04/01/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

April 1, 2020
I hope you will join me today for my next telephone town hall meeting which begins at 4:00 p.m. HT. You can participate by calling (888) 476-4187 at that time. On this call, I’ll be providing details on the third emergency funding bill that Congress passed last week and will be joined by Dr. Scott Miscovich who will talk about testing efforts here in Hawai‘i.
I and my team remain hard at work and available should you have any questions or if you are in need of assistance. Please call me at (808) 541-1986 or email me at TulsiOffice@mail.house.gov. And, you can visit my COVID-19 resources webpage which continues to be updated with new information that may be of help to you.
Mahalo and talk to you soon,
Tulsi Gabbard
Member of Congress (HI-02)

Telephone Town Hall Today at 4:00 p.m. HT

Dr. Scott Miscovich, a senior advisor to Lt. Gov. Josh Green and Founder of Premier Medical Group, will be discussing the latest developments regarding the coronavirus crisis. We have much to cover from how the latest emergency funding bill passed by Congress can help as well as what Hawai‘i is doing to improve testing across the state. I hope you will join us for this event which begins in just a couple hours.
Telephone Town Hall | COVID-19 Update # 3
Wednesday, April 1 at 4:00 p.m. Hawai‘i Time
Directly join by calling (888) 476-4187 at that time

CDC Says As Many As 25% Infected May Be Asymptomatic

During an interview with National Public Radio, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield noted that as many as 1 in 4 individuals infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus may not present symptoms. Dr. Redfield noted “That's important, because now you have individuals that may not have any symptoms that can contribute to transmission, and we have learned that in fact they do contribute to transmission.”
The information highlights the importance of stay-at-home orders and precautions being put into effect across almost all of the country, with at least 30 states having some measure in place as March came to a close, including Hawai‘i.

Today is Census Day!

Be counted! You can fill out the census safely from your home by mail, by phone, or online. Making sure everyone is counted in this year’s census is critical, as it will determine funding for schools, roads, public infrastructure, political representation, and the public health funding that our community gets for the next decade - even more important in a crisis like this. 
You can learn more about completing the census online and more about the 2020 Census by visiting 2020census.gov.

U.S.S. Teddy Roosevelt in Guam, Quarantining Infected Sailors

As infections have spread aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Teddy Roosevelt, the ship has docked in Guam and — with the permission of the Governor — infected sailors are being allowed to disembark but must go into immediate 14-day quarantines. The Pentagon and ship’s captain continue to work out a response to help combat the spread of the virus aboard and maintain the military readiness of the vessel and its crew.

CDC Recommends Putting Off Elective Surgery/Dental Work During Pandemic to Free Up Healthcare Staff, Medical Supplies

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov) are recommending that dental services should be limited to urgent and emergency visits only during this period of the pandemic. These actions help staff and patients stay safe, preserve personal protective equipment and patient care supplies, and expand available health system capacity.
The recommendation aligns with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) Adult Elective Surgery and Procedures Recommendations, which advises limiting all non-essential planned surgeries and procedures, including dental, until further notice.

Assisting U.S. Citizens and Permanent Legal Residents Abroad

Every day, hundreds of Americans are being evacuated and brought back home. The COVID-19 coronavirus global pandemic has left stranded many Americans abroad. If you need assistance in this regard, please call my Hawai‘i office at (808) 541-1986 and leave a message or email me at TulsiOffice@mail.house.gov.
In the meantime, please visit the State Department website and enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to assist in moving the process forward. 
We are regularly checking messages and will follow up with you. If you are unable to leave a message due to the large volume of calls we are fielding, please try back again as we want to be sure to connect with you.

COVID-19 Hawai‘i News

Testing in Hawai‘i — To date, there are 258 individuals in Hawai‘i who have tested positive for COVID-19. There were 34 new cases since yesterday. We continue to see some of the sharpest, daily increases in cases over the past few days.
As we learn more about the virus and how it affects different people, a stronger and more widespread testing regime remains a top priority to help prevent community spread of the disease.
Sentinel Tests Positive, Interisland Quarantine Now in Effect — While the state is looking to confirm that it has seen the first death attributed to COVID-19, it has reported the first of its sentinel tests that has come back positive. The system tests in specific areas to detect the trends in the spread of the virus and with the first positive detected, it is clear confirmation of community spread within Hawai‘i (as opposed to transmission from a visitor to the state). Knowing this will help our public officials adjust efforts to meet the changing nature of the pandemic as it impacts Hawai‘i.
Starting at 12:01 a.m. HT today, the state also began its interisland travel quarantine. This means that travelers between the islands must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival at their destinations. 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. This order is in effect until at least April 30.
More on Grab-and-Go from the HI Department of Education — The HI Department of Education has posted a helpful document outlining its Grab-and-Go meal program, including times and locations as well as a link where updates may be found. In its first week, the program served 16,000 breakfasts and 30,000 lunches with more sites coming.
Hilo Municipal Golf Course is Closed, Food Banks Open — As the state continues to take measures to support the stay-at-home precautions now in place, the County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation has announced the closure of Hilo Municipal Golf Course, effective April 1 and until further notice.
Meanwhile, Mayor Harry Kim highlighted the food bank emergency response to the pandemic on the Big Island continues, with dates and locations across the County in the coming week.
Maui County Partners Up to Provide Step-by-Step Instructions on Federal Programs for Small Businesses Hit by Pandemic — The County of Maui, Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Maui Economic Development Board teamed up to provide step-by-step instructions on how small businesses may apply to programs for funds dedicated to the emergency response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Kaua‘i County Housing Agency Says No Evictions or Foreclosures During Current Emergency Period — Kaua‘i County Housing Agency will not be evicting individuals from County-owned properties and no foreclosures of County-issued mortgage loans during the current COVID-19 emergency period, which extends to July 23, 2020. You can learn more and see the complete daily update video on Facebook.

And remember...

The federal income tax filing date has been postponed. Learn more about what the IRS is doing during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

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