05/15/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

May 15, 2020
I’m in Washington, D.C. and just finished voting for the HEROES Act. While there are some gaping holes and problems with the bill, I supported it because it will provide assistance where it is most urgently needed — in our state and counties, in our small businesses, and in the hands of our people.
We also passed a resolution in the House that will allow for the option of remote proxy voting for those who are unable to return to Washington for votes. It will allow people to make sure their voices are heard, while reducing the public health risk to our constituents that comes from traveling on packed airplanes to and from the districts.
Though the HEROES Act passed the House, a final version will need to be negotiated with the Senate and the White House. Stay tuned for more updates.
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)

Tele-Town Hall Next Week with Dr. Scott Miscovich

Dr. Scott Miscovich will be joining me for next week’s telephone town hall. I will be updating you on the latest from Congress, including the HEROES Act, and talking with Dr. Miscovich about testing efforts in Hawai‘i. You can sign up for this and upcoming tele-town hall meetings by visiting my website today!
Telephone Town Hall | COVID-19 Update # 10
Wednesday, May 20 at 4:00 p.m. Hawai‘i Time

SSA Info on EIP to Beneficiaries with Representative Payees and Those Living in U.S. Territories

The Social Security Administration (SSA) issued an update about COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments (EIP) to certain groups of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries. Beneficiaries who have their regular monthly payments managed for them by another person, called a representative payee, will begin receiving their EIPs from the IRS in late May.
Special rules apply to beneficiaries living in the U.S. territories: American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In general, the tax authority in each territory, not the IRS, will pay the EIP to eligible residents based on information the IRS will provide to the territories. It is anticipated that beneficiaries in the territories could begin receiving their EIP in early June.

CDC Releases Flow Charts for Reopening Safely

After the White House rejected a draft of guidance to the public to help determine when to safely reopen, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today released six flow charts, documents with basic tips that can serve as a checklist to reopening safely for key sectors — in accordance with local laws. See the flow charts for:

Library of Congress Provides More Online Resources for Teachers

This summer, the Library of Congress is offering a series of free, one-hour webinars for educators interested in using primary sources with their students. The workshops cover a range of civics and learning topics. Educators participating in a live webinar session may request a certificate for one hour of professional development. Please feel free to share this information with your constituents. You can learn more about these professional development webinars and workshops on the Library’s website.

HHS Opens Grants to Understand Healthcare System Response to COVID-19

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), released a new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) that will award $5 million in fiscal year 2020 to support novel, high-impact studies that evaluate the responsiveness of health care delivery systems, health care professionals, and the overall U.S. health care system to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 638 individuals in Hawai‘i who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 638 cases, 17 have died and 81 remain hospitalized and 565 have been released from isolation. There have been 40,990 lab tests conducted as of May 14.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Starts Processing Pre-Applications — The federal government’s CARES Act provides a separate program, PUA, that extends eligibility to individuals who normally do not qualify for traditional unemployment benefits.
Pre-applications have begun processing for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. If you submitted a pre-application, you should receive an email with the subject line: “Your Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Application has been processed” on or before May 15, 2020. When you receive this email, please log in to check your application status and file claim certifications.
For more information about the program and how to apply, visit https://pua.hawaii.gov/.
Honolulu Outdoor Sports Fields and Courts to Open, with Limitations — Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced that starting today, outdoor sport fields and courts will be open for one-on-one sports or exercise with limitations, as well as drive-in services (e.g., spiritual/religious services) that follow specific guidelines. These amendments to the Designated Business and Operations for O‘ahu are detailed in the Mayor’s Emergency Order No. 2020-11. The Order under the name “Ho‘oulu i Honolulu 2.0” or “Restore Honolulu 2.0”, incorporates all prior Emergency Orders, including the wearing of  non-medical grade face coverings, social distancing requirements, and the limited opening of City parks. This Order is effective now through June 30. Read the full 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).
Kamehameha Park
Sat., May 16 ONLY, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Kamehameha Park Road, Kapa‘au 96755
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