04/22/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update
COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update
April 22, 2020
I am in Washington, DC and will be voting tomorrow on the next emergency response funding bill to support small businesses and hospitals in need.
On today’s tele-town hall, I will be talking about the bill and sharing what you need to know about your Economic Impact Payment with my guests from the IRS who will be joining us to answer your questions.
The tele-town hall will take place shortly, at 4:00 p.m. HT. If you have not already signed up to get a call from me directly about the event, you can still listen in online by visiting my website, gabbard.house.gov/live.
I always try to take as many questions as possible during these events, but if we can’t get to your question tonight, 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,
Member of Congress (HI-02)
2020 Census, Complete Yours Today!
During this afternoon’s tele-town hall, we will also be joined by Sharlette Poe, a Partnership Specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau based in Hawai‘i. She will tell us more about the Census and why it is so important that we all complete it today!
If you have not had a chance to do so yet, please visit 2020census.gov now. Make sure Hawai‘i is counted and gets its fair share!
IRS to Host Online Seminar on Economic Impact Payment
Tomorrow (April 23) at 9:00 a.m. HT, join IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig, Terry Lemons, Chief of IRS Communications & Liaison and James Clifford, Customer Service Strategy Project Manager for the Taxpayer First Act who will talk about the Economic Impact Payment program including eligibility, implementation, how to track down your benefit, how to protect yourself from scams and more. You must register for the event and can do so on the IRS webpage which also includes links to other video resources.
HHS Sends More Help To Healthcare Providers
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced an additional $100 billion in emergency relief funds from the CARES Act which was passed at the end of March. The Provider Relief Fund will help reduce the strain on our local healthcare providers as they deal with the pandemic. In particular, a portion of the funds will help states make sure that the uninsured are not left behind while $10 billion is specifically allocated to rural healthcare providers — like so many of our health clinics and hospitals in Hawai‘i.
CDC Director Redfield Says Possible 2nd Virus Wave in Winter Could Be Worse
In an interview with the Washington Post, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director, Dr. Robert Redfield, warned that unless states ramp up their ability to test, trace, track, and contain infections as well as improve medical supply stocks, the U.S. could be in for a bigger, second wave of COVID-19 later this year as it coincides with the next flu season.
COVID-19 Hawai‘i News
Testing in Hawai‘i — There were 6 new cases since yesterday and 0 additional COVID-19 related deaths. To date, there are 592 individuals in Hawai‘i who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 592 cases, 12 have died and 63 remain hospitalized and 444 have been released from isolation. There have been 26,362 lab tests conducted as of April 21.
Honolulu Extends Stay-at-Home Measures Through May 31, City Parks to Open — Yesterday, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell extended the city’s stay-at-home order through May 31. However, city parks will reopen Saturday for limited exercise activities.
Hawai‘i DOH Tracks Maui, Kona Clusters and HI AG Arrests Visitors Violating Emergency Rules — The HI DOH and AG are tracking clusters and visitors.
The HI Department of Health continues to monitor the recent cluster outbreaks in Maui and Kona. At Maui Memorial Medical Center, as of Monday, 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.
Meanwhile, the Attorney General office has arrested two visitors (from Las Vegas and Australia) for violating the state’s Emergency Rules, violating the 14-day quarantine order.
Face Masks Mandated for Customers Visiting Essential Businesses in Hawai‘i County — Hawai‘i County Mayor Harry Kim has issued a mandate, Emergency Rule No. 3, that face masks must be worn by all customers of essential businesses. This move follows similar and more stringent rules in other Hawai‘i Counties which have mandated the use of face mask coverings when outdoors.
Feeding Hawaii Together Tackles Honolulu Hunger During Pandemic — Local governments and non-profit organizations across the state are continuing to work hard to make sure that food insecurity does not add additional strain to residents already under pressure from the coronavirus crisis. In Honolulu, The Pantry by Feeding Hawaii Together is modifying its operations to be CDC compliant so that it can continue to meet the local need. You can read more here.
Hawai‘i Help for New Mothers and Young Children — The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), is a federally funded program which provides Hawai‘i residents with nourishing supplemental foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion and health and social service referrals. The participants of WIC are either pregnant, breastfeeding, or postpartum women, and infants and children under age five who meet income guidelines and have a medical or nutritional risk. You can learn more about the program here, including additional measures the state is taking to respond to the coronavirus crisis.
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.
Kona Screenings | Details
Mondays and Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. to 12noon
Keauhou Shopping Center
Honoka‘a One-Day Screening | Details
Friday, April 24 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Honoka‘a Sports Complex, Lower Level (Access by Akia Street)
Kapa‘au One-Day Screening | Details
Saturday, April 25 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Kamehameha Park in Kapa‘au, North Kohala
Lāna‘i City One-Day Screening | Details
Testing is by appointment only for residents 15 years old and older.
Saturday, April 25 from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Dole Administration Building, back parking lot (enter from the 7th Street side)
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.
Application for Determination of Insured Status
Unemployment Benefits Claim Status
Oahu Claims Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hilo Claims Office: email@example.com
Kona Claims Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
Maui Claims Office: email@example.com
Kauai Claims Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
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): email@example.com
Individuals who have received an email, letter or other message (screenshot) that says that they are disqualified from UI: firstname.lastname@example.org
Individuals who would like to request language assistance from UI (the interpretation services would be provided free of charge and via telephone): email@example.com