04/09/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

April 9, 2020
Yesterday afternoon, I hosted a telephone town hall with over 10,000 residents from across the state to provide updates, information and answers to questions about the Coronavirus crisis. My guest was Jane Sawyer, Hawaii’s Small Business Administration Director, and she answered many questions about what kind of assistance is available to Hawaii’s struggling small business owners. (You can listen to the whole event here.)
I know you’ll have more questions as this pandemic continues. I’m hosting another tele-town hall next week Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. -- details are below. In the meantime, please visit my COVID-19 resources webpage which may be helpful to you as it continues to be updated with new information.
If 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.
Mahalo and be well,
Tulsi Gabbard
Member of Congress (HI-02)

10,000+ Joined Yesterday’s Tele-Town Hall, Another Next Week

During my tele-town hall yesterday afternoon, I was joined by Jane Sawyer, the Hawai‘i District Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), who answered questions about the different small business assistance programs available to you — like the Paycheck Protection and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs. You can learn more about these programs on the SBA’s “Coronavirus Relief Options” webpage, but you can also reach out directly to Jane and her team in Hawai‘i for answers to questions specific to you (hawaiigeneral@sba.gov | 808.541.2990).
My next tele-town hall will take place next Wednesday, April 15. If you would like to join the tele-town hall, please sign up by visiting my website by Tuesday, April 14th.
The event will also be live-streamed at gabbard.house.gov/live where you can listen in and ask questions during the event.
Telephone Town Hall | COVID-19 Update # 5
Wednesday, April 15 at 4:00 p.m. Hawai‘i Time

Where’s My Economic Impact Payment?

That is one of the most common questions I get asked in my office and during my tele-town halls. The Treasury Department has had a delayed rollout of the program Congress passed as part of the CARES Act — a direct benefit to get the money where it is needed most, in the hands of families across America who are being hit the hardest. 
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is creating a website — Where’s My Economic Impact Payment — to help you find out where your payment is, and to provide missing information should it be required. The Treasury Department and IRS have said they plan on opening the portal next week. I will keep you updated on when the website goes live.

Help for Universities, Colleges, and Students

Many students across Hawai‘i are concerned about their student loans. This pandemic has resulted in colleges and universities closing their physical classrooms and dorms. Many students have been caught up in the struggle to find housing and get the resources they need to switch to distance learning.
Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced how more than $6 billion in aid — passed by Congress through the CARES Act — will be allocated to colleges and universities across the country and distributed as cash grants to students impacted by the crisis.

Learning from Home with the Library of Congress and Smithsonian Institution

With many children learning from home and teachers modifying their curriculum for distance learning, the Library of Congress (www.loc.gov) and Smithsonian Institution (www.si.edu) are a treasure trove of information and a wealth of resources. The House Committee on Administration has put together these guides for the resources that the Library of Congress and Smithsonian Institution have available.

And remember...

The federal income tax filing and payment deadline has been postponed until July 15, 2020. Learn more about what the IRS is doing during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 Hawai‘i News

Testing in Hawai‘i — To date, there are 442 individuals in Hawai‘i who have tested positive for COVID-19. There were 7 new cases since yesterday. Of the 442 cases, 42 remain hospitalized and 251 have been released from isolation.
Food Distribution to Those in Need on the Big Island — There are many organizations across Hawai‘i County that provide emergency food assistance. For more information about distribution points and days residents can get assistance, visit the County of Hawai ‘i’s COVID-19 Resources Food Distribution webpage.
Testing Tomorrow in Hana — Free drive-through COVID-19 testing will take place in Hana on Friday, April 10, in the parking lot across from the tennis court at the Hana Ball Park. Testing will be provided at no-cost through a partnership with Dr. Scott Miscovich of Premier Medical Group and the County of Maui.
  • Testing for Essential Workers ONLY from 8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. HT, employee identification cards required
  • Testing for the general public begins at 9:00 a.m.
Counties Shift Services Online — Counties across the state are helping us maintain social distancing by easing some deadlines and shifting services online. In today’s video message, Mayor Kawakami outlines several ways Kaua‘i is making government more accessible to you during this pandemic. From the Planning Department to the Department of Public Works (and more), the County continues to work for you during this crisis.

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