UPDATE – (12:20 p.m) – The Hawaiʻi Department of Health reported 108 new cases of COVID-19 statewide today, and three (3) more deaths.
On the health department’s zip code area map showing reported COVID-19 cases with onset dates in the past 28 days, the following locations have totals of over 10 cases:
- 96720 (Hilo) – 122 cases
- 96749 (Puna) – 25 cases
- 96778 (lower Puna) – 20 cases
- 98771 (Puna mauka) – 13 cases
- 96740 (Kona) – 40 cases
UPDATE – (9:50 a.m.) – The Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense reported six new cases of COVID-19 on Hawaiʻi island this morning, and one new death. From the civil defense radio message:
On today’s update of COVID-19, the number of new active cases, on Hawaii Island, reported and monitored by the Department of Health is six (6). At this date, for Hawaii Island, twenty (20) are hospitalized. The Hilo Medical Center reports one new death for a total twenty-nine (29) deaths for Hawaii Island. The latest fatality was a resident of the Yukio Okutsu Veterans Home. Our prayers, condolences and gratitude for their service to our Nation.
For your information, there is one Covid testing site for today in Volcano at the Cooper Center in Volcano Village. Hours are from 9 this morning ‘til 1 this afternoon.
Increased testing will continue throughout the Island. As a reminder, there will be two test sites in Kona this week; the first, on Friday at the Keauhou Shopping Center from 9 in the morning ‘til noon and the other site on Saturday at the Old Kona Airport, scheduling is in progress and you will be notified of the time. Remember, the purpose of testing is to identify positive cases as early as possible and in this way provide early treatment and to help stop the spread of the virus.
Hawaii County Police Department will continue their enforcement of the preventative polices of face coverings, distancing, and gatherings. Know that these policies are mandated and will be enforced. We need everyone to follow these policies in order to keep us safe. Please accept this kuleana to make Hawaii Safe.
Thank you for listening and have a safe week.
(BIVN) – Free COVID-19 drive-through testing will take place today at the Volcano Cooper Center, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. “No insurance is necessary to be tested, but please bring your insurance card if you have one,” the County of Hawaiʻi reminds. “No co-pay for individuals being tested. Please be sure to wear a face covering at all times, and observe social distancing.”
On Wednesday afternoon, Hilo Medical Center reported there are 11 total COVID-positive patients hospitalized, three (3) in ICU, seven (7) in COVID Unit, and one (1) in Extended Care Facility.
1 death related to the COVID-19 outbreak at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home was reported, bringing the total number of resident deaths at the facility to 27.
On Wednesday, Governor David Ige held a news conference to say every penny in CARES Act funding will be spent. From a news release from the Hawaiʻi COVID-19 Joint Information Center:
100% of the CARES Act funding Hawai‘i received from the federal government will be spent. That was one of the announcements from Governor David Ige at a news briefing this afternoon.
In April, the State of Hawaiʻi received $863 million in direct payment from the federal government’s Coronavirus Relief Fund. The governor said 98% of that funding has been set aside to assist with COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, specifically to support the three priority areas of the governor’s Hawaiʻi Pandemic Plan, which are to:
During the briefing Governor Ige and other participants outlined numerous existing and upcoming programs targeted at the three priorities. “We understand the urgency for this funding. We are working together to find the best uses possible so we can get this money into the pockets of those who need it most,” said Gov. Ige.
“I want to make it clear that we do not plan to return any of the Cornovirus Relief Funds. We are going use every penny. Any funds unspent at the end of the year will be placed into the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and used to help repay a $1 billion loan that was made to pay unemployment benefits to local residents,” Governor Ige added.
Gov. Ige highlighted a couple of key funding distributions:
- To date $51 million of $61 million for Personal Protective Equipment has been used.
- $4.9 million is being used to staff a 200-person unemployment call center.
- $75 million will be used for a restaurant card that will help unemployed residents while also giving our local restaurants a much-needed boost.
Officials said the CARES-Act funding data is also available online.
A new Restaurant Card Program was also announced at the Governor’s news briefing. From the Hawaiʻi COVID-19 Joint Information Center:
At the governor’s news briefing Sherry Menor McNamara, President & CEO of the Chamber of Commerce in Hawai‘i and Denise Hayashi Yamaguchi, the Executive Director of the Hawai‘i Agricultural Foundation provided details on yet another CARES Act supported initiative.
The new Restaurant Card Program is a private-public partnership that will provide pre-paid $500 cards to qualified Hawaiʻi unemployment insurance negatively impacted by COVID-19. The cards can be used at any Hawai‘i restaurant.
Menor McNamara commented, “Since March, it’s estimated that about 60% of Hawai‘i’s businesses have fully or partially closed. This is a win-win because it provides people who’ve qualified a little extra cash and also helps local small businesses that are struggling.”
Under the program, $500 dining cards will be available for people who have qualified for unemployment insurance, the State says. Eligible individuals will receive a pre-loaded, non-transferable card in the mail. The program runs from Oct. 20 to Dec. 15. The State says more details on the program are forthcoming.
The Governor also introduces Anne E. Perreira-Eustaquio as the new director of the Hawaiʻi Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
Perreira-Eustaquio said, “I’m glad to be in this new role, to talk about how CARES Act funding is being put to good use, and to highlight some of our progress.”
According to the State:
- 96% of initial unemployment claims have been successfully filed online
- New 200-person call center has trained operators to answer all types of claimant questions
- All current local and statewide unemployment phone numbers will automatically route to the call center
by Big Island Video News
HAWAIʻI - On Wednesday, the State held a news conference to detail its CARES Act spending and to announce a new Restaurant Card Program.