05/27/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

May 27, 2020
In a few hours, I will be hosting my next telephone town hall from Washington, D.C. Today, I’ll be joined by Hilton Raethel, the President and CEO of the Healthcare Alliance of Hawai‘i and Darin Leong, an unemployment attorney who has been active in community efforts to raise awareness about federal relief programs for workers and businesses.
I will be updating you about the votes I am casting this week as well as discussing relief and reopening efforts with Darin and Hilton. Together, we will answer questions you have as we continue to fight through the coronavirus crisis.
If you haven’t had a chance to sign up for today’s event, you can still listen to it live online by going to gabbard.house.gov/live.
If you are in need of assistance, please don’t hesitate to 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)

REMINDER: IRS Sending Some EIPs by Prepaid Debit Card

Today, the Internal Revenue Service issued a reminder that some Economic Impact Payments are being sent by prepaid debit card. The debit cards arrive in a plain envelope from "Money Network Cardholder Services." Nearly 4 million people are being sent their Economic Impact Payment by prepaid debit card, instead of paper check. The determination of which taxpayers received a debit card was made by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, a part of the Treasury Department that works with the IRS to handle distribution of the payments. You can read more about it here.

Meals Donated to VA Hospital Staff on Frontlines of COVID-19 Response

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today the Gary Sinise Foundation has committed to providing up to 20,000 meals to VA health care and frontline workers. VA’s Voluntary Service is working with the Gary Sinise Foundation Emergency COVID-19 Combat Service to identify the more than 80 VA medical facilities across the nation that will receive the meals over the coming weeks.

COVID-19 Hawai‘i News

Testing in Hawai‘i — Since yesterday, there was a total of 1 new case and 0 additional COVID-19 related deaths. To date, there are 644 individuals in Hawai‘i who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 644 cases, 17 have died, 83 required hospitalization and 600 have been released from isolation. There have been 51,839 diagnostic tests conducted as of today.
City and County of Honolulu Mobilize Free Mental Health Services — Leaders from the Hawai‘i Mental Health Pro Bono COVID-19 Project joined Mayor Kirk Caldwell today to announce a new program to provide support for the psychological well-being and mental health needs of individuals seeking help during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program, conceptualized by Dr. Lawrie Ignacio and Dr. Graham Taylor and coordinated by the Hawai‘i Psychological Association, offers free mental health services provided by a Pro Bono Service Provider to uninsured residents on Oʻahu and throughout the state. Read more here.
Maui and O‘ahu to Broadly Reopen Businesses and Services — Maui Mayor Michael Victorino announced the broad reopening of businesses and services with health and safety guidelines on Monday, June 1, in Maui County. The County’s proposed rules and reopening date have been sent to the Governor and Attorney General’s Office for review and approval. The rules include health and safety modifications that businesses are required to follow in order to reopen and operate. When the proposed rules are approved, the document will be available on the County’s website at MauiCounty.gov.
Meanwhile, Mayor Kirk Caldwell today announced that he submitted the City and County of Honolulu’s proposal to Governor David Ige for approval to allow for the safe reopening of more Oʻahu designated businesses and operations. These businesses and operations, if approved, will be allowed to reopen under guidelines and recommendations to ensure safety for both employees of these establishments and customers/clients. As part of Mayor Caldwell’s proposal, “Personal Service Providers” would be allowed to resume operations with modifications on Friday, May 29. “Personal Service Providers” include barbers, beauty operators, including hairdressers, nail technicians, and tattoo artists. Get more details about what this means by reading 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).
St. Jude Church
Wed., June 3 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