(BIVN) – There were three newly identified cases of COVID-19 statewide as of noon on Thursday, bringing the total number to 629 cases. All three new cases were apparently identified on Oʻahu. 565 of the 629 total cases have been released from isolation, the health department says.
The number of cases identified on Hawaiʻi island remains 74. “From this, 72 have been cleared as recovered, with the remaining 2 quarantined at home and monitored by the Department of Health,” the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense reported. “At this date, for Hawaii Island no one is hospitalized.”
Testing In Waimea On Friday, May 8
Premier Medical Group with the support of the County of Hawai’i, Hope Services and the Hawaii National Guard, will offer a free drive-through screening and testing clinic for COVID-19 will be held at Waimea District Park on Friday, May 8, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
This free clinic is open to the public; however, individuals must first undergo a screening to determine if they meet the criteria to be tested. Clinic physicians on site will make the determination regarding testing. The screening criteria will be based on guidance of the CDC and the State’s COVID-19 Response Task Force.
People who visit the screening clinic will be asked to show photo ID. Additionally, people are requested to bring their own pen, and any health insurance cards they have, although insurance is not required.
Unemployment Insurance Update
Gov. Ige and Scott Murakami, Director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR), gave updates on progress being made regarding unemployment insurance, during today’s Community Connection Facebook Live. Murakami reported 141,077 claims were processed as of Wednesday, which represents 63% of the total claims received. Of that number,100,602 claims were paid out. DLIR is asking anyone who needs to file weekly certifications for their unemployment claims to file on designated days based on their last names to avoid overloading the system. The schedule is A-G (Mondays), H-O (Tuesdays), P-Z (Wednesdays), with Thursday-Sunday designated as open days for anyone. DLIR is also expanding its call center with an additional 150 phones to handle more questions. Staff are also working to create a database for businesses that are bringing back their employees and receiving PPP federal loans. Murakami and the governor answered numerous questions during the Facebook Live, including why weekly certifications are still needed, the timeline for the new PUA system for self-employed and contract workers, and how to certify and backdate claims. Gov. Ige conducts Facebook Live’s weekly to answer questions.
Hawaii Health Centers To Receive Millions For Testing, Tracing
U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) today announced that 14 health centers across Hawai‘i will receive $3.8 million to expand COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.
“Ramping up testing is critical to reopening our economy,” said Senator Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, in a news release. “This new federal funding will give our local health centers additional resources to test more people for COVID-19, conduct contact tracing, and help stop the spread in our state.”
Funding will go to the following health centers on Hawaiʻi island:
- Bay Clinic on Hawai‘i Island will receive $418,489
- Hamakua Health Center on Hawai‘i Island will receive $182,389
- West Hawai‘i Community Health Center on Hawai‘i Island will receive $356,314
According to Sen. Schatz:
The new federal funding, which was part of the latest relief package passed by Congress, will be used by health centers to expand the range of testing and testing-related activities to best address the needs of local communities, including the purchase of personal protective equipment, training for staff, procurement and administration of tests, laboratory services, notifying identified contacts of infected health center patients of their exposure to COVID-19, and the expansion of walk-up or drive-up testing capabilities.
$246k In Federal Funding To Support Police
U.S. Senator Schatz also announced that Hawai‘i Island will receive more than $246,000 in new federal funding “to support local law enforcement agencies and cover the cost of COVID-19 response efforts, including personal protective equipment for law enforcement personnel, training, and overtime pay for officers on the frontlines.”
“Our police and correctional officers are on the frontlines of this pandemic and are putting their health at risk to keep our communities safe,” said Senator Schatz in a Wednesday news release. “This new funding will give our law enforcement officers additional resources to protect themselves and our communities during this crisis.” According to Sen. Schatz:
This funding is made available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and allows states and local government to support a broad range of activities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the pandemic, including through overtime, personal protective equipment, hiring, supplies, training, and travel expenses.
Hawaii Passenger Arrivals By Air (HTA)
Today marks six weeks since the state’s mandatory 14-day self-quarantine started for all passengers arriving in Hawaii from out of state. Yesterday, 669 people arrived in Hawaii including 233 visitors and 189 residents. During this same time last year, nearly 30,000 passengers arrived in Hawaii daily, including residents and visitors. The quarantine order was expanded on April 1st to include interisland travelers.