06/30/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

June 30, 2020
We need to take a hard look at how quickly COVID-19 is spreading in Hawai‘i and across the country. As restrictions have eased, we have lost a lot of ground in this fight. Today, we find ourselves facing infection numbers that we were seeing two months ago — in some cases even worse. 
A healthy economy and a healthy community are not mutually exclusive. In fact, without a healthy community we will not have a lasting, healthy economy. Our top priority has to be your health and preventing the spread of the virus.
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)

Remember to Complete the 2020 Census

Make sure every single person in Hawai‘i is counted! The U.S. Census happens once every 10 years and our participation will determine the amount of Federal resources we get to fill our state’s needs. It is crucial that you are counted so that Hawai‘i gets its fair share!
The Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism has a wonderful website which provides more information — including frequently asked questions about the Census and resources to help raise awareness about its importance.
You can complete your U.S. Census online by going to 2020census.gov.

VA Introduces “Access VA” to Submit and Track Claims

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is rolling out a new system in July for Veterans and eligible beneficiaries to submit and track transportation reimbursement claims using VA’s secure web-based portal, Access VA. The Beneficiary Travel Self-Service System (BTSSS), which is accessible 24/7, 365 days a year, will simplify how eligible Veterans and beneficiaries claim mileage reimbursement for travel to and from both VA health care or VA authorized non-VA health care service locations. Read 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 18 new cases and 0 additional COVID-19 related deaths. There are currently 164 active cases in the state. To date, there are 917 individuals in Hawai‘i who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 917 cases, 18 have died, 113 required hospitalization and 736 have been released from isolation. There have been 92,225 diagnostic tests conducted as of today.
As a result of updated information, one case was removed from the counts.
Kauai and Hawaii Island Receive More CARES Act Funds — Today, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) awarded $8,906,600 in CARES Act funds to the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) through its Section 5311 Rural Area Formula fund. HDOT is receiving the grant on behalf of two sub-recipients: Kaua‘i County Transportation Agency (KTA) and County of Hawai‘i Mass Transit Agency (HMTA). These agencies will use the funds for operational expenses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and will help cover salaries, fuel, vehicle maintenance, and cleaning and disinfection supplies. Two weeks ago, the FTA awarded over $7 million through the CARES Act to the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) on behalf of MauiBus through its Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula fund.
Hawaiian Electric Extends Moratorium on Disconnections — Hawaiian Electric will extend the moratorium on disconnections for nonpayment through Sept. 1, and urges customers who are having difficulty paying their bill to contact the company well before September to consider payment options. Hawaiian Electric suspended collection efforts in March to ensure customers’ electric service was not disrupted during COVID-19-related orders to stay at home. On Friday, the Public Utilities Commission gave utilities the option to hold off disconnections through Sept. 1.
FINAL DAY: HIDOE Surveying Families for Feedback on Distance Learning — Today is the last day for parents and guardians of students enrolled at any Hawai‘i public or charter school during the 2019-2020 school year to take a survey (one survey per child). It takes roughly 15 minutes to complete. Visit the HIDOE website for more information and to get to the survey.
The survey is available in English, Ilokano, Chuukese, Tagalog and Marshallese. Those who complete the survey will have the opportunity to enter a prize drawing for a new iPad or Chromebook. Once the survey is submitted, a thank you message will appear with a link to enter the drawing. Survey results are intended to help HIDOE and schools better understand the progression of distance learning and areas of need across the state. Your feedback is essential in planning for the new school year.
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