05/26/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update
COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update
May 26, 2020
I hope everyone had a restful weekend. I just arrived back in Washington, D.C. today for a few important votes — including improvements to the Paycheck Protection Program that will provide more flexibility to small businesses to use the assistance that’s been provided, as well as a bill seeking to reauthorize certain provisions within the Patriot Act, that have been a cause for concern with regards to civil liberties and privacy.
Tomorrow, I will be hosting my next telephone town hall event, and giving you an update from Washington as well as answering your questions about federal relief programs and our public health response in Hawai‘i. Sign up on my website today to participate!
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,
Member of Congress (HI-02)
Healthcare Alliance Hawai‘i on Next Telephone Town Hall
I will be hosting my next tele-town hall tomorrow, and will be joined by the President and CEO of the Healthcare Alliance of Hawai‘i, Hilton Raethel, to talk about our public health response as well as Darin Leong, an unemployment attorney who has been working with community leaders to help explain federal relief programs for individuals and small businesses.
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
SBA Updates on PPP and EIDL Relief
The Small Business Administration released its latest reports over the weekend to update the public on the number of loans approved and total funds committed to small businesses across the country through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Emergency Assistance program, as of May 23.
The SBA has approved EIDL Emergency Assistance to 430,906 small businesses across the country totaling $37,869,479,978. Of those amounts, 2,962 Hawai‘i small businesses were approved for funds totaling $208,064,100.
The SBA has approved 4,426,118 PPP loans to small businesses across the country totaling $511,231,948,095. In Hawai‘i, 23,312 small businesses were approved for PPP loans totaling $2,473,118,450.
HHS Distributes Another $500 Million to Tribal Hospitals
Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced $500 million in payments from the Provider Relief Fund to the Indian Health Service (IHS) and tribal hospitals, clinics, and urban health centers to support the tribal response to COVID-19. The pandemic has disproportionately impacted IHS providers and programs. Many such providers have experienced significantly increased need for personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as increased labor costs due to employees that have been exposed to COVID-19. At least 233 facilities across the Indian health system serve as the only health care provider for both IHS and non-IHS beneficiaries, making them critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19 and reopening America.
CDC Continues to Share First Responder Stories
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues its series of featured stories sharing the experiences of first responders fighting on the frontlines of the COVID-19 public health crisis. Hospitals and healthcare workers, as well as laboratorians, epidemiologists, and airport screeners, go through piles of PPE a day. The demand for that equipment began to soar as COVID-19 reached the United States, outstripping supplies in some parts of the country. So CDC started taking stock of what they had and figuring out where it was needed.
COVID-19 Hawai‘i News
Testing in Hawai‘i — Since Friday, there was a total of 1 new case and 0 additional COVID-19 related deaths. To date, there are 643 individuals in Hawai‘i who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 643 cases, 17 have died and 83 required hospitalization and 593 have been released from isolation. There have been 51,202 diagnostic tests conducted as of today.
HIDOE Grab and Go School Meal Distribution Update — The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) Grab-and-Go school meals program will be extended at over 35 meal sites for an extra four days beyond the end of the school year on May 28 through Jun. 3. The schools will continue to provide breakfast and lunch free of charge to children 18 years or younger, regardless of eligibility for free or reduced price meals. On May 29, 34 distribution sites will stop serving meals during the summer break. Kauai school sites will stop serving on May 29 and restart on Jun. 8, at which time, 44 school sites will continue to serve meals through Jul. 17, 2020. Sponsor sites at public agencies, churches and nonprofit organizations will begin serving meals to children at additional locations in communities to support keiki. Visit their website for more information.
O‘ahu Driver Licensing and State ID Services Restart, Appointment Only — The City and County of Honolulu today reopened its driver licensing centers and resumed serving residents on an appointment-only basis as well as requiring masks or face coverings during in-office visits. Appointments are available for residents whose driver licenses and state identification cards expire in June. This includes March expirations that were granted a 90 day extension to June. Appointments can be made at AlohaQ.org. Later this month, appointments will be offered for those whose driver licenses and state IDs expire in July, which includes April expirations that had been extended 90 days to July. Get more details by reading the full announcement.
Maui Temporary Shelter Project for Displaced Residents Begins — The County of Maui is partnering with local agencies to provide temporary emergency shelters and services for displaced families and individuals impacted by COVID-19. Hawaii National Guardsmen and personnel from the Maui Fire Department and Department of Parks and Recreation will begin work on the shelters tomorrow, May 22, at Waiale Park. About 20 temporary shelters are planned to be placed at the park. Read the announcement for more details.
Upcoming Food Distribution — Here are details regarding upcoming food distribution events:
Big Island (visit for more details)
Mountain View and Volcano Cooper Center | Wednesday, May 27 | 10am – 12pm*
* Or until food supply is depleted. Please arrive early.
Kaua‘i (watch for details)
Sat., May 30 on the North Shore
Testing Sites and DLIR UI Information
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).
St. Jude Church
Wed., June 3 ONLY, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
92-8606 Paradise Circle, Ocean View 96737
Wed., June 3 ONLY, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
92-8606 Paradise Circle, Ocean View 96737
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.
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.
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: email@example.com
Hilo Claims Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kona Claims Office: email@example.com
Maui Claims Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kaua‘i Claims Office: email@example.com
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): firstname.lastname@example.org
Individuals who have received an email, letter or other message (screenshot) that says that they are disqualified from UI: email@example.com
Individuals who would like to request language assistance from UI (the interpretation services would be provided free of charge and via telephone): firstname.lastname@example.org