HTA)
Yesterday, 475 people arrived in Hawaii including 118 visitors and 193 residents. 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