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

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

May 19, 2020
Across the country, National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have been activated to help overwhelmed federal, state, and local agencies cope with this crisis. They have helped with everything from food distribution and testing to logistical support. 
It’s now being reported that the Trump Administration plans to put an end to orders for over 40,000 of these Guardsmen after 89 days of service and sacrifice. This is 1 day short of a 90-day threshold at which point they would be eligible for Federal benefits.
Public health needs must dictate decisions on when our National Guard will return home to their families -- not trying to pinch a few pennies in order to avoid a commitment to our service members. It is offensive to them and their families and must be corrected.
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 Tomorrow, Sign up Today!

In tomorrow’s telephone town hall I will be covering the latest coronavirus news including testing and Economic Impact Payments as well as the HEROES Act that the House passed last Friday. I’ll be joined by Dr. Scott Miscovich as well as representatives from the IRS. 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

SBA PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Now Available

The Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and detailed instructions for the application. The form and instructions inform borrowers on how to apply for forgiveness of their PPP loans, consistent with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). SBA will also soon issue regulations and guidance to further assist borrowers as they complete their applications, and to provide lenders with guidance on their responsibilities. Click here to view the application form.

Treasury Delivering Millions of EIPs by Prepaid Debit Card

This week, the Treasury and the IRS are starting to send nearly 4 million Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) by prepaid debit card, instead of by paper check. EIP Card recipients can make purchases, get cash from in-network ATMs, and transfer funds to their personal bank account without incurring any fees. They can also check their card balance online, by mobile app, or by phone without incurring fees. The EIP Card can be used online, at ATMs, or at any retail location where Visa is accepted. This free, prepaid card also provides consumer protections available to traditional bank account owners, including protections against fraud, loss, and other errors. Read the full announcement here.

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 641 individuals in Hawai‘i who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 641 cases, 17 have died and 82 remain hospitalized and 578 have been released from isolation. There have been 46,304 lab tests conducted as of today.
Library Bookdrops Reopening — The Hawai‘i State Public Library System announced that library bookdrops are now open to return library materials.  Bookdrops at the Liliha, McCully, and Pearl City Public Libraries remain closed while they remain under repair. The re-opening of the bookdrops represent the beginning of a phased-in approach to providing library services to support the health and safety of our communities.  To ensure the health and safety of our staff, all returned items will be placed into quarantine for a minimum of 4 days before checking those items in. Depending on the date of return, and the location’s hours of operation, it may take a few days for your library account to reflect the return. No fines will be assessed during this period.
CDC Sends Over $50 Million to Hawai‘i for Testing — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will provide $10.25 billion to states, territories, and local jurisdictions through CDC’s existing Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases (ELC) cooperative agreement.  The Indian Health Service (IHS) will provide $750 million to IHS, tribal, and urban Indian Health programs to expand testing capacity and testing-related activities. This funding from the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act — the fourth emergency assistance bill passed by Congress — will provide critical support to develop, purchase, administer, process, and analyze COVID-19 tests, conduct surveillance, trace contacts, and related activities. Through these funds, Hawai‘i will receive $50,283,598.
SBA EIDL and PPP Funds Reach Hawai‘i — As of May 18, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved 252,340 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Emergency Advances totaling $24,874,672,512. Of those funds, 1,569 Hawai‘i businesses were approved for EIDL Emergency Advances totaling $112,673,600. Also, as of May 16, the SBA had issued 4,341,145 Paycheck Protection Program loans totaling $513,271,137,359. Of those funds, 22,733 Hawai‘i businesses received PPP loans totaling $2,458,559,376.
Kaua‘i Food Distribution Continues with CDBG Support — Since March, the County of Kaua‘i — in partnership with the Office of Economic Development, Agency on Elderly Affairs, and the Hawai‘i Foodbank’s Kaua‘i Chapter— has been helping get food to kūpuna in need, at no cost, through its “Kupuna Kare for Farmer Fare” program. The program purchased supplies from Sunshine Market vendors as part of the effort. The program was recently awarded a $150,000 Community Development Block Grant which will allow the program to continue for another 8 weeks starting June 1. Learn more by watching the Mayor’s announcement and where kūpuna can call for assistance.

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 20 ONLY, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
15-3022 Kauhale Street, Pāhoa 96778
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
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