04/23/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

April 23, 2020
Earlier today, I cast my vote for H.R.266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act,  which is the next round of emergency funds to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. While the majority of the bill helps replenish the Paycheck Payment Program (PPP) — which is important to help keep our small businesses afloat — the bill also provided additional funds for hospitals and coronavirus testing.
This bill injects $310 billion more into the PPP, with $30 billion set aside for community-based lenders, small banks and credit unions and $30 billion for medium-sized banks and credit unions. It also includes $50 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, and clarifies that small farms are eligible for this funding.
On the healthcare front, the bill provides $75 billion to support hospitals and frontline healthcare workers — including funding for PPE — plus $25 billion for COVID-19 testing.
Much more needs to be done and I will continue to push Congress to get the resources needed for our public health researchers, providers, and workers to adequately test, trace, treat, and eventually cure this virus.
I continue to update my COVID-19 webpage with new information and important resources that may be useful in helping you through this crisis. Visit https://gabbard.house.gov/COVID-19.
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)

Tele-Town Hall with IRS, 2020 Census Draws Thousands From Across the State

Yesterday afternoon, I hosted a tele-town hall meeting with guests from the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Census Bureau. Together, we answered dozens of questions regarding how individuals can get the COVID-19 support Congress has provided. We also highlighted the important role that the U.S. Census plays in making sure that Hawai‘i gets its fair share of federal funds. You can listen to the complete event here.
My next tele-town hall will take place Wednesday, April 29, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. HT. If you would like to be dialed directly into the event, please sign up by visiting my website (right-hand column). In order to get a call for this event you should sign up today!
Telephone Town Hall | COVID-19 Update # 7
Wednesday, April 29, 2020  at 4:00 p.m. Hawai‘i Time
Check here for more information about the Economic Impact Payment and the status of your payment.
And, remember to complete your 2020 Census as soon as possible!

Hawai‘i Gets Additional $5 Million for COVID-19 Testing, Tracing

Using funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is awarding $631 million to bolster testing and tracing efforts through the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases (ELC) cooperative agreement. Of this, $5,075,000 will go to Hawai‘i. These funds may be used to:
  • Establish or enhance the ability to aggressively identify cases, conduct contact tracing and follow up, as well as implement appropriate containment measures.
  • Improve morbidity and mortality surveillance.
  • Enhance testing capacity.
  • Control COVID-19 in high-risk settings and protect vulnerable or high-risk populations.
  • Work with healthcare systems to manage and monitor system capacity.
See more about the testing and tracing funds granted to Hawai‘i through the CARES Act and the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, both of which were passed by Congress last month.

HHS Funds to Help Poison Control Centers

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded nearly $5 million to Poison Control Centers across the country to improve their capacity to respond to increased calls due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As more Americans heed cleaning recommendations to combat exposure to COVID-19, the nation’s Poison Control Centers are simultaneously seeing sharp increases in calls related to cleaners and disinfectants. Read more here.

COVID-19 Hawai‘i News

Testing in Hawai‘i — There were 4 new cases since yesterday and 0 additional COVID-19 related deaths. To date, there are 596 individuals in Hawai‘i who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 596 cases, 12 have died and 63 remain hospitalized and 455 have been released from isolation. There have been 27,121 lab tests conducted as of April 22.
Kaua‘i Early Precautions Keep County Resilient in the Face of the Virus — Mayor Kawakami highlights how early, decisive action by the county and follow-through by its residents have played a big role in helping limit the public health damage done due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He noted that public health experts learn more about the virus daily and their advice will be considered along with the lessons learned from other communities when determining how the County goes about reopening safely. In the meantime, the Mayor acknowledged the strain this has put on residents and noted the programs the County has put in place to help them weather this crisis.
State Sends Funds to Farmers — This week, the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (DOA) is mailing out the first batch of checks under the COVID-19 Emergency Farmer Relief Program. Over 100 awards were issued, ranging from $2,000 for individual farmers and ranchers and to as much as $10,000 for non-profit organizations, commodity groups, and agricultural associations. Visit the DOA’s website for more information.
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.
Hawai‘i County
Kona | Details
(Recurring) Mondays and Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. to 12noon
Keauhou Shopping Center
Honoka‘a | 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 | Details
Saturday, April 25 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Kamehameha Park in Kapa‘au, North Kohala
City and County of Honolulu
ʻEwa Beach | Details
Friday, April 24 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
ʻEwa Mahiko District Park begin queuing on Kapolei Parkway on the corner of Renton Road facing mauka
Kahuku | Details
Saturday, April 25 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Kahuku Medical Center, rear parking lot (56-117 Pualalea Street)
Waimānalo | Details
Sunday, April 26 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Waimānalo District Park, enter from Hīhīmanu Street, turning right into the parking area
Maui County
Lāna‘i City | 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.
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