04/17/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

April 17, 2020
Over the past 5 weeks, I have hosted tele-town halls every Wednesday to share the latest news with you and connect you with federal, military, state, and community leaders who are working in different ways to help us beat this pandemic.
To join me for future tele-town hall events, sign up on my website (right-hand column).
And, if your friend has forwarded this e-newsletter to you, you can sign up here to receive future e-newsletter updates directly from me as soon as we send them out.
In the meantime, 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)

Treasury, IRS, VA Partner on Economic Impact Payments

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and IRS announced today that they are working directly with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to ensure Veterans and their beneficiaries who receive Compensation and Pension (C&P) benefit payments will receive their Economic Impact Payments automatically and without additional paperwork.

Latest Numbers on SBA PPP Funds Distributed to Hawai‘i

The U.S. Small Business Administration released its latest numbers summarizing the amount of funds distributed through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as of April 16. Over a million loans across the country were made to the tune of $342.2 billion. In Hawai‘i, 11,553 loans have been made, totaling $2,046,450,982. You can view the whole report here.

President Announces Federal Criteria to Re-Open Economy

Yesterday, the President announced a 3 phase plan to start reopening the country. The overview of the game plan is available online and starts with a list of the criteria that states should meet in order to proceed with efforts to reopen their communities and economies. Ultimately, the decision about timing and logistics will be made by Governors and Mayors. 

HHS: New Partnership for National Strategy on COVID-19 Therapies and Vaccines

The National Institutes of Health and the Foundation for NIH announced plans underway to launch a public-private partnership, known as the Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) partnership, with more than a dozen biopharmaceutical companies, HHS’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the European Medicines Agency, to develop a national strategy for a coordinated research response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Economic Impact Payment resources from the IRS...

IRS “Get My Payment” App:
Economic Impact Payment for Non-Filers:

COVID-19 Hawai‘i News

Testing in Hawai‘i — There are 12 new cases since yesterday. To date, there are 553 individuals in Hawai‘i who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 553 cases, 48 remain hospitalized and 390 have been released from isolation.
Remembering Our Kūpuna — During this public health crisis, our kūpuna are among the most vulnerable in the community. Several public and community efforts are working to ensure that they are cared for and have someone checking in on them or bringing food when needed. Here are some of the programs working across our state to serve them: Our Kūpuna | Help Is On The Way | Meals on Wheels.
Maui Economic Opportunity Non-Profit Helping with Food and Rent — To ensure hardworking individuals and families are able to obtain necessary food to maintain health and wellness, Maui Economic Opportunity will assist individuals and families experiencing a financial and economic hardship due to layoffs or a reduction in hours associated with COVID-19.
When applying for Rental or Food assistance, only one application is required for both services.  Required documents are needed to complete the application. Please refer to the Food Assistance Voucher Eligibility Form and Rental Initial Packet for required information and documentation for either service.
All applications will be processed via telephone, snail mail or email. MEO phone lines are open. For more information or if you need assistance, please give them a call. They will guide you through the process. Call 808-553-3216 or 808-553-3217.
REMINDER: Drive-Thru Testing Sites — Please make note of the drive-thru testing sites available across the state. We will do our best to keep them updated as changes are made.
Big Island
Hilo Screenings | Details
Sunday, April 19, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at the Ho`olulu Complex
Access only through the Pi’ilani/Hinano entrance.
Kona Screenings | Details
Mondays and Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. to 12noon
Keauhou Shopping Center
Upcoming Screenings Apr. 18-Apr. 22
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Testing will be available to those without insurance as well.
Saturday, April 18 at the Polynesian Cultural Center, Lāʻie
Sunday, April 19 at Kakaʻako Waterfront Park
Monday, April 20 at Koko Head District Park
Wednesday, April 22 at The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints, Wahiawā
REMINDER: Dept of Labor Resources — Here is a rundown of the new resources that Dept of Labor is making available to assist individuals filing unemployment insurance compensation claims.
General Website
Application for Determination of Insured Status
Unemployment Benefits Claim Status
Oahu Claims Office: ​dlir.ui.oahu@hawaii.gov
Hilo Claims Office: dlir.ui.hilo@hawaii.gov
Kona Claims Office: ​dlir.ui.kona@hawaii.gov
Maui Claims Office: dlir.ui.maui@hawaii.gov
Kauai Claims Office: dlir.ui.kauai@hawaii.gov
Individuals who would like to have their claim backdated (the backdate will be for their first week of less than full employment due to COVID-19): ​dlir.ui.backdate@hawaii.gov
Individuals who have received an email, letter or other message (screenshot) that says that they are disqualified from UI:​ dlir.ui.disqualified@hawaii.gov
Individuals who would like to request language assistance from UI (the interpretation services would be provided free of charge and via telephone): dlir.ui.languageassistance@hawaii.gov

Office Locations