05/12/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

 
May 12, 2020
 
Aloha,
 
Today I introduced a bipartisan bill with Rep. Rodney Davis from Illinois to help protect our nurses who are on the frontline fighting this pandemic. The Nurse Workforce Protection Act would protect nurses from significant layoffs or reduction of hours by a healthcare facility during the coronavirus crisis, as a condition for receiving federal emergency relief funds.
 
Tomorrow, I’ll be hosting my next telephone town hall with my guest, Lt. Gov. Josh Green. We will be discussing how things look for the weeks ahead for Hawaii and the nation. I will also be updating you with news from Congress where, right now, the House is preparing its next emergency assistance bill.
 
It’s not too late to sign up to receive a call for this event. Sign up today on my website.
 
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)
 

CFPB, FHFA, and HUD Launch Website on Housing Assistance

 
To ensure homeowners and renters have the most up to date and accurate housing assistance information during the COVID-19 national emergency, today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) launched the new mortgage and housing assistance website. The CARES Act put in place protections for homeowners with mortgages that are federally or Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) backed or funded (by FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac). Visit the website for more details about mortgage relief and renter protection options.
 

Transportation Department Updates Guidance on Airline Ticket Refunds

 
The U.S. Department of Transportation announced today that it has issued a second Enforcement Notice regarding airline ticket refunds given COVID-19’s unprecedented impact on air travel. The document provides answers to some of the most common questions about refunds to help consumers understand their rights and to ensure airlines and ticket agents are complying with aviation consumer protection requirements. In a typical month, the Department receives approximately 1,500 air travel service complaints and inquiries. However, in March 2020 and April 2020, more than 25,000 air travel service complaints and inquiries were filed, many of which concerned refunds.
 

VA Launches COVID Coach Mobile App

 
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced the launch of the COVID Coach app, a new mobile app designed to help both Veterans and civilians cope with feelings of stress and anxiety they may be experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The app includes practical tools, information and resources that can all be used from the safety of one’s home to track well-being, mood swings and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms. You can read more about the app and how to download it by visiting the VA’s website.
 

COVID-19 Hawai‘i News

 
Testing in Hawai‘i — Since yesterday, there was 1 new case and 0 additional COVID-19 related deaths. To date, there are 635 individuals in Hawai‘i who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 635 cases, 17 have died and 81 remain hospitalized and 563 have been released from isolation. There have been 38,467 lab tests conducted as of May 11.
 
U.S. Treasury Department Outlines Aid to State and Local Governments — Through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, the CARES Act provides for payments to State, Local, and Tribal governments navigating the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. The CARES Act established the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund. Today, the Department released the breakdown of funds headed towards local governments. A unit of local government eligible for receipt of direct payment includes a county, municipality, town, township, village, parish, borough, or other unit of general government below the State level with a population that exceeds 500,000. The Hawai‘i state government as well as the City and County of Honolulu were eligible for funds and received $862,823,978.80 and $387,176,021.20, respectively. The emergency assistance bill currently being prepared in the House will include funds for local governments with a population less than 500,000.
 
SBA Releases Latest EIDL and PPP Numbers for States — According to the latest data released by the Small Business Administration, between April 27 and May 8, there were 10,414 businesses in Hawai‘i that were approved for Payment Protection Program loans totaling $487,023,393. As of May 8, in Hawai‘i there were 19,566 businesses approved for Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advances totaling $61,509,000.
 
DHHL and Aloha United Way Launch Beneficiary Rental Relief Program — A new program to provide rental relief for Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) Applicant Waiting List beneficiaries launched yesterday in partnership with Aloha United Way (AUW). DHHL’s COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program will provide eligible beneficiaries with rental assistance using $7 million in Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant (NHHBG) funds. Read more about the program in DHHL’s announcement.
 

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).
 
Pāhoa District Park
Wed., May 13 ONLY, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
15-3022 Kauhale Street, Pāhoa 96778
 
Premier Medical Group
Mon., May 18 ONLY, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Hoʻolulu Complex (Civic), Hilo 96720
 
Waimea District Park
Fri., May 15 ONLY, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Ala ʻŌhiʻa Road, Waimea 96743
 
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
No testing sites have been announced, but you can check out the City and County of Honolulu’s dedicated COVID-19 information webpage.
 
Kaua‘i County
 
Daily @ Wilcox Medical Center 
Monday-Friday @ Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital
 
Kapa‘a | Details (video update, 5:45 mark)
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.
 
As of May 11, 2020, the DLIR is using an alphabetical system for filing unemployment insurance claims to help ease the strain on its system and streamline the process. Those whose last name starts with the letters:
 
  • A through G should file on Mondays.
  • H through O should file on Tuesdays.
  • P through Z should file on Wednesdays.
 
If you missed your day, everyone can file on Thursdays through Sunday.
 
The hours to file are Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. On weekends and holidays, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
 
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