05/08/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update
COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update
May 8, 2020
As we head into the weekend, I wanted to start off by wishing my mom and all the wonderful mothers out there a happy Mother’s Day. Mahalo nui to you all!
I wanted to also quickly update you on the Economic Impact Payment from the IRS. The latest figures show that nearly 130 million individuals have received their payments, accounting for $200 billion in support during the first four weeks of the program.
In Hawai‘i, 542,426 Economic Impact Payments have been made for a total of $923,960,321. If you haven’t gotten yours yet, the IRS is still working to get payments out to the rest of you.
In the meantime, the IRS issued an announcement today encouraging everyone who has not yet used the “Get My Payment” tool on its website to do so no later than Wednesday, May 13 for a chance to get a quicker delivery of their Economic Impact Payment.
On the state side of things, the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) just announced that it distributed $140,300,082 in unemployment insurance benefits over the past week. It also outlined efforts it has taken to improve the system. You can read more about it in the DLIR’s full announcement online.
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)
Lt. Gov. Josh Green to Join Next Tele-Town Hall
Lt. Gov. Josh Green will be joining me on my next COVID-19 update telephone town hall this Wednesday at 4 p.m. We will discuss how the state can reopen safely and answer your questions. 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
Economic Development Administration to Deploy $1.5 Billion in CARES Act Funds
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Commerce made CARES Act recovery assistance funds available through the Economic Development Administration (EDA). The CARES Act provided EDA with $1.5 billion in funds. EDA can only make grants to state and local governmental entities, institutions of higher education, not for-profit entities, and federally recognized Tribes. CARES Act funds were appropriated under the Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF), which is EDA’s most flexible program. EDA will accept applications for grants to support a wide variety of assistance including:
- Planning and Technical Assistance
- Capitalization and Recapitalization of Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs), which provide access to capital for businesses
- Construction of infrastructure and other economic development projects
- Innovation grants
Treasury Gives State and Local Government Emergency Fund Guidance
This week, the U.S. Treasury Department released guidance for state and local governments on how they are able to use funding provided by the CARES Act. The CARES Act requires that the payments from the Coronavirus Relief Fund only be used to cover expenses that:
are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19);
were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act) for the State or government; and
were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020.
COVID-19 Hawai‘i News
Testing in Hawai‘i — For the first time since this pandemic began, there were 0 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 81 remain hospitalized and 566 have been released from isolation. There have been 36,262 lab tests conducted as of May 7.
HI Fisheries to Get CARES Act Funds — Yesterday, the U.S. Commerce Department announced the allocation of $300 million in fisheries assistance funding provided by the CARES Act to states, Tribes, and territories with coastal and marine fishery participants who have been negatively affected by COVID–19. The funds are being distributed through the Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Of that amount, $4,337,445 million of these funds are available to Hawai‘i fisheries impacted by the crisis.
Kaua‘i Announces COVID-19 Emergency Funds Loans — Kaua‘i County introduced a program to assist self-employed individuals affected by the COVID-19 crisis who were either not eligible for assistance available to other workers or are struggling while waiting for help. The program is made possible through a collaboration between the County and the Kaua‘i Government Employees Federal Credit Union. Qualified applicants will receive financial counseling and may be eligible for zero percent interest personal loans of up to $10,000. The program will focus on households that have lost income due to COVID-19 and have not yet been able to access government aid programs.
Funds to Help Home-Based Child Care Providers — The Garden Island reports that the Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF) has launched the Home-Based Child Care (HBCC) Emergency Fund to provide relief to licensed home-based child care providers across the state. The Fund will support providers currently serving the children of health care and other essential workers across Hawai‘i and also seeks to lessen the potential for permanent closure of child care programs, especially in areas where home based care is the primary option for families.
Testing Sites and DLIR UI Information
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).
Sat., May 9 ONLY, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Kamehameha Park Road, Kapaau 96755
Pahoa District Park
Wed., May 13 ONLY, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
15-3022 Kauhale Street, Pahoa 96778
Premier Medical Group
Mon., May 11 and May 18 ONLY, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Hoolulu Complex (Civic), Hilo 96720
Waimea District Park
Fri., May 15 ONLY, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Ala Ohia Road, Waimea 96743
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
No testing sites have been announced, but you can check out the City and County of Honolulu’s dedicated COVID-19 information webpage.
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.
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: email@example.com
Hilo Claims Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kona Claims Office: email@example.com
Maui Claims Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kaua‘i Claims Office: email@example.com
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): firstname.lastname@example.org
Individuals who have received an email, letter or other message (screenshot) that says that they are disqualified from UI: email@example.com
Individuals who would like to request language assistance from UI (the interpretation services would be provided free of charge and via telephone): firstname.lastname@example.org