05/21/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

May 21, 2020
Yesterday, I hosted my latest telephone town hall meeting, where thousands joined us once again from across the state. With our guests from the IRS and Dr. Scott Miscovich, we were able to answer some of the most frequently asked questions, but also address new issues and concerns.
You can listen to the whole event and also sign up for my upcoming tele-town halls on my website, Gabbard.house.gov.
Each year I have the privilege of hosting the Congressional Art Competition for high school students in our district. I am constantly amazed by the talent they have and the beauty they share. As part of the competition, I host a “People’s Choice Award” and invite you to participate — we need you to vote and help choose a winner! Visit my website for more information!
Though the state is slowly reopening, we are still dealing with the coronavirus public health crisis. 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)

Next Telephone Town Hall Update

I will be hosting my next tele-town hall on Wednesday. You can listen to my recent COVID-19 update tele-town halls or sign up for upcoming tele-town hall meetings by visiting my website today!
Telephone Town Hall | COVID-19 Update # 11
Wednesday, May 27 at 4:00 p.m. Hawai‘i Time

CDC Highlights Recommendations for Visiting Parks and Recreational Facilities Ahead of Holiday Weekend

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has outlined several “do’s” and “don’ts” for folks considering visiting parks and recreational facilities as part of its “Daily Life & Coping” resources in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis. Staying physically active is one of the best ways to keep your mind and body healthy. In many areas, people can visit parks, trails, and open spaces as a way to relieve stress, get some fresh air and vitamin D, stay active, and safely connect with others. However, enjoying these places must still be done safely. You can read the complete recommendations here.

CFPB Monitors Credit Card and Mortgage Coronavirus Complaints

Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a report analyzing the complaints received during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bulletin shows that mortgage and credit card complaints top the list of complaints the Bureau has received that mention coronavirus or related terms. In April and May, the Bureau received historically higher complaints, however, complaints mentioning COVID-related terms amounted to a total of 4,500 complaints during those two months.

FTC and FCC Crack Down on Coronavirus Telemarketing Scams

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) jointly issued warnings to three U.S. companies ordering them to stop routing scam coronavirus-related robocalls or get kicked off the nation’s phone system. The companies, RSCom, based in Knoxville, Tenn. and Aurora, Canada, allegedly routed scam calls from the U.K. offering fake coronavirus refunds, according to the FCC and FTC.

COVID-19 Hawai‘i News

Testing in Hawai‘i — Since yesterday, there were 4 new cases and 0 additional COVID-19 related deaths. To date, there are 647 individuals in Hawai‘i who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 647 cases, 17 have died and 83 required hospitalization and 579 have been released from isolation. There have been 47,985 diagnostic tests conducted as of today.
Honolulu Outlines Reopening Restaurants and In-Person Spiritual Services — Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced that starting Friday, June 5, in-person table service dining in restaurants in the City and County of Honolulu will be allowed, subject to the City’s guidelines. The requirements can be viewed here. Bars and nightclubs remain closed at this time and no self-service buffets or drink stations will be allowed. He also announced that starting Saturday, May 23, in-person spiritual services on Oʻahu will resume with associated restrictions and recommendations. You can find out more about these by reading the Mayor’s full announcement.
The Food Basket Continues Big Island Distributions — The Hawai‘i Island’s Food Basket is continuing its frequent food drops to help during the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis. Visit its website for the upcoming dates, times and locations as well as instructions on how to get assistance through these drive-thru events. Upcoming events in May include:
  • Pāpaʻaloa | Papaaloa Community Center Gym | Friday, May 22 | 10am – 12pm*
  • Honokaʻa | Honokaa Sports Complex and Skate Park | Friday, May 22 | 1pm – 3pm*
  • Pahala | Ka’u District Gym  | Tuesday, May 26 | 10am – 12pm*
  • Mountain View and Volcano Cooper Center | Wednesday, May 27 | 10am – 12pm*
  • * Or until food supply is depleted. Please arrive early.
Maui Extends Farmer Assistance and Food Distribution Program — Mayor Michael Victorino announced a five-week extension of a farmer assistance and food distribution program to help provide food to community organizations that provide food to families and individuals in need. Since late March, more than 6,000 bags of food have been distributed to families in need at over a dozen food distribution events in Central, South and West Maui, Upcountry, Paia-Haiku, Hana, Moloka‘i, and Lānaʻi. Read the full announcement for more details.
County of Kaua‘i Continues Gradual Reopening — Mayor Kawakami noted that the latest Mayor’s Emergency Rule (#10) has been approved by the Governor and now paves the way for additional, specific businesses to reopen and activities to resume. You can read the full rule here for more information about reopening hotels/motels, places of worship, manufacturing and construction businesses, the use of outdoor spaces, and some personal services. During the mayor’s daily updates, he also encouraged reopening businesses to take necessary precautions for public health safety and to ease back into use systems — like plumbing — that may have been idle over the past weeks.

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).
Maui County
See the drive-thru testing sites below, but you can visit the County’s website for other testing sites on Maui, Moloka‘i, and Lānaʻi.
Keōpūolani Regional Park | Details
Fri., May 22 ONLY, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
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