4/22 Governor’s Facebook Live with Scott Murakami, DLIR Director:
The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations is working as fast as it can, given its antiquated system, to handle the avalanche of unemployment claims. In February, DLIR received about 700 claims each week. Recently, in one day, DLIR received some 25,000 filings. Claims are being processed faster, thanks to an increase in staffing and volunteers and additional claims processing centers. Director Murakami said individuals can check the status of their claims 24/7 at https://huiclaims2020.hawaii.gov/status. He also urged people to make sure their applications are complete and accurate before they submit them since it affects how quickly they receive payments. DLIR is creating a whole new system for federal pandemic fund payments in May for self-employed individuals and gig workers — a group previously not covered by unemployment benefits.
4/23 Facebook Live with Scott Morishige, Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness, and Eddie Mersereau, Deputy Director, Behavioral Health Administration
Health care and service providers are coordinating care for the vulnerable homeless population statewide. Questions included how facilities are being used to prevent the spread of COVID-19, how hospitals are coordinating with sites after someone is tested, and what actions are being taken on all islands to address the needs, now and for the longer term. A website, https://health.hawaii.gov/bhhsurg offers unified guidance to staff and providers. It is also a place where community members can find out how they can help.
Visit the governor’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/GovernorDavidIge and go to “videos” to see recent Facebook Live interviews and the governor’s COVID-19 news conferences.
Department of Health
Single Digit COVID-19 Cases Reported for 5th Day in a Row
Four (4) new positive cases of coronavirus are being reported by DOH, with one (1) on O‘ahu, one (1) on Hawai‘i island and two (2) on Maui. All of the new cases are adult Hawai‘i residents.
Laboratory* Testing Data
|Total Number of Individuals Tested by Clinical and State Laboratories||Positive||Negative|
*Electronic Laboratory Reporting 29 test results were inconclusive.
Hawai‘i COVID-19 Counts as of 12:00 noon, April 23, 2020
|Island of Diagnosis||New Cases||Reported since
(including new cases)
|Total Released from Isolation|
|Residents Diagnosed outside HI||0||6|
|Total released from isolation||455|
** 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.
Department of the Attorney General
Nineteen Travelers Sent Home with Assistance from VASH
Today, Hawai‘i State Attorney General Clare Connors recognized the assistance from the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawai‘i (VASH) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Connors said, “The assistance of VASH during this crisis is invaluable to law enforcement. The ability to return people quickly to their airports of origin during the coronavirus crisis greatly assists law enforcement’s ability to ensure the success of our statewide emergency measures. The fact that scarce government funds do not need to be expended for these return trips also helps fulfill the mission of keeping Hawai‘i safe. All of us in the law enforcement community are deeply grateful for this partnership.”
So far, with $25,000 in funding from the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawai‘i or VASH has paid to send 19 people back to their airports of origin during the COVID-19 crisis. Earlier this week, VASH paid for a pair from San Diego after they’d been arrested for violating quarantine. Last week, a woman was sent back to Los Angeles after posting her outdoor activities on social media. Two individuals apprehended late Wednesday were able to book their own flights. They initially were caught violating quarantine and given the opportunity to comply. They then changed hotels and violated again. Their prosecution by the Attorney General’s office is pending, but as these quarantine violations are misdemeanors, they may be resolved in absentia. Special agents from the Attorney General’s office directed their escort to a flight to ensure their departure from the State.
Jessica Lani Rich, VASH President and CEO said, “We’ve been helping victims of crime or other adversity they may have experienced in Hawai‘i for the past 23 years. During this unprecedented public health crisis, we are supporting the return of individuals who arrive from the mainland, who do not have pre-arranged lodging and may need financial assistance for their return flights.” So far during the COVID-19 pandemic, flights have been arranged to at least a half-dozen mainland airports and to Guam. For individuals arrested for violating the self-quarantine rules, they have the option of arranging payment of fines with the courts in lieu of returning to Hawai‘i for trials.
Hawai‘i Tourism Authority
444 Passengers Arrive on Wednesday
Today marks one month since the state’s mandatory 14-day self-quarantine started for all passengers arriving in Hawai‘i from out of state. Yesterday, 421 passengers arrived in Hawai‘i, including 109 visitors and 166 residents. This table shows the breakdown of incoming flights to the state. The table below in DBEDT’s section includes interisland travel.
AIRPORT ARRIVALS FOR WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22, 2020
|Intended New Resident||45||1||46|
Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
DBEDT is reporting the following interisland passenger numbers for Hawai‘i airports for April 20, 2020.
Department of Defense
Private Non-Profit Organizations Invited to Apply for FEMA Public Assistance
According to the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency, faith-based organizations, in addition to other community, volunteer, and non-profit organizations with emergency protective measure expenses related to the ongoing COVID-19 event, may be eligible for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Public Assistance Program as part of a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration. As part of its mission, FEMA provides grants to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments so they can continue offering critical and essential community services.
Types of organizations which provide critical services that may qualify for FEMA Public Assistance (PA) grants include:
- Private schools that provide elementary or secondary education or an institution of higher education
- Hospitals and other medical-treatment facilities
- Utilities including water, sewer, and electrical systems
Types of non-critical, essential services that may be eligible for PA grants include:
- Senior citizen and community centers or other community services
- Food programs
- Educational enrichment activities
- Custodial and day care services
- Disability residential services
- Assisted living and low-income housing
- Homeless shelters and rehabilitation services
- Performing and community arts centers
Additionally, when any organization provides emergency protective measures such as sheltering and feeding eligible at-risk individuals, FEMA may reimburse the costs of those services. Only organizations with state or IRS tax-exempt status may be considered. For more information about eligible essential and critical service providers:
Department of Education
EOEL Launches Resource Website for Families with Young Kids and Providers
The Hawaiʻi Executive Office on Early Learning (EOEL) is launching a new resource
website for families with young kids and education providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The website is designed for younger ages and provides a tool, so families and educators don’t have to sift through material meant for older children and higher-grade levels. The website also includes resources on how to apply for child-care subsidies and where to find emergency care for essential workers. To access site:
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