05/07/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

May 7, 2020
We had another great conversation on our teletown hall yesterday, covering topics like getting more state and local government assistance in the next emergency funding bill to prevent cuts to pay for essential workers like firefighters, police officers, and teachers. We also talked about the need to diversify our economy in Hawai‘i so we can be in a better position to handle future crises that may cause a downturn in tourism. You can listen to the teletown hall online here.
You can sign up to get a call for my upcoming telephone town hall by visiting my website. It will take place on Wednesday, May 13 at 4:00 p.m. HT.
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)

Sign Up Today for My Next Tele-Town Hall!

My next tele-town hall will take place this Wednesday, May 13 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 # 9
Wednesday, May 13 at 4:00 p.m. Hawai‘i Time

U.S. Service Members and Veterans Can File Form N-400 Online

Yesterday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that U.S. service members and veterans can now file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, online. Online filing allows individuals to submit forms electronically, check the status of their case and receive notices from USCIS. Those currently serving or who have served in the armed forces may be eligible to apply for naturalization under special provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Under these special provisions, the naturalization application fee is waived for military members and veterans, as are some of the requirements. Until now, U.S. service members and veterans filed a paper form N-400. Provisions of the law extend some immigration benefits to the family member of a service member.

VA-Pacific to Host Virtual Town Hall

On Tuesday, May 12 the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System will be hosting a virtual town hall through Facebook Live. The event will bring together VA directors to share information about VA resources, get feedback from users, and answer questions about VA healthcare, benefits, and memorial affairs. You can submit questions in advance of the town hall today. For more information about the event, visit the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System Facebook Page.

COVID-19 Hawai‘i News

Testing in Hawai‘i — There were 3 new cases and 0 additional COVID-19 related deaths since yesterday. To date, there are 629 individuals in Hawai‘i who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 629 cases, 17 have died and 74 remain hospitalized and 565 have been released from isolation. There have been 37,712 lab tests conducted as of May 6.
HI Community Health Centers Get Funds for COVID-19 Testing — Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded nearly $583 million to 1,385 HRSA-funded health centers to expand COVID-19 testing. Nearly 88 percent of HRSA-funded health centers report testing patients, with more than 65 percent offering walk-up or drive-up testing. Health centers are currently providing more than 100,000 weekly COVID-19 tests in their local communities. As part of the latest round of funding, 11 community health centers in Hawai‘i received a total of $2,822,219 in supporting funds.
DLIR Adopting Alphabetical System for Filing UI Claims — Hawaii News Now reports that the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations is kicking off an alphabetical system to ease the burden on the antiquated technology that has crashed multiple times over the past few weeks. Starting next week, those whose last name starts with the letters A through G should file on Mondays. Those whose last name starts with H through O should file on Tuesdays. Finally, Wednesdays are for P through Z.
HI PUC Temporarily Approves Young Brothers Change to Sailing Schedules — On May 4, 2020, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) temporarily approved Young Brothers’ emergency request to change its sailing schedules for the islands of Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, Maui, and Hawai‘i, for a 30-day period. During that time period, Young Brothers is required to submit additional information to the Commission and Consumer Advocate, which will include updates on Young Brothers’ financial condition and actions it is taking to minimize impacts on Neighbor Island customers.
HI AG Gets Justice Department Coronavirus Emergency Funds — The Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs announced that it has awarded almost $65 million to 11 states to address the public safety challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19. The Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program was made available through the CARES Act and provides $850 million to assist states, local units of government, and tribes in preventing, preparing for, and responding to the coronavirus.
Allowable projects and purchases include, but are not limited to, overtime, equipment (including law enforcement and medical personal protective equipment), hiring, supplies (such as gloves, masks, sanitizer), training, travel expenses (particularly related to the distribution of resources to the most impacted areas), and addressing the medical needs of inmates in state, local, and tribal prisons, jails, and detention centers.
O‘ahu Retail Businesses Start to Reopen — Yesterday, Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced that certain designated businesses and operations in the City and County of Honolulu will be allowed to re-open on May 15, by following specific guidelines as detailed Emergency Order No. 2020-10. It allows residents of the City and County of Honolulu to shop at retail businesses and shopping malls that comply with specific operations guidelines that include allowing all persons in these establishments to maintain physical/social distancing and health and safety standards. Read the full announcement to learn more about the details of the new order.
Locally Produced Ventilators to Help Maui COVID-19 Response — Mayor Michael Victorino unveiled newly manufactured emergency ventilators produced on Maui by HNu Photonics to help increase Maui County’s emergency healthcare capacity. The ventilators are part of a joint effort between the County of Maui, Maui Economic Development Board and two local technology companies: HNu Photonics, led by Dr. Dan O’Connell; and Maui Innovation Group, led by Dr. Ned Davis. The ventilators will be donated to Maui Memorial Medical Center and other healthcare providers for emergency COVID-19 response.

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).
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