Hawaii COVID-19 Daily News Digest April 16, 2020

Office of the Governor:

President Issues Guidelines For Re-Opening States

President Donald Trump has issued guidelines for re-opening the State amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While there were only 11 new positive cases today, and it appears Hawai‘i is flattening the curve, the state currently doesn’t meet the criteria for a phased opening. The guidelines require a downward trajectory of cases for a 14-day period. Gov. Ige said, “We are not there yet, so please continue your hard work and perseverance. We will get through this together.”

Governor Continues Working on Hawai’i Economic Plan

Gov. Ige and his administration are continuing to look into the economic crisis Hawai‘i is facing. Today the governor said the State expects to have a better financial picture by May, but is projecting a $1.5 billion budget shortfall due to the decrease in tax collections. When commenting on how to make up the funds, Gov. Ige said, “Salary reductions or furloughs are the last thing anyone wants to see happen. I want to assure everyone that we will explore all options before making any decisions about salary reductions for government employees. We have already been looking at cost controls on the expense side. We are also looking at what can be done to access the rainy day fund. This requires action by the State Legislature, and we are in discussions to determine what is possible. We are also looking at using budget reserve funds and federal monies available through the CARES Act.” Gov. Ige also reiterated if there were to be any salary cuts, it will start with him and his cabinet.



Office of the Lieutenant Governor:

Hawaiʻi Telehealth Initiatives 

As the state’s COVID-19 healthcare liaison, I’m working with our healthcare task force to ensure continuity of care, particularly for individuals with chronic underlying conditions. Telehealth or “virtual health” is a great tool for Hawaiʻi residents to take care of their health needs during this time. It allows patients to meet one-on-one with their healthcare provider without leaving home. For providers, it’s a great option for keeping their practice operational during this difficult time.

Basic medical care, psychological appointments, dermatology, post-surgical follow-ups and consultations for other chronic diseases like diabetes can all be handled via telehealth. There are some medical needs that people will need to continue to visit their healthcare provider. If you think telehealth might be right for you, contact your healthcare provider. Always think “Call before you click.”

Thank you to our partners from Queen’s, Kaiser, HMSA, JABSOM and DHS Med-Quest for joining us today. We appreciate your support.



Department of Health:

Eleven New Cases of COVID-19 Reported

Ten (10) adults and one (1) minor are the eleven (11) new cases reported by the DOH as of noon today. Ten (10) of the cases are residents and one (1) is a non-resident. New cases are reported on O‘ahu and Maui.


Total Number of Individuals Tested by Clinical and State Laboratories Positive Negative
21,681 539 21,104

38 test results were inconclusive

Hawai‘i COVID-19 Counts as of 12:00 noon, April 16, 2020

Island of Diagnosis New Cases Reported since


(including new cases)

Total Released from Isolation
O‘ahu 4 373 284
Hawai‘i 0 41 30
Maui 3 93 44
Kaua‘i 0 21 16
Moloka‘i 0 2 Included in Maui numbers
Lana‘i 0 0 Included in Maui numbers
Residents Diagnosed outside HI 0 6
Unknown** 4 5
Total 11 541
Total released from isolation     374
Deaths 0 9  

** Refers to positive cases that have an unknown county of diagnosis at the time of this report. As more information becomes available for these cases, they are assigned to the proper County of Diagnosis. A negative number indicates the number of previously unknown cases that have now been assigned to a county.

Cluster Investigation Continues at Maui Memorial Medical Center

41 individuals are under investigation as potentially associated with a cluster of COVID-19 cases at Maui Memorial Medical Center (MMMC). This number includes 26 staff members, 14 patients and one undetermined. The main cluster involves at least 15 staff and eight (8) patients. 195 healthcare personnel and 93 patients have been tested as part of this investigation. While test results for possible new exposures are pending, DOH confirms that the implementation of extensive infection control measures throughout MMMC, reduces concerns for new transmissions events at the facility.

COVID-19 Investigations in Wahiawa

Two healthcare workers at Wahiawa General Hospital Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on O‘ahu have tested positive for COVID-19. The cases appear to be unrelated to each other, as well as a past case that occurred in late March. Given the two recent cases occurred within a week of each other, DOH cannot exclude possible association at this time. 12 people associated with the pair of cases have tested negative for the virus. Infection control measures and monitoring by the facility’s infection control preventionist is continuing. At the Wahiawa Center for Community Health, two healthcare workers have tested positive for COVID-19. DOH has reports of a third worker at the center who had been hospitalized, but it appears that the person was likely exposed while traveling out-of-state, has not had exposure with the other two people, and has not been at work since returning to Hawai‘i.

Update on Kona Restaurant Cases

There is one new positive case associated with the cluster among the McDonald’s restaurants in Kailua-Kona. Another employee at the Walmart location has tested positive. DOH is continuing to monitor employees and family members, all of whom are in isolation or quarantine. Both restaurants (at Kona Commons and at Walmart in Kailua-Kona) are temporarily closed. There is low-risk to the public, as only workers or their family members were identified as close contacts.

Household Surveys Planned on Kaua‘i

DOH’s Kaua‘i District Health Office will conduct a Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response, known as a CASPER survey, to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Kaua‘i households. Survey teams will go door-to-door, April 22-24, to 30 census tracts that are weighted towards more populated areas within the county. Seven houses within each tract will be systematically selected and surveyed. Survey teams are comprised of DOH staff with support from the Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency, Kaua‘i Medical Reserve Corps, and the American Red Cross. Teams will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and social distancing will be observed. Participating households can complete the survey over the phone, if preferred. Selected households will be asked about their knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to COVID-19, as well as the financial and mental health impacts on people in their households. Team members will have on vests identifying themselves as part of the DOH-CASPER survey team and will carry identification cards. All survey responses are confidential, and names and addresses won’t be collected.



Hawai‘i Tourism Authority:

764 Passengers Arrive on Wednesday, Including National Guard Soldiers  

Yesterday, 764 people arrived in Hawai‘i including 105 visitors and 480 residents. The returning resident count is particularly high for Wednesday because it includes about 300 National Guard Soldiers who returned from a deployment. 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   Total
Crew 9 85 6 100
Intended New Resident 44 1 45
Resident 23 437 20 480
Transit 34 34
Visitor 7 95 3 105
Grand Total 0 39 695 30 764
Flights 0 1 10 1 12




Department of Transportation:

HDOT Temporarily Closes Select Airport Gates, Baggage Claims

The Hawaiʻi Dept. of Transportation has temporarily closed sections of its airports because of low passenger volumes, which are down 99 percent from last year. At the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) the closures include all the B and C gates and nearly half of the baggage claims.

Link to map of baggage claim closures:


Link to map of second-floor gate closures:



Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism:

DBEDT is reporting the following interisland passenger numbers for Hawai‘i airports for April 13, 2020.

Departing Airport HNL KOA ITO OGG LIH MMK LNY MUE* Total


Honolulu (HNL) 0 156 125 167 189 35 2 0 674
Kona (KOA) 97 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 97
Hilo (ITO) 97 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 97
Kahului (OGG) 67 1 1 0 0 19 3 2 93
Līhuʻe (LIH) 67 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 67
Moloka‘i 27 0 0 14 0 0 0 0 41
Lanaʻi (LYN) 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
Total Arriving 358 157 126 182 189 54 5 2 1073


Department of Defense:

Soldiers Return Home From Deployment

About 300 Soldiers from the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard 1st Battalion, 487th Field Artillery were reunited with their families yesterday after returning from a nearly year-long deployment in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Soldiers took a chartered flight from Fort Bliss, Texas Wednesday, and were reunited with their families at a National Guard facility. Only two members from each Soldier’s family were allowed to attend and they had to stay inside their cars the entire time to follow social-distancing measures. Video/images of the Soldiers return:





Hawaiʻi House of Representatives:

Windward Oʻahu Lawmakers Holding Virtual Town Hall

Windward Oʻahu lawmakers will be holding a virtual town hall meeting on Thursday at 7 p.m. to talk about public health. They’ll be joined by Lt. Gov. Josh Green discussing the state’s COVID-19 efforts, Dr. Joshua Evans on keeping multi-generational families safe, and Kathleen Rhoads Merriam from DOH talking about mental health practices during this pandemic. At the end of the town hall, there will be a live question and answer via Zoom and Facebook. To watch: www.windwardmenu.com/townhall

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PDF: COVID-19 Daily News Digest April 16, 2020

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