06/23/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

June 23, 2020
I’ll be boarding a plane back to D.C. in a few hours, so I wanted to give you a heads up that I will be hosting my next Facebook town hall meeting on Friday at 4:00 p.m. HST from Washington, D.C. I hope you’ll be able to join me! 
In this e-newsletter, you’ll find important information — from warnings about a small group of harmful hand sanitizers to information about online seminars to help businesses access economic aid programs. Read on for more information!
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)

FDA Issues Warning About Methanol in Some Hand Sanitizers

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises consumers not to use any hand sanitizer manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico, due to the potential presence of methanol (wood alcohol), a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested. Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects. Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate treatment, which is critical for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning. Substantial methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death.
The FDA has identified several products manufactured by Eskbiochem which contain methanol and have included them in their warning. Read the full announcement for a list of products included in the warning.

Main Street Lending Program Webinar on Jun. 24

The Main Street Lending Program is designed to support small and medium-sized U.S. businesses and their employees during this period of financial strain by giving these businesses access to loans. The program is intended to help businesses that were in sound financial condition prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic maintain operations until conditions normalize. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has put together a webinar to assist minority and women-owned businesses navigate the program. You can learn more and register here.

Morehouse to Address COVID-19 Impact on Minority Communities

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) announced the selection of the Morehouse School of Medicine as the awardee for a new $40 million initiative to fight COVID-19 in racial and ethnic minority, rural and socially vulnerable communities. The Morehouse School of Medicine will enter into a cooperative agreement with OMH to lead the initiative to coordinate a strategic network of national, state, territorial, tribal and local organizations to deliver COVID-19-related information to communities hardest hit by the pandemic. Learn more about the initiative in the full announcement.

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 3 new cases and 0 additional COVID-19 related deaths. To date, there are 819 individuals in Hawai‘i who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 819 cases, 17 have died, 104 required hospitalization and 673 have been released from isolation. There have been 81,648 diagnostic tests conducted as of today.
REMINDER: Drive-Through Testing on Maui — Minit Medical will be conducting the drive-through with diagnostic and antibody testing available. Minit Medical will call individuals with all results, which are expected to take one to three days. Participants can pre-register for the drive-through testing on Minit Medical’s website at www.minitmed.com. They can do same-day registration, but pre-registration saves time and avoids paperwork. Anti-body tests are NOT covered by insurance. Those who get anti-body testing will receive a bill from Clinical Labs of Hawaii for about $45. Read the full announcement by Maui County.
Wed., Jun. 24, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Lahaina Aquatic Center
Thu., Jun. 25, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the South Maui Community Park
Fri., Jun. 26, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Keopuolani Park
Maui Micro Business Loan Program is Extended — Mayor Michael Victorino announced today the extension of the Micro Business Loan Program with an additional $750,000 of funding from the County of Maui. Maui Chamber of Commerce, which has administered the program, has approved and funded 60 small businesses with the initial $1 million. Another 52 applications are pending, with one business approved and pending additional funds. Learn more about the program here.
Mental Health Resources — The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has placed a lot of stress on our society, both individually and as a community. 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 local and statewide food pantries as well as food assistance programs:
COVID-Related Resource Websites — 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)

Office Locations