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.