Hawaii COVID-19 Daily News Digest April 21, 2020

Governor’s Office:

Governor Ige Joins People Statewide in Extending Condolences to Victim’s Families

“We are saddened by these additional deaths and the toll the pandemic is taking on the families and friends of those affected,” said Gov. Ige. “This is a serious disease especially for those with pre-existing health conditions and older adults. It is critical that we all comply with the stay at home order, practice social distancing, and continue to wear a mask whenever we go out to protect others.” Maui Mayor Michael Victorino released the following statement on the fifth COVID-19-related death in Maui County: “A fifth death related to COVID-19 in Maui County has been confirmed by the Department of Health. Joycelyn and I extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of this Maui County resident. We mourn for each and every person lost to this virus, and ask the community to surround each family with love and support.

Department of Health:

Two Additional COVID-19 Deaths Brings Hawai‘i Total to Twelve

The Hawai‘i Dept. of Health is reporting two additional coronavirus related deaths late last night. These deaths bring the total in the state to twelve (12) since tracking began on Feb. 28, 2020.

Deaths occurred on O‘ahu and on Maui and both are men, 65-years-old, or older. On O‘ahu, the man had underlying health conditions and was hospitalized in late March. After getting better, he had been discharged, but his health subsequently declined and he passed away at home yesterday. On Maui, the man who passed also had underlying health conditions. He had been in the hospital at Maui Memorial Medical Center (MMMC) since late last year. This person’s death is considered related to the MMMC cluster, which as of yesterday had 36 staff and 20 patients under investigation as potentially associated with the cluster.

Only Two New COVID-19 Cases in Latest Report

Two new cases of coronavirus are being reported by DOH. Both are adults on Maui. Total cases of COVID-19 reported in Hawai‘i since Feb. 28, 2020 stands at 586.

LABORATORY* TESTING DATA

Total Number of Individuals Tested by Clinical and State Laboratories Positive Negative
25,185 584 24,567

*Electronic Laboratory Reporting 34 test results were inconclusive.

Hawai‘i COVID-19 Counts as of 12:00 noon, April 21, 2020

Island of Diagnosis New Cases Reported since

2/28/2020

(including new cases)

Total Released from Isolation
O‘ahu 0 385 322
Hawai‘i 0 64 38
Maui 2 108 60
Kaua‘i 0 21 17
Moloka‘i 0 2 0
Lana‘i 0 0 0
Residents Diagnosed outside HI 0 6
Unknown** 0 0
Total 2 586
Total released from isolation     437
Deaths 2 12  

** 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 Island of Diagnosis. A negative number indicates the number of previously unknown cases that have now been assigned to a county.

Hawaiicovid19.com

Cluster Updates

DOH investigators continue to closely monitor a number of clusters of COVID-19 across the state. At Maui Memorial Medical Center, as of yesterday, there are 56 people under investigation as potentially associated with a cluster. 36 are staff members and 20 are patients.

At McDonalds restaurants at Kailua-Kona on Hawai‘i island a total of 32 people are under investigation as potentially associated with a cluster: 19 employees at three (3) separate locations and 13 household contacts. No customers are identified as part of this cluster.

Mask Requirements and Exceptions

Under the State’s emergency order, everyone is required to wear a mask in essential businesses; however, there are exceptions. While masks are mandated to protect yourself and the people around you, children under the age of 2, and anyone with asthma, COPD, or other respiratory issues may be exempt from wearing the masks if it affects their breathing.

https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/covid-19/faq

 

Department of the Attorney General:

Two Visitors Arrested After Violating COVID-19 Emergency Rules

A 34-year-old woman from Las Vegas, Kimberly Kim Tien, and a 33-year-old man from Sydney, Australia, Edwin Htun, were arrested this morning for violating Emergency Rules in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since Htun is an Australian citizen, authorities notified the embassy of his arrest. The pair were reported by a manager at the LayLow Waikiki Hotel, after being notified by an “irate” citizen that Tien was posting on Instagram showing her being out of her hotel room in violation of the State’s 14-day-self-quarantine law for people arriving in Hawai‘i. Special agents from the Dept. of the Attorney General interviewed staff at the hotel and obtained records that showed that the pair repeatedly left their hotel room from the day they arrived on April 15th through yesterday. Tien and Htun were arrested at 8:45 this morning, were booked and taken back to their hotel to complete their quarantine period.

 

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority:

444 Passengers Arrive on Monday

Yesterday, 444 passengers arrived on O‘ahu. There were no direct flights to any other islands from out of state. The total includes 111 visitors and 151 residents. This table shows the breakdown of O‘ahu flights and passengers. The table below in DBEDT’s section includes interisland travel.

AIRPORT ARRIVALS FOR MONDAY, APRIL 20, 2020

Kona Maui O‘ahu Līhu‘e   Total
Crew 89 89
Intended New Resident 38 38
Resident 151 151
Transit 55 55
Visitor 111 111
Grand Total 0 0 444 0 444
Flights 0 0 12 0 12

https://www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/media/4455/042120-passenger-count-press-release.pdf

 

Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism:

DBEDT is reporting the following interisland passenger numbers for Hawai‘i airports for April 18, 2020.

Departing Airport HNL KOA ITO OGG LIH MKK LNY Total

Departing

Honolulu (HNL) 0 26 45 29 32 8 0 140
Kona (KOA) 30 0 0 3 0 0 0 33
Hilo (ITO) 56 0 0 0 0 0 0 56
Kahului (OGG) 86 3 0 0 0 4 5 98
Līhuʻe (LIH) 37 0 0 0 0 0 0 37
Moloka‘i (MKK) 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Lanaʻi (LYN) 2 0 0 4 0 0 0 6
Waimea (MUE) 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2
Total Arriving 211 29 45 39 32 12 5 373

https://dbedt.hawaii.gov/economic/covid19/

 

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands:

Federal Funds to Provide DHHL Beneficiaries Rental Relief

A new program to provide rental relief for Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) applicant waiting list beneficiaries was approved by the Hawaiian Homes Commission (HHC) on Tuesday, Apr. 21, 2020. The DHHL COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program will provide eligible native Hawaiian beneficiaries with rental assistance using Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant funds. The program allows those eligible beneficiaries who have experienced a loss of income or job as a result of COVID-19, to receive assistance with rent or their security deposit for up to six months. HHC Chairman William J. Ailā, Jr. said, “The Department is pleased to announce the opportunity for rental relief to DHHL applicants on the waiting list as we continue to prepare 1,300 lots statewide still on schedule to be produced over the next five years. During these challenging and uncertain times, I want all of our beneficiaries to know that they are on our minds daily, and collectively, we are working diligently to provide support.” Qualified applicants must have already been on DHHL’s waiting list as of Dec. 31, 2018 and have a household annual income that does not exceed 80 percent of the area median income.

HHC Approves Rental Relief Option for DHHL General Lessees, Licensees, Permittees

The HHC has also approved an action to accept rental relief requests from qualified general lessees, licensees, and permittees on land managed by DHHL statewide amid the COVID-19 pandemic. HHC’s approval includes the delegatory authorization of Chairman William J. Ailā, Jr. to review, approve, and authorize the requests on a case-by-case basis. The rental relief will act as a deferral of payments to qualified requestors and will cover a period of six months from April 1, 2020 through September 30, 2020. An amortized interest rate of no less than four percent will be applied against the rent relief period balance. For latest on COVID-19 impacts on DHHL activities:

http://dhhl.hawaii.gov/covid-19

 

Department of Taxation:

Tax Deadline Looming for Stimulus Checks

If you have not filed your 2018 or 2019 federal tax returns and have dependents, you must take action by Wednesday, Apr. 22, 6:00 a.m. HST to ensure you receive the full amount of your Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check) this year. If you do not meet this deadline, the $500 per qualifying child will be paid with your tax year 2020 return filing. You can use the IRS Non-Filer tool online to register to have the $500 per eligible child added to your $1,200 Economic Impact Payment. If you filed federal tax returns for 2018 or 2019, you will automatically receive the payment if you qualify. Use the Get My Payment tool to check on the status of your Economic Impact Payment date and to update your direct deposit information.

https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments

 

Hawai‘i Public Housing Authority:

Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in Public Housing Communities

The Hawai‘i Public Housing Authority (HPHA) is stepping up to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in its public housing communities. In addition to the many initiatives launched, HPHA workers will distribute staff-made and commercial-grade face masks to all HPHA participants statewide, many of whom are elderly, disabled, or minors. In addition to providing masks, HPHA will provide cleaning supplies to its residents and continue providing thousands of meals. HPHA has already waived all minimum rent due to COVID-19-related income loss, and it’s working to launch free WiFi to all public housing residents. HPHA Executive Director Hakim Ouansafi said, “None of these activities could be carried out without the dedication and support of the HPHA staff, including property managers, office and maintenance staff and many others who keep showing up to work and make a difference in people’s lives. The HPHA continues to step up its efforts to keep our at-risk seniors and families as safe as possible during these trying times.”

http://www.hpha.hawaii.gov/news/docs/HPHA%20Press%20Release_COVID-19%20Public%20Housing%20Response_4-20-20%20V2.pdf

 

Department of Accounting and General Services:

2020 King Kamehameha Celebration Events Cancelled

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the King Kamehameha Celebration Commission (KKCC) has announced it will be cancelling all King Kamehameha Celebrations statewide this year, including lei draping ceremonies, parades, and the ho`olaule`a. KKCC Chair Kainoa Daines said, “The decision to cancel these major, statewide events was made with the health and safety of our island communities and kūpuna in mind. While we are hopeful that the worst of the COVID-19 health crisis will be behind us by June, we feel the prudent response at this time is to cancel our events so that all involved in our respective King Kamehameha Celebration festivities across the state can focus on matters important to health, welfare and economy. We look forward to commemorating and celebrating Kamehameha Pai‘ea in 2021.” For more information, updates, and 2021 dates:

http://ags.hawaii.gov/kamehameha/

 

Hawai‘i House of Representatives:

House Select Committee Meets on COVID-19 Develops Plan to Restart Economy

The Hawai‘i House of Representatives Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness held another meeting Monday, where they discussed plans to restart Hawai‘i’s economy. The committee heard detailed presentations by Alan Oshima, who is heading Governor David Ige’s Hawaiʻi Economic and Community Recovery & Resiliency Plan, and Hawaiʻi Medical Service Association President & CEO Dr. Mark Mugiishi. Oshima presented a report that states prerequisites to incrementally reopening the economy in three phases: phase 1, stabilization of the COVID-19 cases; phase 2, the gradual reopening and recovery of the economy; and phase 3, building a resilient economy with strong business and job growth. Oshima said we are now in the stabilization phase and moving cautiously, but quickly forward. Any move to phase 2 reopening must be tied to healthcare readiness. While they’re still coming up with a timeline, the plans will later be submitted to a leadership team that has the authority to implement them. The team includes Gov. David Ige, House Speaker Scott Saiki, Senate President Ron Kouchi, First Hawaiian Bank CEO Robert S. Harrison, Bank of Hawaii President & CEO Peter Ho, and several leaders in the medical field. The committee has a website with videos of all its briefings and accompanying documents:

https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/specialcommittee.aspx?comm=cov&year=2020

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PDF: COVID-19 Daily News Digest April 21, 2020

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