(BIVN) – On Tuesday, the same day that the County of Hawaiʻi declared there are no active cases of COVID-19 on the island, the State of Hawaiʻi reported only one newly identified case statewide. The new case is on Oʻahu, bringing the cumulative total on that island to 411.
75 of the 75 cases reported on the Big Island have been released from isolation, officials say.
There have been no deaths on the Big Island in connection to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hawaiʻi Department of Health reports 17 deaths statewide (11 on Oʻahu, 6 on Maui).
COVID-19 Antibody Testing At Four Locations
Premier Medical Group and the County of Hawai‘i are offering antibody testing at their Pahoa, Waimea, North Kohala and Hilo testing clinics. Antibody testing can determine if you have previously had COVID-19. Drive-through antibody testing is available nowhere else in the state.
The next clinics that will offer antibody testing are:
- Pahoa District Park — Wednesday, May 13, 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
- Waimea District Park — Friday, May 15, 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
- North Kohala (Kamehameha Park) — Saturday, May 16, 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- Hilo (Civic Auditorium) — Monday, May 18, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Antibody testing will be offered only to those previously identified as having had the Coronavirus, or those with high risk exposures, including healthcare workers, first responders, and family members or those with close contact to known positives. A simple blood draw detects the presence of SARS-Cov2 IgG antibodies in your system.
Note: there is a $43 out-of-pocket cost to people whose medical insurance plans do not cover the antibody test. Call your insurance provider to find out if you’re covered.
People who visit the screening clinic will be asked to show photo ID. Additionally, people are requested to bring their own pen.
For further information, please call Premier Medical Group at 808-304-9745 or Hawai‘i County Civil Defense at 935-0031.
More Emergency Relief Grants For Farmers
96 more farmers will receive assistance, announced the Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture today in this new release:
The Hawai`i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) will be issuing a second round of grants totaling an additional $200,000 under the COVID-19 Emergency Farmer Relief Program to assist farmers, ranchers and growers who have experienced financial damage. In this second round, 96 grants were issued ranging between $2,000 and $4,000 each and will provide stop-gap financial relief to help agribusinesses during the COVID-19 crisis. The funds may be used to help utilize an oversupply of agricultural products resulting from decreased demand due to closures of restaurants, schools and other businesses.
Last month, HDOA issued 106 grants totaling $270,000, of which $250,000 came from the State’s barrel tax fund (Agriculture Development and Food Security Special Fund) and made available through
Gov. Ige’s March 4 emergency proclamation and $20,000 from the Ulupono Foundation to assist hog farmers with feed costs. Subsequently, HDOA was able to identify additional barrel tax funds slated for other projects and apply them to the emergency fund. The relief program has now awarded a total of about $470,000 through 202 grants.
“The heartfelt responses we received from grant recipients in the first round made us search even harder for additional funds so we can assist more agricultural producers,” said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, chairperson of the Hawai`i Board of Agriculture. “Although these are not large grants, we know that they are helping many small farms stay in business.”
HDOA received and reviewed a total of 333 grant applications in late March. Priority was given to applications that demonstrated significant financial damage caused or exacerbated specifically by the COVID-19 situation that poses a serious threat of permanently shutting down the applicant’s agricultural operations. The second round of grants was issued to the next qualified applicants on the priority list. Both rounds of funding mainly focused on individual farmer grants of $2,000 with a few awards granted to non-profit commodity and agricultural industry associations ranging between $2,000 and $10,000.
Hawaiʻi island farmers have gotten 59 grants so far.
Emergency SNAP Supplement to Aid Households
From the Department of Human Services:
DHS has received approval to provide three months of emergency SNAP supplements to address temporary food needs for SNAP households. This emergency SNAP supplement will bring all households up to the maximum benefit amount, based on household size, regardless of income. SNAP households who already received the maximum benefit amount will not receive an emergency supplement. There is no action needed from customers to receive these payments. Emergency supplements will be automatically issued to the SNAP household’s EBT card.
To view how much you would now be getting based on your household size, visit this DHS website.
Preschool Open Doors Program Deadline Extended to May 15th
Additional help is being offered for families in need of affordable preschool for the 2020-2021 school year. In response to the COVID-19 emergency, DHS is extending the deadline to submit applications until May 15, 2020 for the Preschool Open Doors program. DHS Director Pankaj Bhanot said, “During these challenging times, we will continue to serve our State with aloha. Together, we honor our commitment to supporting our collective community; individuals and families from keiki to kupuna.” Both the application period and funding are limited, so DHS is encouraging families to apply before that May 15 deadline. To qualify for the program, children must be eligible to enter kindergarten in the 2021-2022 DOE school year (born between August 1, 2015 and July 31, 2016). If awarded a subsidy, families may use any one of the 426 state-licensed preschools. DHS also gives priority to underserved or at-risk children.
Hawaiʻi Passenger Arrivals By Air (Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority)
Yesterday, 893 people arrived in Hawaii including 286 visitors and 339 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.