Office of the Governor:

Governor Ige Extends Condolences to Family of First COVID-19 Patient

An older adult O‘ahu resident, who was hospitalized with multiple medical issues, is the first person in Hawai‘i diagnosed with COVID-19 to die. Gov. Ige, Lt. Gov. Josh Green, State Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson, and Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency Director Kenneth Hara all expressed sorrow for the loss of one of Hawai‘i’s kupuna and offered their condolences to the family. The exact cause of  death has not been determined.

Additional Details on Interisland Travel Restrictions

Gov. David Ige today signed a fourth supplementary proclamation that requires all residents and visitors traveling between any of the islands in the State of Hawai‘i to self-quarantine for 14 days. Those who must travel to perform an essential function, including those providing and seeking medical care, will have to fill out and sign an Interisland Declaration Form, wear appropriate protective gear – primarily masks, and follow all social distancing requirements. The quarantine mandate takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on Wed., Apr. 1. Violations of this order could result in a misdemeanor with fines of up to $5,000 and/or up to one year in prison, or both. If you have questions about whether your travel is essential, please e-mail CovidExemption@hawaii.gov

 Craft Rum Distillery Producing FDA-Approved Hand Sanitizer During Pandemic

Last Saturday, a 55-gallon barrel of hand sanitizer rolled from the vat room of a distillery in Kunia, to staff and volunteers waiting next door in the tasting room. This is the result of Gov. David Ige and the co-founders of KoHana Hawaiian Agricole Rum organizing a local business hui to manufacture hundreds of gallons of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved hand sanitizer for use during the current COVID-19 pandemic.


 Video: https://vimeo.com/402014890

 Department of Health:

 First Death from COVID-19 Reported

The department is continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of an elderly O‘ahu man, who tested positive for COVID-19. DOH reports 20 additional COVID-19 cases today and all are adults. All but one of the cases are residents of Hawai‘i. DOH is also reporting the first positive case from sentinel surveillance.  There are now 224 presumptive or positive cases of the coronavirus in the state.


County of Diagnosis HI Residents Non-Residents Total
Honolulu 146 (21) 6 (0) 152 (21)
Hawai‘i 11 (1) 4 (0) 15 (1)
Maui 21 (0) 4 (0) 25 (0)
Kaua‘i 7 (0) 5 (0) 12 (0)
Residents diagnosed outside HI 2 (0) 2 (0)
Pending county of diagnosis or res. 18 (-)
Deaths 1 1


Some counts may be higher because of cases previously classified as “pending” being reclassified to other categories. Data are preliminary and subject to change.

The majority of reported cases (194) are Hawai‘i residents, twenty (20) are non-Hawai‘i residents and ten (10) are unknown. 220 of the cases are adults and four (4) are pediatric.


Inconclusive Negative Positive Total
7 8721 208 8936

New case maps and epidemic curve graph posted online

DOH has posted new case maps and an epidemic curve of all Confirmed COVID-19 Cases by Residence and Exposure in Hawai‘i. The epidemic curve shows the number of confirmed cases by date of symptom onset indicating cases that are travel associated (residents and visitors), community, or unknown. The maps will be updated weekly and epidemic curve will be updated daily. The island maps show cases by residence zip codes and do not show where exposure or disease transmission is occurring. The maps provide information that could be used for planning county resources and where those resources may be needed. There are no cases on Molokai and Lanai at this time.


 COVID-19 Awareness Campaign Featuring Frank De Lima Begins

“Stay Healthy, Stay at Home” is the title of a new campaign on TV, radio, newspaper and digital, encouraging adults, especially seniors, to practice social distancing and good hygiene to prevent further spread of COVID-19. DOH has teamed with local funny man Frank De Lima to use humor to empower people to take simple actions to protect themselves and their loved ones during this worldwide health crisis. De Lima—a senior himself—was a natural fit for the campaign, having released his “Corona, Corona” song about the virus woes earlier this month

View the public service announcements and get the latest info about coronavirus at HawaiiCOVID19.com/resources

Interim Guidance for Dental Service Providers During COVID-19 Response

To conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) and limit the exposure of patients and staff to COVID-19, the CDC recommends that dental service providers postpone elective procedures, surgeries, and non-urgent dental visits. Patients should be contacted prior to urgent or emergency procedures to be screened for symptoms of respiratory illness.

For further guidelines:


Hawai‘i Tourism Authority:

 Passenger Numbers Continue Dropping

Yesterday, 681 passengers arrived in Hawai‘i on the fifth day of the state’s 14-day mandatory self-quarantine for all incoming passengers. Of that number, 121 people were visitors, who must self-quarantine in their hotels or lodging.

Kona Maui O‘ahu Līhu‘e


Crew 16 56 113 11 196
Intended Resident 41 41
Resident 12 14 219 5 250
Transit 5 68 73
Visitor 18 20 83 121
Grand Total 46 95 524 16 681
Flights 6 9 24 2 41

Department of the Attorney General:

 AG Joins Coalition Asking FDA to Increase Access to Reproductive Tele-Health Care 

Hawai‘i Attorney General Clare E. Connors has joined a multistate coalition of 21 attorneys general, led by California, in sending a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting that they increase access to reproductive healthcare, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The coalition urges the Administration to waive or utilize its discretion on enforcement of its Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) designation, which impedes women’s access to the medication abortion prescription drug known as Mifepristone. “During this COVID crisis, the federal government should remove barriers to critical healthcare,” said Attorney General Connors.

Read the letter here:


Green Infrastructure Authority Board:

 GEMS Loan Deferrals Approved

The Board of Directors of the Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority (HGIA) has approved an emergency postponement of loan payments for GEMS Program direct loans and on-bill loans in an effort to lessen the financial impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on residents and businesses in Hawaii. The approval allows interested borrowers of loans under the GEMS Program to opt-in to defer payments for up to six months. For more information visit www.gems.hawaii.gov.


HONOLULU – On Saturday, March 29, a 55-gallon barrel of hand sanitizer rolled from the vat room of a distillery in Kunia, to staff and volunteers waiting next door in the tasting room. This is the result of Gov. David Ige and the co-founders of KoHana Hawaiian Agricole Rum organizing a local business hui to manufacture hundreds of gallons of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved hand sanitizer for use during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Anyone who’s tried to buy hand sanitizer knows it’s currently in short supply. Twelve days ago, KoHana Distillers reached out to the Governor’s Office and offered to fill the supply gap and provide sanitizer to hospitals, first responders, correctional facilities, homeless providers and to the Hawai‘i Dept. of Education at no cost.

A by-product of rum distilling is high-proof ethanol, the main ingredient required in FDA-approved sanitizers. So, the administration, through an inquiry with the Dept. of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, began providing guidance to KoHana Distillers and the Hawai‘i Agricultural Research Center (HARC) to help navigate the stringent rules and regulations required by the FDA. These initial efforts connected Phillip Giacobbi of Kaumana Pharmaceutics to the hui of businesses willing to provide bottles, labels, and distribution of the sanitizer. Giacobbi volunteered his expertise and sign-off as the pharmacist-in-charge during the permitting process.

HARC (formally the Hawai‘i Sugar Planters’ Association-HSPA), has a long history of volunteer service. During WWII, the association produced and contributed the “wonder drug” Penicillin to U.S. Armed Forces. 60-years-later, HARC’s level-2 lab became the sterile environment for compounding the hand sanitizer. On March 24, the FDA released new guidance which allowed KoHana Distillers to register as an over the counter (OTC) drug manufacturer and to begin preparing the hand sanitizer at its Kunia operation.

KoHana Distillers co-founder and owner Jason Brand gave his staff and volunteers from the business hui instructions Saturday, on how to label and safely fill hundreds of (16) and (64)-ounce bottles of the distillery-produced sanitizer to prepare it for delivery.  He said, “Hawai‘i businesses have a long history of collaboration at times of community need. This is a great way to utilize a by-product of our distilling and to use our facility during this unprecedented crisis.”

Even hundreds of gallons of sanitizer won’t be enough to satisfy the need across the islands. KoHana has committed to continued production and is working with the Governor to create a model in which distilleries across the state can partner to produce FDA-approved sanitizer and disinfectant.

Today, Scott Morishige and a member of the Governor’s staff made the first delivery of sanitizer to The Institute for Human Services (IHS), a primary provider of homelessness services on O‘ahu. “This monumental effort by local business leaders proves that Hawai‘i has the community strength to persevere. We’ve been hit by disaster after disaster and yet we stand stronger than ever.  It’s by working together as a community that we will weather this current crisis,” said Gov. Ige.

60 ml personal sized bottles of the sanitizer will be distributed by Gift of Giving Hawai‘i to the Hawai‘i Food Bank, Angel Network Charities, and Jarrett School in Palolo, which is still conducting classes.

In addition to KoHana Distillers, Kaumana Pharmaceutics, HARC (Executive Director Stevie Whalen and Blake Vance), the governor recognized other members of the business hui.

  • Halm’s Enterprises – “Kim Chee King” Mike Irish, Owner & Mike Yonemura, President (bottles)
  • HonBlue – Matthew Heim, Chief Brother Operator (labels)
  • Aloha Green Apothecary – Tai Cheng, President (additional sanitizer production)
  • American Savings Bank – Rich Wacker, President (financial support)
  • Pharmacare – Byron Yoshino, President & CEO (facilities recruitment & expertise)
  • Matson – (ingredient shipping)


(All images/video courtesy: State of Hawaii, unless otherwise noted)

HD video – Hand sanitizer bottling and labeling, KoHana Distillery (3-28-20):


(shot sheet attached)

HD video – “From Rum to Sanitizer” web feature:


HD video – Delivery of sanitizer to IHS (3-31-20):


Photographs – Hand sanitizer bottling and labeling, KoHana Distillery (3-28-20),

Delivery of sanitizer to IHS (3-31-20):


Photographs – Hawai‘i Agricultural Research Center lab (courtesy HARC):


Hawai‘i Department of Health launches COVID-19 public awareness campaign featuring Frank De Lima

HONOLULU – Beginning March 30 through July 31, the Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) is launching the “Stay Healthy, Stay at Home” campaign on KHON2, iHeart Media, and in Honolulu Star Advertiser print and digital platforms. The goal of the campaign is to encourage adults, especially seniors, to practice social distancing and good hygiene to prevent further cases of COVID-19 in Hawai‘i.

During this time of uncertainty, the advertisements use local humor to empower residents with simple actions they can take to protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19.

Health Director Bruce Anderson, said, “We’re pleased to team up with Frank De Lima to remind everyone about the simple things you can do to keep yourself and others healthy. We urge everyone to do like Frank does in the videos—practice good hygiene and social distancing and remember to take care of your well-being and mental health.”

De Lima—a senior himself—was a natural fit for the campaign, having released his “Corona, Corona” song about the virus woes earlier this month. A longtime champion for health, he has partnered with DOH in the past, serving as the spokesperson for the successful “Prevent Diabetes Hawai‘i” social marketing campaign (2017).

As published in this month’s (March 2020) issue of the Hawai‘i Journal of Health and Social Welfare, 61,900 people in Hawai‘i who reported seeing a “Prevent Diabetes Hawai‘i” advertisement featuring Frank De Lima took a diabetes risk test online or on paper. Focus group data from this campaign were used to inform “Stay Healthy, Stay at Home,” and DOH hopes this will lead to equally favorable results.

“I appreciate the opportunity to work with the Department of Health once again and to use humor to help protect our island community,” said De Lima. “Now is the time for us to kokūa to help stop the spread of COVID-19: Take care of physical and mental health and stay home.”

View the advertisements and get the latest info about coronavirus at HawaiiCOVID19.com/resources.

Hawai’i COVID-19 Daily News Digest March 30, 2020

Office of the Governor:

Inter-island Travel Now Requires 14-Day Self-Quarantine

During today’s news briefing, Governor Ige announced that anyone traveling between islands will now be required to self-quarantine in their home or other lodging for 14 days. This does not apply to those who are considered essential workers, but they are required to wear personal protective equipment during flights. This mandatory rule takes effect at midnight, Wednesday, April 1 and continues until April 30. It is intended to further stop community spread of the coronavirus in Hawai‘i. The governor reiterated his top priority is the health and safety of Hawai‘i’s people and said it is “more important than ever to continue to practice social distancing. We cannot let our guard down.”

Hawai‘i to Receive at Least $4 Billion in Federal Aid Under CARES Act

U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (by phone) and Congressman Ed Case joined Governor Ige for today’s briefing to announce the federal government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act will provide a minimum of $4 billion to Hawai‘i. Among the benefits provided by the infusion of funding are increased unemployment payments and a whole host of other benefits to bolster businesses and individuals suffering economically during the crisis. Additional federal aid is expected in the future.


Governor Ige Issues Executive Order Suspending Certain State Laws During Crisis

On Sunday, Governor Ige signed Executive Order No. 20-02, which suspends certain state laws in order for county and state agencies to engage in emergency management functions. This suspension applies to:

  • firearms registrations
  • wages and hours for government contractors
  • charter school rules
  • controlled substances registrations & dispensing
  • child-care licensing
  • criminal history record checks
  • tele-health
  • notary publics
  • sex offender registrations
  • certain employment and workers compensation laws

Governor Ige’s Executive Order No. 20-02 March 29, 2020

Office of the Lt. Governor:

Update from Lieutenant Governor Josh Green, State Healthcare Liaison for COVID-19

Lt. Gov. Green continues to work with Governor David Ige, General Kenneth Hara and the healthcare community to evaluate Hawai‘i’s healthcare capacity and prepare for any possible surge in COVID-19 cases and individuals needing hospitalization.

Updated hospital capacity as of March 30, 2020: 

Number of OHCA licensed beds 2,757
Number of ICU beds 338
Number of ventilators 534
Number of beds excluding ICU beds 2,419
Number of beds occupied-32% 893
Number of ICU beds occupied-37% 126
Number of ventilators in use-11% 58
Source: Healthcare Association of Hawaii


Department of Health:

Total Number of COVID-19 Cases Increases by 29

DOH reports 29 positive test results today for a total number of 204 cases in Hawai‘i since Feb. 28. One (1) of today’s cases is a pediatric patient and the remainder are adults (28).


(As of 12 noon, March 30, 2020)

All of the new cases are residents of the state, from the following counties:

City and County of Honolulu: 15
County of Hawai‘i: 2
County of Maui: 5
County of Kaua‘i 0
Pending (county of diagnosis or residency under investigation) 7

Some counts may be higher because of cases previously classified “unknown” being re-classified to other categories. Pending/unknown information will continue to be reconciled as DOH completes investigations.

In total, of all cases reported to-date, 175 are Hawai‘i residents, twenty (20) are non-residents, and place of residence for nine (9) people is unknown.


Inconclusive Neg Pos. Totals
Clinical Laboratories 7 8080 186 8273
Div. of State Laboratories 0 389 13 402
Hawai‘i Totals 7 8469 199 8675

* If a person was tested both by clinical labs and SLD, the test by clinical labs will be included
while the test by SLD will be removed DOH can capture “Unique Individuals.”
The table uses investigations generated through electronic laboratory reports .  It does not include non-electronic lab reports.


Hawai‘i Tourism Authority:

Airline Arrivals Continue to Drop

The number of passengers flying into Hawai‘i continues to drop in light of the state’s 14-day mandatory self-quarantine for all incoming passengers. Sunday, the fourth day of the rule, saw 826 people arriving at State airports. Compared to March 2019, on average more than 30,000 people arrived in the state each day.

Hawai‘i Airport Arrivals-Sunday, March 29, 2020

Passenger Type Kona Maui O‘ahu Līhuʻe Total
Crew 26 42 151 10 229
Intended Resident 34 34
Resident 35 21 262 7 325
Transit 71 71
Visitor 12 11 144 167
Grand Total 73 74 662 17 826
Flights 7 10 28 2 47


Department of Transportation:

No Stopping Allowed for Arriving Passengers

The DOT is reiterating that self-quarantined arriving passengers are not allowed to stop off anywhere, including grocery or big box stores before going home or to their lodging. There are numerous services available that will deliver groceries to people in self-quarantine.

Hawai‘i Community Development Authority:

Kolowalu Parks Closed

The HCDA has closed its Kolowalu Parks on Queen Street in Honolulu to facilitate social distancing and reduce the risk of the potential spread of COVID-19. The parks will be reopened once the novel coronavirus is no longer a threat.


Department of Human Services:

Aggressive Actions Underway to Protect People and Families

DHS’s leadership and community stakeholders are working to ensure that all services of the agency are continued during the COVID-19 pandemic, though with modifications. Like all state agencies and many businesses this mean limiting face-to-face contact with people, especially those vulnerable to the novel corona virus. The operational modifications impact programs like:

  • Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Kupuna services
  • Child-care facilities and homes
  • Child welfare
  • Adult protective services
  • Health care coverage
  • Support for people with disabilities
  • Support for the houseless population.


Department of Education:

Grab-and-Go Program Ensuring Keiki are Fed

In the first week of Grab-and-Go school meal distribution, nearly 16,000 breakfasts & 30,000 lunches were served to children at 38 school sites (not including the Kuhio Day holiday). Eight more school distribution sites are starting this week, increasing the total number of school sites to 46 on Wednesday, and more locations are being planned. The sites provide meals to all children 18 and younger. They do not have to attend the school site location but must be present to receive meals.

See details and locations at:


PDF: COVID-19 Daily Digest March 30, 2020

# # #

Sunday March 29, 2020: From the Office of Governor Ige

Dept. of Health:

Positive Test Results for COVID-19 Now at 175

DOH reports 24 positive test results today and all of the new cases are adults, none of whom have required hospitalization. All but one of the new cases are residents of the state, and only one (1) non-resident, who tested positive on Hawai‘i Island. Of the 24 new positive test results reported today, 11 are from the City & County of Honolulu, two (2) from the County of Hawai‘i, four (4) from Maui County and one (1) from the County of Kaua‘i. County of diagnosis or residency is pending in 6 (six) cases. There are 175 presumptive or positive cases to date, with the vast majority being Hawai‘i residents (145) and (20) non-residents. To date, 10 cases have unknown residency. There have been nearly 8,000 laboratory tests conducted for COVID-19 samples. Sentinel testing is still on-going and private clinical laboratories are now testing all samples for flu-related illnesses in addition to COVID-19.

“We need to continue practicing social distancing because it is a way to lower the curve of COVID-19 in Hawai‘i. Everyone needs to take the measures implemented seriously and abide by those requirements”, said Health Director Bruce Anderson.

DOH is continuing to aggressively investigate all cases reported and tracing contacts. Most of these are now being reported through private clinical laboratories. To date, more than 7,500 results have been received from private laboratories and, of these, 159 have been positive for COVID- 19. The balance of those tested and found to be positive (13) were identified through State Laboratory testing before the private clinical laboratories were able to test for COVID-19. The State Laboratory continues to serve as a reference laboratory for Hawai‘i and other Pacific Island jurisdictions.


University of Hawai‘i John A. Burns School of Medicine

Jabsom Researcher & Wuhan Colleagues Find Hypnotics Improves COVID-19 Outcomes

 Twenty researchers including JABSOM’s Dr. Youping Deng found beneficial effects of hypnotics on clinical outcoes in the management of COVID-19 patients. The research team, which was co-led by a researcher from the Wuhan University of Science and Technology, reviewed the charts of 323 COVID-19 patients in hospitals from Jan. 8 – Feb. 20, 2020. A quarter of the patients were give a hypnotic drug used to treat insomnia, and 77 of the 82 had better clinical outcomes and were discharged. Of the five who had unfavorable outcomes, only one died.



Dept. of Health:

Today’s Report of Positive Test Results for COVID-19

DOH reports 29 positive test results today: One (1) of the cases is a minor and the rest are adults, 24 are residents of the state, three (3) are non-residents, and information is pending on two cases. Of the 29 new positive test results reported today, 19 are from the County of Honolulu, three (3) from the County of Hawai‘i, and six (6) from the County Kaua‘i, one (1) is unknown. There are 151 presumptive or positive cases to date, with the vast majority being Hawai‘i residents (126) and 19 non-Hawai‘i residents (to date, six cases have unknown residency). There have been nearly 7,000 laboratory tests conducted for COVID-19 samples from Hawai‘i with 151 positive results to date.


Warning About Use of Antimalaria Drugs for COVID-19

DOH warns everyone about the hazards and dangers of using non-approved drugs for COVID-19. Antimalarial drugs have been recently reported as possible treatments for the novel coronavirus. “Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine can cause severe cardiac toxicity, and in high doses over a long duration, can cause retinal damage and lead to permanent blindness,” said Dr. Alvin Bronstein, DOH Emergency Medical Services and Injury Prevention System Branch Chief. “Individuals using these medications without physician supervision run serious risks of side effects and potential overdoses. Other medications are being touted, but nothing has been proven to be effective and may even do more harm than good.”

If you or someone you know has taken chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine and are experiencing adverse reactions, call 911, the Hawai‘i Regional Poison Center (800-222-1222) or seek immediate medical care.


Sentinel Surveillance Testing Results

DOH is partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct community sentinel surveillance testing to detect community transmission of COVID-19 among patients who have mild to moderate febrile respiratory illness. To date, the Sentinel Surveillance Program for COVID-19 has tested more than 350 samples from individuals throughout the state with negative test results. The samples were collected from providers throughout the state selected to ensure geographic and age representation proportional to the state’s population.


Hawai‘i Tourism Authority:

Number of Incoming Passengers Continues to Fall

The number of passengers flying into Hawai‘i continues to drop. On Friday, 1,221 arrived at state airports, on the second day of the state’s 14-day mandatory self-quarantine for all incoming passengers. Only 180 of the people were visitors. The majority were either returning residents or airline crew members. O‘ahu saw the highest number of passengers at 1,063. Kahului International Airport on Maui had 87 passengers, Kona International on Hawai‘i Island had 45 and Līhuʻe International Airport saw 26 passengers.


HTA Thanks Visitor Industry Leaders for Actions

HTA President & CEO Chris Tatum sent a letter to state tourism leaders thanking them for coordinating the movement of more than 250,000 visitors from the state and preventing additional visitors from arriving during the crisis. Tatum termed the impact on businesses and employees as heartbreaking but wrote “your commitment to the health of our families and community has been inspiring.” He also recognized airlines for continuing limited services while maintaining connections for cargo and emergency support. 98 hotels have suspended operations across the state and that number is expected to increase. 


Dept. of Commerce and Consumer Affairs:

Insurers Urged to Work with Customers During Crisis

State Insurance Commissioner Colin Hayashida sent a memo yesterday to all admitted and non-admitted insurers offering policies in Hawai‘i. He noted that businesses are experiencing substantially reduced revenue and employees are experiencing reduced hours or job losses, with far-reaching repercussions on the horizon. Hayashida is asking insurers not to cancel or not renew policies for failure to pay premiums during this time of hardship. You can read the entire memo here:


Hawai‘i House of Representatives

Economic & Financial Preparedness Select Committee to Meet

The House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness is holding its second informational briefing on the economic impact of the pandemic on Hawai‘i on Monday, March 30 at 10:00 a.m. To comply with restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus the hearing will not be open and no public testimony will be accepted.  The hearing will be broadcast on ‘Olelo channel 49. It can also be viewed live online via of these links.




HONOLULU – The Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) is warning everyone about the hazards and dangers of using non-approved drugs for COVID-19. Antimalarial drugs have been recently reported as possible treatments against COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

While hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine prescription medications have been used for treatment of malaria and certain inflammatory conditions, the efficacy for COVID-19 are unproven and potentially dangerous.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no specific medicine to prevent or treat COVID-19 and a vaccine is not yet available.

“Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine can cause severe cardiac toxicity, and in high doses over a long duration, can cause retinal damage and lead to permanent blindness,” said Dr. Alvin Bronstein, DOH Emergency Medical Services and Injury Prevention System Branch Chief. “Individuals using these medications without physician supervision run serious risks of side effects and potential overdoses. Other medications are being touted, but nothing has been proven to be effective and may even do more harm than good.”

On March 25, the American Association of Poison Control Centers issued a warning about the dangers of using hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus, stating “While chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine has demonstrated benefits for multiple chronic autoimmune and rheumatologic diseases, the benefit for treatment of COVID-19 has not been definitively established. It is critical that any use of these medications is coordinated with a treating physician with full understanding of the potential risks and benefits.”

Hydroxychloroquine is used for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus erythematosus. Chloroquine has been demonstrated to be effective for malaria, lupus and chronic rheumatoid arthritis, but has significant side effects, including gastrointestinal distress and potential permanent vision damage.

If you or someone you know has taken chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine and are experiencing adverse reactions, call 911, the Hawai‘i Regional Poison Center (800-222-1222) or seek immediate medical care.


Dept. of Health:

DOH reports 14 positive test results today: All of the cases are adults, 12 are residents of the state, one (1) is a non-resident, and one (1) person’s residency is unknown at this time. Of the 14 new positive test results reported today, 10 are from Honolulu, two (2) from Hawai‘i Island, and two (2) from Maui County. There are 120 presumptive or positive cases to date, with the vast majority being Hawai‘i residents (100) and 16 non-Hawai‘i residents. To date, there have been more than 5,800 tests conducted for COVID-19 samples from Hawai‘i with 120 positive results.


DOH and the City & County of Honolulu have mobilized public, private and nonprofit support to provide COVID-19 testing and quarantine services for the homeless community at 524 Ka‘a‘ahi Street in Iwilei. Today, plans were announced to open the COVID-19 Medical Triage and Quarantine Center and provide mobile testing to serve homeless individuals on O‘ahu early next week. “Bringing together government, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector is especially important; the partnership allows us to fund, set up, and operate critical services in far less time than any of us would be able to achieve on our own,” said Gov. Ige. “As we find solutions to overcome the threat of COVID-19, it’s these types of local, collaborative efforts that will make a difference in our community.”


With expanded COVID-19 testing, people may see many new testing services offered by private businesses throughout the state. Laboratories must have a CLIA certificate to perform COVID-19 testing. Under CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments), laboratories are prohibited from testing human specimens for the purpose of diagnosis, prevention, treatment, or health assessment without a valid CLIA certificate. However, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has instituted an expedited application process for laboratories interested in pursuing a CLIA certificate.


At this time, the DOH is not recommending the adoption of blood testing methods for COVID-19. These blood tests have the possibility to be misleading, and their performance characteristics have not been established.

Hawai‘i WIC (Women, Infants and Children Special Supplemental Nutrition Program) continues to provide services during this public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 virus. At this time, WIC staff are available by phone, there is no need to go to a clinic in-person. Call your clinic directly with any questions. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding an infant, gave birth in the last 6 months, or have a child younger than 5 years old, contact a WIC clinic near you to apply for services.

Attention Wahiawa and North Shore WIC participantsAlthough a building fire destroyed the Wahiawa clinic at 830 California Avenue on Tuesday, March 24, the staff are continuing to provide services over the phone. For assistance, please leave a message at (808) 622-6458.



Hawai‘i Tourism Authority:

Yesterday, 1,589 passengers arrived in Hawai‘i on the first day of the state’s 14-day mandatory self-quarantine for all incoming passengers. Of that number, 268 people were visitors, and most of them were either crew members or returning residents. In comparison, last year at the end of March, more than 30,000 passengers arrived in Hawai‘i daily, including residents and visitors.


Dept. of Business, Economic Development and Tourism:

Visitor statistic information:


Domestic arrivals by island from March 2019 compared to March 2020. Please note data from the past few days not available yet:



Dept. of Public Safety:

As of today no one incarcerated in Hawai‘i have met PUI (Persons Under Investigation) criteria for COVID-19. PSD is very aware of the risks of over-population and crowding in jails, especially during this pandemic.  The department is taking proactive measures with criminal justice partners to identify ways to temporarily reduce jail/prison populations while maintaining safety for the community. Among the measures already in place or being considered are greater use of video conferencing for arraignments and plea & bail motions, and enhanced screenings at entry points to avoid the virus from being introduced into any facilities.


Dept. of Transportation

If you’ve been on the roads you already know that traffic is light.  This is allowing HDOT Highways Division to take advantage of lower than normal traffic volumes to conduct maintenance and improvements around the state. HART has been given permission to work extended hours. HDOT is monitoring all extended closures and will make adjustments as needed.


Weekly closure information:



Hawai‘i State Senate

Today the Senate’s Special Committee on COVID-19 met to confirm the development of state departmental plans and procedures. During the meeting senators were expected to review and assess those efforts to ensure timely implementation, as well as communications and information dissemination to state residents. The committee received reports from U.S. Senator Brian Schatz on the federal stimulus package and reports from the governor’s office, DOH,

HI-EMA, DOT, DPS,and the attorney general. Additional reports came from represenatives of the health care industry.


Drive-through testing for COVID-19 will take place again on Monday, March 30, at War Memorial Gym parking lot (700 Halia Nakoa Street in Wailuku).

Persons with respiratory symptoms and a history of contact with other ill persons must call to make an appointment from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, March 27.. Callers will be screened to see if they are eligible for testing and will be given further instructions.

To make an appointment, call (808) 270-7228. Calls will be answered from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, March 27.

If the phone line is busy or there’s no answer, do not leave a voicemail. Call alternate phone numbers:

  • (808) 500-8118
  • (808) 500-8117
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A total of 162 samples were taken over the course of two days at the drive-through testing site, earlier this week. Monday’s drive-through testing, which will have 100 test kits, is a collaboration between the Hawaii Department of Health Maui District Health Office, the County of Maui, Kaiser Clinics, Maui Memorial Medical Center and Clinical Labs of Hawaii.

The goal of the drive-through testing is to help prevent overloading Maui Memorial, which should only be called by people with severe symptoms. Testing may also help to identify and ultimately decrease clusters of disease within the community.

The Maui District Health Office notes that as test results come in (expected early next week), there may be a spike in the number of new reported COVID-19 cases.

The public is advised that most people who have the virus can recover at home without medical intervention. However, carriers of any virus, including influenza, should avoid all contact with others until symptoms subside in order to avoid spreading the disease.

Due to limited resources, future drive-through testing periods will be announced when they are available.

For more information about COVID-19 virus prevention, visit HawaiiCOVID19.com or call 2-1-1.


Office of the Governor:

Today is the first day of the governor’s order that all arrivals to Hawai‘i undergo, mandatory, 14-day-long self-quarantine. This applies to all visitors and returning Hawai‘i residents. Initial reports indicate that incoming airport traffic was light, as expected, and that the process on this first day of the mandatory order, for the most part, went smoothly.



 Office of the Lt. Governor:

Lt. Governor Green is the State Liaison for Healthcare Response. He spent the past three weeks speaking with the healthcare community and visiting facilities, including five major hospitals statewide. Approximately 200 providers participate in each call weekly in partnership with the Healthcare Association of Hawai‘i. Lt. Gov. Green also meets twice weekly with healthcare representatives as part of the COVID-19 Healthcare Task Force. Current concerns from the healthcare community are personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilator shortages and ensuring everyone in Hawai‘i heeds stay-at-home and work-from-home orders and the14-day self-quarantine orders. Lt. Gov. Green is working with Dir. Hara, healthcare providers and the Healthcare Association of Hawaiʻi to streamline supply ordering and hospital/healthcare occupancy reporting.



Department of Health:

DOH reports eleven (11) new cases today, all of whom are Hawai’i residents, including two individuals diagnosed outside of the state (passengers from the Grand Princess cruise ship, who have been cleared by the CDC to return home). Of the 11 new cases reported today, eight (8) are from Honolulu and one (1) from Maui County and the two aforementioned cases from the cruise ship. There are 106 presumptive or positive cases to date, with the vast majority being Hawai‘i residents (86) and 15 non-Hawai‘i residents.



Department Of Transportation:

On the first day of mandatory self-quarantine for arrivals, DOT reports very light traffic at State airports. Some planes are arriving with fewer than 10 passengers. Some flights had no passengers or only one. Hawai‘i Tourism Authority staff are assisting DOT in collecting, processing and scanning traveler forms. Hotels are being alerted before visitors arrive. The majority of the passengers so far are either returning Hawaiʻi residents or catching connecting flights to the mainland.



Department of the Attorney General:

The AG has joined 27 other attorneys general in calling on the U.S. Department of Education to provide federal student loan borrowers with crucial emergency measures. In a letter to the Education Secretary, the coalition asks the DOE to take specific steps to protect borrowers from further financial burden and debt collection due to job losses and lost wages.



Department of Land and Natural Resources:

Yesterday the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation reopened all restrooms in State small boat harbors and boat ramps. This is in response to CDC guidance for ensuring availability of toilets and hand washing facilities for people experiencing homelessness. The Division of State Parks will be opening a comfort station at Sand Island State Recreation Area on Oahu and at Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park on Hawaii island.



Department. of Public Safety:

DPS reports COVID-19 presents unique challenges for prevention and containment in the correctional environment. Knowledge about COVID-19 and public health guidance for responding to the Pandemic is rapidly changing. Adaptable and updatable practice tools are needed to develop infection prevention and control plans for COVID-19 across a diverse array of U.S. jails and prisons. DPS has released a Pandemic Response Plan for Hawai‘i.




University of Hawaiʻi:

A UH professor and researcher, along with faculty, staff and students of the UH-Mānoa Dept. of Theatre and Dance are sewing homemade fabric masks for health care workers. This is in response to CDC guidance that fabric masks are a crisis response option when other supplies have been exhausted. The masks will be pleated for better fit and made of 100 percent densely woven “breathable” cotton with pockets that can be inserted with a disposable near N95 non-woven filter material,



U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

USACE is evaluating both the Hawai‘i Convention Center and the City and County of Honolulu’s Neal S. Blaisdell Center for potential use as alternate-care sites. A technical survey team has conducted two planning and site assessments. Tomorrow the team will be surveying sites on Maui. The state has asked USACE to conduct additional site assessments in the coming weeks.


Hawai‘i Air National Guard:

Hawai‘i National Guardsmen are partnering with the Hawai‘i Healthcare Emergency Management Coalition. Medically trained National Guard Members are assisting with administration, logistics, and equipment repair for healthcare responders.



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