05/22/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

May 22, 2020
As we approach this holiday weekend, Memorial Day is a solemn time to pause and remember those who paid the ultimate price in service to our nation. We remember our brothers and sisters who never came home, and the Gold Star families left behind, whose pain and sadness never goes away.
As we work to get through this time of uncertainty and hardship, there are many people struggling with the strain the pandemic has caused. If you are in need of assistance, please call me at (808) 541-1986 or email me at TulsiOffice@mail.house.gov.
Mahalo, be safe 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

HHS Uses Coronavirus Emergency Funds to Help Nursing Homes

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is announcing it has begun distributing $49 billion in additional relief funds to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) to help them combat the devastating effects of this pandemic. The funds are part of a larger pool of emergency assistance, $175 billion, made possible by the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act that provide relief funds to hospitals and other healthcare providers.
Nursing homes play a pivotal role in providing skilled care to our nation’s vulnerable seniors. During this pandemic, nursing homes have faced unique challenges as their population of high risk seniors are more vulnerable to respiratory pathogens like COVID-19.

SBA Provides EIDL Update

As of Wednesday, May 20, the Small Business Administration has provided Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advances to 3,009,934 businesses across the country and total funds distributed were $9,883,210,000. In Hawai‘i, 19,566 businesses received loan advances totaling $61,509,000.

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 642 individuals in Hawai‘i who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 642 cases, 17 have died and 84 required hospitalization and 585 have been released from isolation. There have been 48,821 diagnostic tests conducted as of today.
As a result of updated testing information, 5 cases were removed from the counts according to the DOH.
KHON Hosts “Coronavirus: Facts not Fear” Virtual Town Hall — Yesterday, I joined KHON for a 30 minute virtual town hall event moderated by Gina Mangieri along with fellow panelists Congressman Ed Case (HI01) and Governor David Ige. The discussion covered testing efforts, federal assistance, and how to prevent a second wave of infections. You can watch the complete town hall on KHON’s YouTube Channel.
2020 Census Reminder — The Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism reminds everyone that the U.S. Census Bureau has started collecting responses to the 2020 Census! You have three options for responding: online, by mail, or by phone. Due to COVID-19, some households haven’t received their invitations yet. The Census Bureau is currently asking households who have not yet received their invitations to wait until their invitations arrive in June before filling out their census forms online or over the phone, especially for households that have Rural Route addresses. However, if you have received your invitation and have yet to complete the 2020 Census, please do so today! To complete the 2020 Census visit 2020census.gov.
If you have completed your 2020 Census but want to help spread the word, check out and share these 2020 Census videos prepared by the Census Bureau that focus on Hawai‘i!
Honolulu Updates on Closed and Opened City and County Facilities — Through its OneOahu.org website, the City and County of Honolulu notes that while services are critical to everyday life, some services have been paused or have altered hours. Honolulu asks that people check to see what is open and what services you can get online before heading out. Learn more by visiting their website.
REMINDER: Kaua‘i and Big Island Food Distribution — Following up on earlier announcements by the Counties of Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i, here is a reminder about upcoming food distribution events:
  • 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.
  • Sat., May 23 at the Bryan Baptiste Kapa‘a Ballpark
  • Sat., May 30 on the North Shore

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
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