(BIVN) – There are seven (7) active cases of COVID-19 on Hawaiʻi island as of 8 a.m. Friday morning, according to the County of Hawaiʻi.
The Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense stated:
On today’s update of COVID-19, the number of active cases, monitored by the Department of Health, is seven. Of this, one is hospitalized.
For your information, an `Ohana food service is scheduled for today in South Kohala at the Waikoloa Elementary School. Distribution begins at 10:00 this morning. Thank you Hawaii Food Basket and their contributors for providing this service and the Hawaii National Guard and County Task Force for helping.
The majority of states continue to see an increase of people being infected by the Coronavirus. Hawaii State remains in a good place as the best in the country with the lowest number of people infected by the virus. Know how important it is for everyone to continue to follow the preventive measures of face coverings, distancing, gatherings, and cleanliness. As a reminder, wearing of face coverings is mandatory on Hawaii Island.
Thank you for listening and for doing your part in keeping Hawaii safe.
Councilman Has Concerns
Hawaiʻi County Councilman Matt Kanealiʻi-Kleinfelder added his voice to the growing number of public officials expressing concern over the State’s COVID-19 testing and community safety measures, saying:
In light of recent surges in COVID-19 cases on Oʻahu and increasing visitor arrival numbers, I am very concerned for the safety of our Hawaiʻi Island residents.
The County of Hawaiʻi must be ready for an increase in travel-related COVID-19 cases.
The current plan for testing visitors 72 hours before arriving in the State of Hawaiʻi is inadequate as it will increase the exposure of COVID-19 to airline, hotel, and service industry employees. These are our families, friends, and neighbors. It is essential that test kits and test results be immediately available to protect our community.
We have been informed that the State of Hawaii’s ability to test for COVID-19 has been decreased by 50% due to the spike in cases on the continental US.
We need to consider testing protocols implemented in South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, whose testing protocols are considered amongst the best in the world.
We must remain proactive; the virus does not move unless we move. It is imperative that we all continue to follow proper social distancing measures for the safety of our community.
Red Placards To Be Used
The Hawai‘i Department of Health announced on Thursday that it will begin issuing red placards to restaurants and bars that violate physical distancing and other mandates to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The DOH issued this news release:
There are now severe consequences for food establishments that do not take physical distancing and other guidance seriously. The Hawai‘i Department of Health’s Food Safety Branch will begin to temporarily suspend the operations of restaurants, bars and other food establishments that do not comply with physical distancing, wearing cloth face masks and other required guidance.
“The department is taking these steps now to enforce preventive measures that are known to be effective in preventing the transmission of the disease, especially as we have seen a recent increase in the number of COVID cases and evidence of community spread,” said Health Director Bruce Anderson. “Most food establishments in Hawai‘i are conscientious and trying their best to comply with health guidance. Nevertheless, we feel these steps are necessary to assure all restaurants and other food establishments are doing everything they can to protect the health of the public and their employees,” said Anderson.
The health department issued guidance to restaurants, markets and food manufacturers on reopening in late May 2020 to minimize the risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19 for their employees and customers.
The strict enforcement also enables the Department of Health to effectively respond to consumer complaints about non-compliant food establishments and enhances the state’s readiness to implement a pre-travel testing program on August 1.
Using existing state law Hawai‘i Administrative Rules, Section §11-50-9(d)(3), Department of Health inspectors can temporarily shut down a food establishment if its practices pose a danger to public health by spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Using the familiar color-coded placard system, the Department of Health will issue red placards to these food establishments.
“As Hawai‘i reopens and moves toward economic recovery, no one wants to see a restaurant temporarily close and miss out on opportunities to serve customers,” said Peter Oshiro, chief of the Department of Health’s Food Safety Branch. “We recognize many Hawai‘i food establishment operators are doing their best to protect the health of their employees and customers, and we need all operators to comply with the guidance and take it seriously. This is a critical time for food establishments to tighten their practices instead of becoming lax,” he said.
Restaurants and especially bars have been shown to have a higher transmission of the coronavirus in respiratory droplets because of overcrowding. There is also lower adherence to physical distancing among customers who are inebriated or are engaging in loud talking or shouting in very close proximity to each other because of amplified music or noise.
If physical distancing and mask wearing violations are verified by an inspector during a routine inspection or as a result of a complaint, the following enforcement protocol will be used to encourage compliance:
1st Violation: The Department of Health will issue a written warning and educate the food establishment that it is in violation of the Department of Health’s guidance. The food establishment will be informed that a second violation will result in issuance of a red placard for creating an imminent health hazard. Unlike the color-coded system for sanitation and safe food-handling compliance, there is no yellow placard.
2nd Violation: The Department of Health will issue a red placard. This will result in immediate closure of the establishment and a news release will announce the red placard posting. The food establishment may request a reinspection and review to safely reinstate their operations.
“Food establishments play an important role in our economy and in public health. Restaurants saw the value of our color-coded placards for compliance with food safety regulations, and we believe this more stringent system will encourage food establishments to rise to the new challenge to protect their bottom line while also protecting the public’s health,” Oshiro said.
Hawaii Cattlemen’s Association Donates Over 20K Pounds Of Beef To Salvation Army
The Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council, Inc. has donated 20,000 pounds of beef to the Salvation Army Hawaiian & Pacific Islands on Thursday, “helping to provide protein for thousands of prepared meals being distributed by The Salvation Army to those in need during the pandemic,” the council said.
“It’s with a grateful nod and a tip of our hats to the members of the Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council that we thank them for their generous support of our feeding programs across the state,” said Major Jeff Martin, Divisional Leader of The Salvation Army Hawaiian & Pacific Islands. “The donations of protein directly help those in need, and have provided over 5,000 meals to date and counting.”
“Mahalo to our generous members who didn’t hesitate to contribute to this effort,” said Jeri Moniz, marketing chair of the Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council. “Every rancher we asked agreed to donate an animal.”
Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council member donations include:
- Agee Inc
- Al Galimba
- Blackrock Cattle Co.
- DB Cattle
- DeLuz Ranch
- Double J Ranch
- E. Eguires Ranch
- Egami Ranch
- F Ranch
- Griffith Livestock
- Hawaii Meats LLC
- Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility
- Kapapala Ranch
- Kauai Ranch
- Kaupo Ranch
- KK Ranch
- Kuahiwi Ranch
- Kualoa Ranch
- Kukaiau Ranch
- Lau Ranch
- Lazy L Ranch
- North Shore Livestock
- Ohia Ranch
- Palani Ranch
- Parker Ranch
- Peter DeLuz Ranch
- Puuwai Ranch
- Ponoholo Ranch
- Rocker G Livestock
- SC Ranch
- Ulupalakua Ranch
- Zanga Schutte