UPDATE – (12:30 p.m.) – The Hawaiʻi Department of Health reported 87 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 Hawaiʻi island locations have totals of over 10 cases:
- 96720 (Hilo) – 109 cases
- 96749 (Puna) – 19 cases
- 96778 (lower Puna) – 19 cases
- 98771 (Puna mauka) – 13 cases
- 96740 (Kona) – 49 cases
UPDATE – (10 a.m.) – The Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense issued this radio message on Friday morning:
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 sixteen (16). At this date, for Hawaii Island, twelve (12) are hospitalized. The Hilo Medical Center reports a total of twenty-nine (29) deaths for Hawaii Island. Our prayers, condolences to their families.
For your information, there are two Covid testing sites for today. First, in North Kona at the Keauhou Shopping Center from 9 this morning ‘til 12 noon. The second, in Hilo at the Afook-Chinen Auditorium parking lot from 9 this morning ‘til 1 this afternoon. Please enter the site through the Kuawa Street entrance.
Increased testing will continue throughout the Island. 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.
There is also an outbreak of COVID-19 reported at the Life Care Center of Hilo. The facility reports twelve (12) resident cases. Eleven (11) of those cases are active, with three (3) receiving proactive treatment at Hilo Medical Center. One (1) resident has fully recovered.
There are also six (6) associate cases at the facility. Three (3) are active cases, and three (3) are fully recovered.
“We will continue testing staff and residents twice per week until further notification,” wrote executive director Mark Mann in an online message. “Our residents are also monitored multiple times day and night for any symptoms or concerns. And every associate is screened when they arrive for work and when they leave, including checking temperature and monitoring for any symptoms or concerns.”
“We are ever so grateful for the support and commitment of our associates, Hilo Medical Center, Hawaii Healthcare Emergency Management Coalition, Healthcare Association of Hawaii, our local health department, the Mayor and his office, and others who are assisting and supporting our efforts. We continue to proactively take on the challenges of this pandemic, and our resolve remains to provide a safe environment and peace of mind for each individual under our stewardship,” Mann said.
(BIVN) – There will be free, drive-through COVID-19 testing in Hilo and Kona today at the following locations:
- KONA: Keauhou Shopping Center, 9 a.m. to noon
- HILO: Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please enter from Kuawa Street entrance.
The County of Hawaiʻi adds: “No insurance is necessary to be tested, but please bring your insurance card if you have one. No co-pay for individuals being tested. Please be sure to wear a face covering at all times, and observe social distancing.”
Federal Economic Impact Payments
The Hawaiʻi Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs says time is running out to receive federal economic impact payments. From the DCCA:
Federal officials are reaching out to inform those that don’t normally file taxes on how they can receive their Economic Impact Payment, but time is running out. While many automatically received their Economic Impact Payment, others still need to provide more information to the government. Eligible individuals may receive $1,200 and an additional $500 for each qualifying child. Eligible married couples may receive $2,400 and an additional $500 for each qualifying child. A person is eligible if he or she is a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or qualifying resident alien, cannot be claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer’s tax return, and has a Social Security number that is valid for employment. The deadline to file information with the IRS to determine eligibility is Oct. 15, 2020. An online tool to submit the information is available here.
HI-EMA Begins Shipping Free PPE To Small Businesses
From the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency:
HI-EMA has begun shipping the initial round of free personal protective equipment (PPE) under its new distribution program, funded by $61 million in CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds. Many of these initial shipments are to small businesses and independent medical providers such as doctors and dentists.
HI-EMA Administrator Luke Meyers said, “We received over 1,800 online orders since we launched at the beginning of the month and we are now ready to start shipping this free PPE on a rolling basis. We thank our industry partners and trade groups for helping us to get the initial word out. We want individuals and groups to know we have available inventory and we urge qualified recipients to put in their orders as soon as possible.”
If you’re interested in receiving free PPE, there is still time to apply. Qualified applicants can make a request at [here]. Orders will be accepted until Nov. 15, 2020. HI-EMA anticipates shipping through the end of the year, supplies permitting. This year, HI-EMA has spent over $50 million of its CARES Allocation for PPE distribution. Close to 50% of all purchases were from local suppliers and manufacturers.
Virtual Call Center for Unemployment Insurance Claims Launched
From the Hawaiʻi Department of Labor and Industrial Relations:
The state has launched a virtual call center to help process unemployment claims. The new center will be staffed by 200 people and operate during normal state business hours between 7:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Gov. Ige said, “We are excited to be able to provide this much-needed resource in support of the State’s UI program. While 96-percent of initial claims have been successfully filed online, our State is working overtime and leveraging every resource possible to help those filers who must utilize a phone to file or resolve an issue with their claim. I am optimistic that this new call center will further expedite much-needed relief to our residents who have struggled to connect via phone.”
The current numbers used by the local unemployment insurance (UI) offices and existing toll-free numbers will route to the new virtual call center. Operators will be able to answer all types of claimant inquiries, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). The toll-free numbers are (833)-901-2272 and (833)-901-2275 and respectively correspond to the local numbers (808)-762-5751 and (808)-762-5752.