Office of the Governor:

Governor Ige’s Message on Second COVID-19 Death

Today, our community received the tragic news of the passing of a second Hawai‘i resident from the COVID-19 virus. Dawn and I express our deepest condolences to the victim’s family and friends. As we come together with expressions of sympathy and support – we must also remember to help each other, to protect your health and the health of loved ones and your community. Let’s all do our part to get Hawai‘i through this challenging time.

Community Connections Live Chat with Gov. Ige & Dr. Sarah Park

If you missed today’s Facebook Live discussion between Gov. Ige and Hawai‘i State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park, you can watch it here:

Aloha Spirit Alive and Well During COVID-19 Crisis

Helping Hands Hawai‘i is not just the name of a local non-profit organization, it embodies the giving spirit that our island state is famous for, particularly in great times of need, like the current COVID-19 pandemic. With unemployment soaring, businesses shuttering their doors and government and community resources being stretched to their limits, many of Hawai‘i’s most vulnerable and underserved populations are most in need of helping hands. To support the opening of the Ka‘aahi emergency shelter in Iwilei, Helping Hands Hawai‘i is donating flat sheets, blankets, pillows, kitchenware, coffee cups, chairs and soap to equip the 26 units that will be available to families in need, homeless individuals or people who contract the coronavirus and have no other housing. The shelter has 18 three-bedroom units and 8 two-bedroom units capable of housing up to 52 people. Anyone interested in helping please visit:

Department of Health:

Second COVID-19 Death Reported

An adult from O‘ahu is the second death reported associated with the coronavirus. The individual was hospitalized. This person passed away last night. DOH is reporting 27 new COVID-19 cases today — all are adults. The majority of cases are residents (20), one (1) is a visitor and six (6) are unknown and pending investigation. There are now a total of 285 presumptive positive or confirmed cases in the state.


County of Diagnosis New Cases Reported since


(including new cases)

Total Released from Isolation
Honolulu 24 206 52
Hawai‘i 0 18 6
Maui 1 27 11
Kaua‘i 0 12 3
Residents Diagnosed outside HI 0 2  
Pending investigation 2 20  
Total 27 285 72
Deaths 1 2

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority:

Today marks one week since the state’s 14-day mandatory self-quarantine

Gov. Ige’s order for all arriving domestic and international passengers to undergo mandatory self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival was expanded yesterday to include interisland travelers as well. This table shows the number of people who arrived by air from out of state yesterday and does not include interisland travel.

Kona Maui O‘ahu Līhu‘e


Crew 10 24 119 6 159
Intended Resident 2 64 66
Resident 22 15 216 4 257
Transit 15 72 87
Visitor 7 3 97 13 120
Grand Total 41 47 553 23 664
Flights 2 4 15 1 22

University of Hawai‘i:

UH President Lassner Announces First COVID-19 Cases

As the number of reported positive cases in Hawaiʻi increases, it has been inevitable that members of our community would eventually test positive. We have now received confirmation that two UH community members have tested positive for COVID-19.Both are in good condition, in isolation at home and in regular contact with health care providers. We wish them both a speedy recovery.

The first case involves an employee at the UH Maui. The last time the individual was on campus was for a brief time on March 30 to pick up personal items. The employee practiced safe social distancing with the handful of employees that they came into contact with and did not come into contact with students. The last time the individual was on campus before March 30 was on March 19, the week of spring break, when classes were out.

The second case involves a graduate student at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. The last time the student was on campus was Saturday, March 14, the weekend spring break started, and was rarely on campus this semester. It is not known if the individual was infectious on March 14, now more than 14 days ago. However, this notice is being issued out of an abundance of caution.

Department of Public Safety:

No confirmed cases of COVID-19 in prisons or jails

PSD has updated results of tests on inmates in state prisons or jails as follows:

Facilities Tested Results Pending Negative Inconclusive Positive # in Isolation # in Quarantine
HCF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
HCCC 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
KCCC 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
KCF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
MCCC 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
OCCC 1 1 0 0 0 1 0
WCCC 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
WCF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
  • On 3/26/20 the individual listed under HCCC was sent to the hospital for treatment due to poor response to confirmed Influenza A.  The hospital conducted a COVID-19 test as a precaution on 3/26/20.  The test came back negative on 3/27/20.
  • The test listed under OCCC was administered by a hospital prior to entry on 4/1/20 and is pending results. That individual is not exhibiting any symptoms.  OCCC staff executed their procedures to place the individual directly into medical isolation out of an abundance of caution until outside test results are obtained.

The facilities have longstanding outbreak management plans in place to quickly identify, isolate and treat communicable diseases. PSD adheres to the Department of Health medical guidance on testing for COVID-19, which currently recommends a testing panel be done to rule out other respiratory diseases before COVID-19 tests are considered.

Hawai‘i State Judiciary:

Supreme Court Appoints Special Master

The Hawaii Supreme Court issued an order today addressing two pending petitions filed by the State Office of the Public Defender regarding the release or changes in the conditions of confinement of inmates amid concerns of a potential COVID-19 outbreak in Hawaii’s correctional centers and facilities. In its order, the court consolidated the two petitions and appointed retired Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA) Judge Daniel R. Foley as Special Master to work with the parties in a collaborative and expeditious manner to address the issues raised in the petitions, and to recommend a resolution while protecting public health and safety.  An initial summary report from the Special Master is due by April 9, 2020.

Department of Transportation:

Want to Know about Traffic?

HDOT has begun sharing traffic volume data on major state routes during the stay-at-home period associated with the COVID-19 crisis.  Once the crisis ends, the department will continue to update data as an economic indicator.  The data now is helping to verify the capabilities of highways to accommodate extended lane closure hours and to provide general data on compliance with the Governor’s Emergency Proclamations.

Department of Land and Natural Resources:


Last Wednesday, all DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) restrooms statewide at state small boat harbors (SBH) and boat ramps reopened. Since then, vandalism, destruction and filth has occurred at these public restroom facilities and criminal activities at these sites have scared away individuals trying to use these them. Toilet paper has been stolen from all bathrooms and almost all have had their dispensers broken. At least one restroom facility has been closed due to the toilet being stuffed with materials.   Currently, Wai’anae SBH is not facing the destruction and disregard that other SBH restrooms are experiencing.  The Pu’uhonua o Wai’anae and Hui Aloha asked DOBOR to open bathrooms and have offered to assist in maintaining them and caring for them. The two community groups have set up bathroom brigades to curb vandalism and ensure facilities there are stocked with supplies. Under their stewardship the Wai’anae SBH restrooms are otherwise spotless. However, because of vandalism at night, DLNR in consultation with the Pu’uhonua, will be closing the Wai’anae restrooms at 4:00 p.m. daily. If any community groups would like to help for any DLNR restrooms or other public comfort stations please contact theBehavioral Health and Homelessness Statewide Unified Response Group (BHH-SURG) at:

State Cancels Lana‘i Axis Deer Hunt Due To COVID-19 Risks

The 2020 deer rifle season within the Lana‘i Cooperative Game Management Area, is being cancelled due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19. The season was scheduled to run through May 17, 2020. The DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) reports efforts are underway to notify hunters who are impacted by this cancellation.

A new date for the hunt has not been set, but DOFAW noted that it will make every effort to provide an Axis deer hunting opportunity later this the year if the risk of spreading the coronavirus is no longer a threat. The Lana‘i deer hunting season is very popular, bringing hundreds of visitors to the island from in-state and out-of-state. With both domestic and interisland travel restricted and passengers under mandatory self-quarantine measures, it would be very difficult for hunters to even get to Lana‘i. Additional information on available hunting opportunities:

Department of Defense:

More Information on Major Disaster Declaration

The Hawai’i Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) is already moving to support an expedited process for Personal Assistance through an online application process with our State Partners, which will help with the volume of applicants from this unprecedented incident and its consequent reimbursements. Staff will be allotted for these and we are working on a request for these resources. Yesterday President Trump declared a major disaster for the State of Hawai’i as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This declaration, makes the State of Hawai’i eligible for reimbursement through the Public Assistance Program at a 75% Federal Cost Share. The Individual Assistance (IA) Program for disaster-related emergency facilities and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMPG) for mitigation measures to reduce the risk of life are currently under review.

Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism

Take Time to Reply to 2020 Census

Your ʻohana counts. In this time of crisis, we need to count everyone living in Hawai‘i for the 2020 Census. Funding for our state government and local communities depends on the Census count. It supports public schools, student loans for college, special education, Medicaid and Medicare, roads, public housing, food assistance programs, social services, and much more.

Hawai‘i’s response rate has been lower than the national average: 33.9% vs. 41.3% as of April 1. Shape Hawai‘i’s future and respond to the 2020 Census online at, call 1-844-330-2020, or return your census forms by mail.

Hawai‘i State Senate

Hana Highway restrooms remain closed

Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English (Hāna, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i and Kaho‘olawe) announced today that public restrooms along the Hana Highway will remain closed until further notice while the highway is restricted to local traffic only.

“The Hana Highway is closed to slow the spread of COVID-19 into the remote East Maui community, where supplies are limited and emergency medical help is very far away,” said Senator English. “No one should be using the highway except for East Maui residents needing emergency assistance and life-saving necessities not available in Hana.” The DLNR Division of State Parks maintains two restrooms along the Hana Highway at Kaumahina and Pua‘aka‘a Wayside parks that are now closed until further notice. In addition, Waiʻānapanapa State Park and its restrooms are also closed due to COVID-19. “I know there are kupuna who want to use these restrooms when they must make the long trip into town, but they are the very people who should be avoiding contact with these public toilets,” said Senator English.

Five Tips for Conquering COVID-19 Stress

Edward Mersereau, Deputy Director of Behavioral Health

Advice from DOH Deputy Director of Behavioral Health Edward Mersereau

 Feeling stressed and overwhelmed by the constant news about COVID-19 and its threat to our communities? You’re not alone. We asked Edward Mersereau, deputy director of behavioral health for the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH), to share some tips on maintaining our mental and emotional health during this time.

Mersereau is an expert on stress management, with a career in counseling and clinical social work spanning more than 25 years. He says social isolation doesn’t have to mean emotional isolation; there are ways to care for yourself and others while practicing social distancing. Here are Mersereau’s valuable tips.

  • Keep things in perspective
    While it’s important to stay informed, try to limit your intake of news about the COVID-19 pandemic. Take a break from watching, reading or listening to news stories, including social media. Refocus on fun, engaging activities, games or crafts. And share your feelings, worries and concerns with others to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
  • Use technology
    We live in a time of amazing technology allowing us to stay personally connected without in-person, physical meetings. Take time from your day to call loved ones you would normally visit with in-person. Virtual, online meetings with friends and family are a great way to see and talk with them.
  • Keep the faith, stay in touch
    Although Gov. Ige has advised limiting gatherings at houses of worship, faith communities can set up phone trees to maintain contact with others who are staying at home, especially seniors and congregation members who are more vulnerable going out into the public. Offer to call and chat with others in your congregation.
  • Stay active
    Exercise is critical not only for our physical health, but also our mental health. Reconnect with nature. Go for walks, hikes and runs outside while maintaining social distancing. Take a moment to enjoy the calm and fresh air.
  • Reach out for support
    The DOH has expanded the services of its 24-hour Crisis Line of Hawaii to support residents who may be anxious or worried as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Call 1 (800) 753-6879, or text the word ALOHA to 741741. Staff are ready to take your call 24/7.


Office of the Governor:

Small Business Administration Details Paycheck Protection Program

Jane Sawyer, the District Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), joined Gov. Ige today during his daily media teleconference to provide more details on the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program. It’s part of the “The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” (also known as CARES Act). This program gives small businesses access to short-term cash flow assistance aimed at helping businesses deal with the immediate global impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. These loans are made by approved lenders, certified by the SBA and are guaranteed by the federal government.

Department of Health:

First COVID-19 Death Possibly Travel-Related

The first death from COVID-19 has been confirmed as an older adult O‘ahu resident who had recently traveled from Las Vegas. DOH reports 34 new COVID-19 cases today — one is a minor and 33 are adults. The majority of cases are residents (26), one (1) is a visitor and seven (7) are unknown and pending investigation. There are now a total of 258 presumptive or confirmed cases in the state.

Community Surveillance testing has conducted roughly 380 tests to date on representative samples from every island with one (1) positive result on O‘ahu, reinforcing there is limited and localized community spread on O‘ahu.


Total Number of Individuals Tested

by Clinical and State Laboratories

Positive Negative
10,462 256 10,206


County of Diagnosis New Cases Reported since


(including new cases)

Total Released from Isolation
Honolulu 25 182 49
Hawai‘i 3 18 6
Maui 1 26 11
Kaua‘i 0 12 3
Residents Diagnosed outside HI 0 2  
Pending investigation 5 18  
Total 34 258 69
Deaths 0 1  

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority:

Arrival Numbers Up on First Day of Interisland Self-Quarantine Rules

Yesterday, 906 passengers arrived in Hawai‘i on the sixth day of the state’s 14-day mandatory self-quarantine for all incoming passengers. The chart below does not include interisland travel.

Kona Maui O‘ahu Līhu‘e


Crew 13 26 169 15 223
Intended Resident 114 114
Resident 53 39 225 4 321
Transit 15 72 87
Visitor 24 13 120 4 161
Grand Total 90 93 700 23 906
Flights 6 7 21 4 38

Department of Transportation:

First Day of Interisland Travel Quarantine Order Described as Orderly

Few passengers and compliance led to smooth implementation of the self-quarantine rules for all interisland travelers. Arrival numbers are now down more than 98.5% from last March. It is anticipated to drop even more with fewer interisland passengers. All interisland travelers are required to fill-out out a declaration form, which will be collected at a TSA checkpoint prior to their departure. This is different from domestic and international travelers who submit the form upon arrival in Hawai‘i. The form can also be filled out in advance and is available at

Passengers who are traveling for medical reasons for treatment or to see a specialist should also wear a mask and practice social distancing. If a patient does not have a mask, they can use a homemade mask, but even if they do not have one, they will not be denied on the flight. They can still travel and go to their appointment.

Essential workers while traveling through the airport and on the flight should wear a mask and social distance themselves. Essential workers while on another island for work need to quarantine themselves when not working. When they get home, they don’t need to quarantine themselves. Exemption inquiries and requests should be emailed to:

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs:

Consumer Protection Office Provides Resources for Landlords and Tenants

Governor Ige’s recent emergency proclamations concerning the coronavirus, have invoked special legal requirements applicable to Landlords and Tenants in Hawai‘i. The Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) is providing answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) to assist homeowners and renters with inquiries regarding the Landlord-Tenant code. The guidance provided is current as of March 31, 2020 and may be subject to change per actions taken at the state and/or federal level. The FAQS along with more information regarding the Hawai‘i Landlord-Tenant code:

Dept. of the Attorney General:

Scam Alert from the AG and Consumer Protection Office

Hawaiʻi Attorney General Clare E. Connors and Hawaiʻi Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) Executive Director Stephen Levins are alerting Hawaiʻi residents about a wave of COVID-19 scams occurring as a result of the global Coronavirus pandemic. These scams focus on all areas of consumer vulnerability in an attempt to capitalize on fear and rapidly changing developments.

It’s important that during this trying time, residents remain vigilant when online shopping, as well as in communications with those offering what seem to be too-good-to-be-true opportunities. For information regarding SCAM prevention, assistance, and up-to-date tips, please visit:


Department of Defense:

Hawai‘i National Guardsmen Ready for COVID-19 Response

The Hawai‘i National Guard has been partially activated and is standing ready to provide community support during the COVID-19 crisis. Airmen from the Air National Guard’s, Medical Detachment 1 are carrying out daily temperature screenings and health surveys for guardsmen on active duty. Their job is to make sure that guardsmen remain healthy for the duration of their deployments. Currently the guard is doing planning and logistics in support of the state and is prepared to take on any tasks as assigned by the governor.

State Foundation on Arts and Culture

Stress Relief!

When times are difficult, we often turn to music, read a book or engage in the arts.  Participating in creative activities is a way to find meaning in difficult times. The Arts affirm life. The State Foundation on Arts and Culture has compiled a curated list of various arts experiences, available online for all ages and abilities. The list includes links to online performances by Hawai‘i arts and culture organizations, lesson plans and activity guides for educators, and coloring pages. This list will be updated as more resources become available.


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

 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.


 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

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


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

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.

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