05/14/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

 
May 14, 2020
 
Aloha,
 
I just arrived in Washington, D.C. Tomorrow, I will be voting on the next emergency assistance bill as well as a rule change that will allow for proxy voting for Members of Congress during this pandemic, in the event they are not able to travel to Washington to vote in person.
 
The HEROES Act is a $3 trillion bill with extensive reach, and I’m reviewing the bill section by section prior to the vote tomorrow. I will include more updates and details tomorrow.
 
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)
 

IRS Helps Explain EIP Amounts Individuals Receive

 
While the IRS and Treasury have delivered nearly 130 million Economic Impact Payments (EIP) to Americans over the past month — with more are on the way — some individuals may have received a payment amount different than what they expected. The IRS notes that EIP amounts vary based on income, filing status and family size. Earlier this week, they addressed this issue through an announcement that highlighted some common scenarios that may explain the difference. You can read about it here.
 

HHS Distributes Additional Funds to Bolster Tele-Health

 
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded $15 million to 159 organizations across five health workforce programs to increase telehealth capabilities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The University of Hawai‘i system received $95,455 for the Area Health Education Centers Program, $90,625 through the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program, and $150,000 for the Centers for Excellence Program.
 

HAPPENING SOON: Open CFAP Applications to Assist Food Producers

 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it will soon begin taking applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). The Program will use funding and authorities provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and other USDA existing authorities, and will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to producers to help offset direct losses as well as additional adjustment and marketing costs from the pandemic by providing payments to eligible agricultural producers.
 
As part of applying for the program, producers will need to contact the Farm Service Agency (FSA) county office at their local USDA Service Center to schedule an appointment. Local FSA staff will work with producers to apply for the program. Producers should not send any personal information to USDA without first initiating contact through a phone call.
 

COVID-19 Hawai‘i News

 
Testing in Hawai‘i — Since yesterday, there were 0 new cases and 0 additional COVID-19 related deaths. To date, there are 637 individuals in Hawai‘i who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 637 cases, 17 have died and 81 remain hospitalized and 564 have been released from isolation. There have been 39,767 lab tests conducted as of May 13. (As a result of updated information, one HI resident diagnosed outside of Hawaii was removed from the counts since yesterday.)
 
Hawai‘i County Food Distribution Sites — The County has updated its webpage listing food distribution sites, dates, and times. Food pantries, meals to go, and drive-thru pick up opportunities across the Big Island through various community organizations are listed.
 
Maui Outlines Parks Opening This Weekend — During yesterday’s COVID-19 Update, Maui County’s Director of Parks and Recreation noted which parks are set to open this weekend and which remain closed. You can view the list here.
 
Mayor Kawakami Talks Balance in Opening Beaches — In yesterday’s daily video update, Mayor Kawakami noted that he has issued Mayor’s Emergency Rule #8 which allows County of Kaua‘i residents to use the beach under the following restrictions:
 
  • All groups are limited to a single residential or family unit sharing the same address;
  • No group can exceed 10 persons;
  • All persons using the beach, who are not part of a single residential or family unit sharing the same address, shall comply with social distancing requirements, provided that a caregiver may accompany a dependent;
  • The beach or sand area may only be used one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset, unless the person is engaged in shore fishing or permitted outdoor exercise; and
  • All other restrictions found within the Safer at Home Order must be followed such as any applicable quarantine restrictions.
 

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).
 
Kamehameha Park
Sat., May 16 ONLY, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Kamehameha Park Road, Kapa‘au 96755
 
Pāhoa District Park
Wed., May 20 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
 
St. Jude Church
Wed., May 20 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
For more information, check out the City and County of Honolulu’s dedicated COVID-19 information webpage.
 
Waipiʻo Peninsula Soccer Complex (details)
Sat., May 16 ONLY, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Antibody testing by Premier Medical Group
 
Kakaʻako Waterfront Park (details)
Sun., May 17 ONLY, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Antibody testing by Premier Medical Group
 
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