05/04/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

May 4, 2020
As we head into the new week, leaders in Hawai‘i are beginning to think through plans on how best to reopen the economy. It’s critical that public health concerns remain at the forefront of this planning and decision-making process. Testing is a critical component to any re-opening plan, locally and nationally.
I’m fighting for a national testing strategy and transparency in manufacturing and acquisition of PPE that continues to be in high demand.
In the meantime, if you have any questions or if you are in need of assistance as we cope with this public health crisis, 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)

Sign Up Today for My Next Tele-Town Hall!

My next tele-town hall will take place this Wednesday, May 6 at 4:00 p.m. You can sign up for this and upcoming tele-town hall meetings by visiting my website today!
Telephone Town Hall | COVID-19 Update # 8
Wednesday, May 6 at 4:00 p.m. Hawai‘i Time

SBA to Accept new EIDL Applications for Agricultural Businesses

The U.S. Small Business Administration will begin accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications on a limited basis only to provide relief to U.S. agricultural businesses. The new eligibility is made possible as a result of the latest round of funds appropriated by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Agricultural businesses includes those businesses engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)).
SBA is encouraging all eligible agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees wishing to apply to begin preparing their business financial information needed for their application.
Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. For agricultural businesses that submitted an EIDL application through the streamlined application portal prior to the legislative change, SBA will process these applications without the need for re-applying. Click here for the application.

CDC Coordinates Drive for Data in COVID-19 Fight

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has kicked off the SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing for Public Health Emergency Response, Epidemiology and Surveillance (SPHERES) consortium, which will greatly expand the use of whole genome sequencing (WGS) of the COVID-19 virus. This national network of sequencing laboratories will speed the release of SARS-CoV-2 sequence data into the public domain. SPHERES will provide consistent, real-time sequence data to the public health response teams investigating cases and clusters of COVID-19 across the country. It will help them better understand how the virus is spreading, both nationally and in their local communities. Better data, in turn, will help public health officials interrupt chains of transmission, prevent new cases of illness, and protect and save lives.

REMINDER: Smithsonian Online Resources for Learning

The Smithsonian Institute continues to provide new resources through its distance learning website. They have released a weekly Smithsonian Learning Activities Choice Board to introduce your stay-at-home learners to a range of learning opportunities from across the Smithsonian in science, social studies, culture, and the arts. Includes hands-on and technology-enabled activities. You can view the weekly Choice Boards by scrolling down to “Smithsonian Resources for Caregivers” section.

COVID-19 Hawai‘i News

Testing in Hawai‘i — Over the weekend, there were 2 new cases and 1 additional COVID-19 related death. To date, there are 621 individuals in Hawai‘i who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 621 cases, 17 have died and 73 remain hospitalized and 543 have been released from isolation. There have been 34,323 lab tests conducted as of May 3.
Hawai‘i Gets Over $400 Million in Round 2 PPP Funds — Between April 27 and May 1, the U.S. Small Business Administration issued additional Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans through its second round of approvals made possible after the 4th Congressional emergency aid bill replenished the program’s funds. During this time period over 2,211,791 loans were approved through 5,432 lenders for a total of $175,743,247,908. Hawai‘i saw 7,717 loans approved totalling $413,825,280.
VA Helping Hawai‘i and Other States, Territories during COVID-19 Crisis — In coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has deployed doctors, nurses and nursing aides to state-run nursing homes in several states where COVID-19 has emerged among vulnerable populations. The VA recently gave a rundown of the different ways it is assisting U.S. Territories and States. In some states it has deployed medical personnel and helped local hospitals with overflow cases while in others states, like Hawai‘i, the VA worked on a range of services, such as the provision of masks and test kits.
Big Island Looks to Tackle Renter/Landlord Disputes — The COVID-19 crisis has created a lot of pressure on property owners, homeowners, and renters. In an effort to help address any conflicts between landlords and tenants, Hawai ‘i County announced resources available to assist with dispute mediation. You can visit the County’s website for more information.

Testing Sites and DLIR UI Information

Hawai‘i Island
Check out the County of Hawai‘i’s COVID-19 webpage for which lists over a dozen testing sites which are regularly open (see schedules).
St. Jude Church
Wed., May 6 ONLY, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
92-8606 Paradise Circle, Ocean View 96737
Maui County
While no drive-thru testing sites have been announced yet for tomorrow, you can visit the County’s website for other testing sites on Maui, Moloka‘i, and Lānaʻi.
City and County of Honolulu
Kalihi Union Church | Details
Tue., May 5 ONLY, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Entry will be from King Street
ʻEwa Beach | Details
Fri., May 8 ONLY, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
ʻEwa Beach Community Park
Kaua‘i County
Daily @ Wilcox Medical Center 
Monday-Friday @ Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital
Kapa‘a | Details (video update)
Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Kaua‘i Medical Clinic
Unemployment Insurance Compensation Claims — Here is a rundown of the new resources that the Hawai‘i Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) is making available to assist individuals filing unemployment insurance compensation claims.
General Website
Application for Determination of Insured Status
Unemployment Benefits Claim Status
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
Newly Out of Work Unemployment Claim: (808) 762- 5752
If You Have Filed Unemployment Before: (808) 762-5751
Unemployment Office Call Center: (833) 901-2275
O‘ahu 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
Kaua‘i 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