06/04/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

June 4, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on so much of our lives — influencing where we go, straining our economic security, and creating anxiety and stress, what to speak of the uncertainty that lies ahead. In yesterday’s tele-town hall I was joined by Sondra Leiggi-Brandon, APRN, and Anthony P. Guerrero, M.D., from The Queen’s Medical Center as well as labor and employment attorney Darin Leong.
We had a good conversation with residents across the state, answering questions, and sharing concerns and resources to help one another. While we may require physical distancing measures to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, we must be sure to find ways to stay connected with our neighbors, friends and family.
In case you missed it, you can listen to the complete telephone town hall on my website.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you need assistance. You can 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)

What To Do If Your EIP Card Was Lost or Destroyed

The Internal Revenue Service continues to update its Economic Impact Payment (EIP) webpage with frequently asked questions (FAQ). Question # 47 addresses lost or destroyed EIP Cards.
Individuals who have lost or destroyed their EIP Card may request a free replacement through MetaBank® Customer Service. The standard fee of $7.50 will be waived for the first reissuance of any EIP Card.  Any initial reissuance fee charged to a customer from an earlier date will be reversed. Individuals do not need to know their card number to request a replacement. Individuals may request a replacement by phone at 800-240-8100.
For more answers to questions about your EIP, please visit the EIP FAQ webpage.

Senate Passes House Bill to Improve PPP: Here’s What It Does

Yesterday, right before my tele-town hall, the Senate passed H.R.7010, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Act and it goes to the President for his signature. I voted to pass the bill out of the House last week. Here are some of the highlights about how the bill helps fix the PPP to work better for our small businesses.
  • Extends the PPP loan forgiveness period to include costs incurred over 24 weeks after a loan is issued or through Dec. 31, whichever comes first. Businesses that received a loan before the measure is enacted could keep the current eight-week period.
  • Extends from June 30 to Dec. 31 the period in which loans can be forgiven if businesses restore staffing or salary levels that were previously reduced. The provision would apply to worker and wage reductions made from Feb. 15 through 30 days after enactment of the CARES Act, which was signed into law on March 27.
  • Maintains forgiveness amounts for companies that were unable to rehire employees or resume business levels as of Feb. 15, or find similarly qualified workers by the end of the year.
  • Increases the current limitation on non-payroll expenses (such as rent, utilities, mortgage interest) for loan forgiveness from 25 to 40%.
  • Establishes a minimum loan maturity period of five years following an application for loan forgiveness, instead of the current two-year deadline set by the SBAExtend the deadline to apply for a PPP loan from June 30 to Dec. 31.
  • Repeals a provision from the CARES Act that barred companies with forgiven PPP loans from deferring their payroll tax payments.
  • Allows borrowers to defer principal and interest payments on PPP loans until the SBA compensates lenders for any forgiven amounts, instead of the current six-month deferral period. Borrowers that don’t apply for forgiveness would be given at least 10 months after the program expires to start making payments.
  • Bars the SBA from limiting loan forgiveness for expenses other than payroll.

COVID-19 Hawai‘i News & Resources

For a listing of federal and state resources on my website, which includes several of the ones listed below, please visit gabbard.house.gov/COVID-19.
Testing in Hawai‘i — Since yesterday, there were a total of 2 new cases and 0 additional COVID-19 related deaths. To date, there are 655 individuals in Hawai‘i who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 655 cases, 17 have died, 83 required hospitalization and 611 have been released from isolation. There have been 59,842 diagnostic tests conducted as of today.
HIGHLIGHT: COVID-19 Relief for Hawaii Island Businesses and Incorporated Entities — In response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, here’s a site with information and resources specifically for Hawai‘i County's business community. There is a new page with Reopening Guidance where business owners can find information and guidance related to the State and County Proclamations beginning with the May 7, 2020 announcements which allowed certain designated businesses to begin reopening. All subsequent proclamations and recommended guidance for reopening will be posted on that page. This page will continue to update funding opportunities, economic impact reports, and related business resources.
Mental Health Resources — The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has placed a lot of stress on our society, both individually and as a community. These stresses range from physical health dangers and complications to the economic strain that many face due to stay-at-home measures that have impacted businesses and workers. These may also have significant mental health impacts on you or someone you know. The best thing to do is to be aware of what the warning signs are and what resources are available to help.
Hawai‘i Food Pantries and Assistance Programs — Visit these sites for more information about statewide and local food pantries as well as food assistance programs:
Also, a public-private partnership between the City and County of Honolulu, the Bank of Hawaii Foundation and the Hawai‘i Community Foundation to provide food assistance to recently unemployed individuals is set to conclude with two remaining food distribution events at Aloha Stadium. The next food distribution event will be held on Thursday, June 4, at 9 a.m. The final distribution event will occur on Tuesday, June 9, also at 9 a.m. Read the full announcement to learn more.
Testing, Safely Reopening, Supporting Recovery — As the state increasingly moves forward with its reopening efforts, the state as well as local communities are organizing resources to help people learn more about what’s available in their community. In addition to listing the State and County COVID-19 news and resource websites, here are some new or updated websites that focus on recovery efforts.
State of Hawai‘i
COVID-19 Updates (https://hawaiicovid19.com/)
Unemployment Insurance (https://huiclaims.hawaii.gov/)
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (http://pua.hawaii.gov/)
NEW: Economic & Community Recovery Navigator (https://recoverynavigator.hawaii.gov/)
County of Kaua‘i
NEW: Kūpa‘a Kaua‘i Website (https://kauaiforward.com/)
City and County of Honolulu
One O‘ahu Website (https://www.oneoahu.org/) *news & recovery info
County of Maui
COVID-19 Updates (https://www.covid19mauinui.com/) * news & recovery info
County of Hawai‘i
COVID-19 Updates (website) * news & recovery info
Testing Dates/Sites (located on its FAQ webpage)

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