(BIVN) – The State of Hawaiʻi reported 53 new cases of COVID-19 at noon today, but that number is likely an undercount and will probably increase before the end of the day. The Hawaiʻi health department says they are experiencing issues with the Electronic Laboratory Reporting from a private clinical lab, resulting in a delay in tallying all the new COVID-19 case numbers. The count will be updated as soon as the issues are resolved, the State says.
UPDATE (4:45 p.m.) – During a Thursday news conference, Hawaiʻi Department of Health director Dr. Bruce Anderson said the new COVID-19 case count for today is at least 200. Anderson revealed today that intensive care units on O‘ahu could be overrun before the end of this month, based on the current projections. The recent surge in new cases prompted Governor David Ige to take action today, reinstating the mandatory 14-day quarantine for anyone traveling interisland in Hawaiʻi.
Two More COVID-19 Deaths Reported
Today, the State of Hawaiʻi reported two new COVID-19 related deaths on Oʻahu, and issued a news release saying the deaths “again highlight [the] insidious nature of coronavirus”. From the Hawaiʻi COVID-19 Joint Information Center:
Two O‘ahu residents are the 28th and 29th casualties of COVID-19 in Hawai‘i. An elderly female, with underlying medical conditions, had been a resident at a Pearl City nursing home, but then was hospitalized. An elderly man, also with underlying health issues, was also in the hospital when he died.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park said, “The passing of this man really demonstrates how rapidly and invisibly COVID-19 is spreading through our communities, particularly on O‘ahu and particularly associated with clusters. A close contact of this individual attended a spin class at a gym taught by a person linked to the Hawaiian Airlines cluster.”
Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson in expressing heartfelt condolences to both the man and woman’s families and friends said, “This is why taking personal responsibility is so critical as we continue to see this rise in COVID-19 cases. If you’re sick, stay home. If you’re around other people, wear your mask and practice physical distancing. These are proven methods to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.”
Governor David Ige plans to hold a media briefing today at 2:30 p.m. at the State Capitol. He will be joined by the Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Honolulu Police Department Chief Susan Ballard, and Honolulu Prosecutor Dwight Nadamoto.
Hawai‘i County CARES Act Assistance
Residents and small businesses on Hawaiʻi island can soon apply for CARES Act assistance, officials say. From a Hawaiʻi County news release:
Hawai‘i County residents, small business owners and non-profit organizations can soon apply for financial assistance under the federal CARES Act Program. The County will receive $80 million in funding and has partnered with local organizations to get the first $32 million of these critical dollars into our community during the COVID-19 emergency.
Applications for the following programs will soon be available:
Business and Non-Profit Grants – Hawai‘i Island Credit Unions: Participating credit unions will provide up to $10,000 for unduplicated gap funding to support core operations, safe on-going and reopening costs, personal protective equipment, and training and technical assistance. The business or non-profit must employ 50 people or less.
Individual Grants to Prevent Homelessness – Hawaiian Community Assets, Inc.: With participating partners to provide unduplicated emergency rent, lease or mortgage payments for households directly impacted by COVID-19.
Non-Governmental Utilities Assistance – Hawai‘i County Economic Opportunity Council: Up to $500 of unduplicated utility payment assistance to households directly impacted by COVID-19.
Applicants can visit [this website] to see the required documentation needed for each program. The webpage will be updated when the applications are available in the next few weeks.
“Getting these funds into our community is extremely important,” said Mayor Harry Kim. “It is a small step towards addressing the issue of the economic pain experienced by families and businesses on the island.”
The County received 140 proposals for CARES Act programs seeking $130 million in funding. The County is currently working to finalize funding awards to local partners to establish additional assistance programs for community and family resilience, food assistance, and childcare. More details to follow.
Passenger Arrivals By Air
From the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority:
Today marks 19 weeks since the state’s mandatory 14-day self-quarantine started for all passengers arriving in Hawaii from out of state. Yesterday, 2,910 people arrived in Hawaii. During this same time last year approximately 38,000 passengers arrived in Hawaii daily, including residents and visitors. This table shows the number of people who arrived by air from out of state yesterday and does not include interisland travel. This data was collected from the Hawaii Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Mandatory Travel Declaration Form.