07/06/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

 
July 6, 2020
 
Aloha,
 
I hope everyone had a safe and fun July 4th weekend.
 
Unfortunately, we are continuing to see increased numbers of COVID-19 infections across the country — including in Hawai‘i where we exceeded 1,000 infections over the weekend. Several states are backtracking on reopening plans and many hospitals across America are reaching capacity as they’re treating the new cases.
 
On Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. HST, I will be discussing these developments, what we can do to help fight the spread of the virus, and what help is available to our community as we continue fighting our way through this public health crisis.
 
Read on for more details and how to sign up for this telephone town hall. I look forward to talking with you!
 
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)
 

Telephone Town Hall This Wednesday

 
Want to hear the latest news on what is happening nationally and locally related to coronavirus? Join me for my next tele-town hall this Wednesday! Dr. Scott Miscovich and employment and labor law attorney Darin Leong will be joining me to discuss the surge in COVID-19 infections, our testing and tracing efforts, and emergency assistance for small businesses and workers.
 
You can listen to my recent COVID-19 tele-town halls or sign up for upcoming events by visiting my website today.
 
Telephone Town Hall | COVID-19 Update # 15
Wednesday, July 8 at 4:00 p.m. Hawai‘i Time
 

SBA Releases the Latest EIDL and PPP Numbers

 
As of July 3, the SBA has approved 2,235,192 Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) totaling $134,631,289,182. In Hawai‘i 13,970 small businesses were approved for these loans totaling $787,482,700.
 
As of June 30, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved 4,885,388 Paycheck Protection Program loans totaling $521,483,817,756. For Hawai‘i, 24,534 small businesses were approved for PPP loans totaling $2,497,717,752.
 
The lending deadline for the PPP was originally June 30, but last week we voted to pass a bill that was signed into law extending this deadline to August 8.  So if you are a small business in need of help and have not yet applied for PPP, you should go ahead and do so.
 

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 last Thursday, there were a total of 84 new cases and 1 additional COVID-19 related death. There are currently 231 active cases in the state. To date, there are 1030 individuals in Hawai‘i who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 1030 cases, 19 have died, 119 required hospitalization and 781 have been released from isolation. There have been 100,888 diagnostic tests conducted as of today.
 
DLIR Releases Updated UI Information — Last Thursday, the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) announced updated unemployment insurance claims information, including paying $ 1,853,823,044 and 1,739,559 weeks claimed since the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic on March 1, 2020.
 
As reported across the nation, fraudsters are targeting state unemployment insurance systems in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic through various schemes and identity theft. Bad actors are using stolen personal information from sources outside of the department, such as from massive external data breaches like the Equifax breach, to apply for benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and attempt to route payments to their own bank accounts.
 
As of June 24, the department has blocked $95 million in possible fraudulent payments and detected a potential of $18 million paid out in PUA benefits. Investigations are ongoing and will confirm the exact total of erroneously paid benefits.
 
If you received a letter regarding a claim for PUA and you did NOT apply for benefits, please follow the instructions on the letter to report potential identity theft at pua.hawaii.gov. The DLIR is not able to detect how or when your identity was stolen and cannot prevent it from being used elsewhere. If you suspect that you have been a victim of identity theft, file a report with the Federal Trade Commission at www.identitytheft.gov. You may also check to see if your email has been breached by visiting https://haveibeenpwned.com.
 
Non-Medical Grade Face Covering Mandate Now In Effect for O‘ahu — On Thursday, the City and County of Honolulu mandated non-medical grade face coverings on O‘ahu effective Friday, July 3. This directive is outlined in an amended Order 5: Non-Medical Grade Face Coverings of the Mayor’s Emergency Order No. 2020-18 (Amendment to Ho‘oulu i Honolulu 4.0). The amended Order 5: Non-Medical Grade Face Coverings now requires everyone on O‘ahu to wear non-medical grade face coverings over their noses and mouths at indoor public spaces, like Essential Business and Designated Businesses and Operations, as well as outdoor areas where physical distancing is unlikely or difficult to maintain. Read more about the rule in the full announcement.
 
Honolulu City Park Staff Member Tests Positive for COVID-19 — The City and County of Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) announced that a park staff member working at Hō‘ae‘ae Community Park in the Village Park neighborhood of Waipahū has tested positive for COVID-19.
 
That park is a Summer Fun site. However, this particular staff member had minimal contact with Summer Fun participants and was wearing proper protective gear during the Summer Fun Program, including facial covering and gloves.
 
DPR has safety protocols in place to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19 at Summer Fun, including: daily temperature checks, access and frequent use of hand sanitizers, physical distancing when possible, wearing of facial coverings, and removal of staff or participants displaying symptoms of COVID-19.
 
These protocols were followed in this incident and will continue to be followed. Based on evaluation by the City’s infection control officer, this Summer Fun site will continue normal operations on Monday, July 6.
 
Maui Department of Parks and Recreation Offers Digital Activities — The County of Maui Department of Parks & Recreation announced the posting of recreational activity videos on its Recreation Division web page. The instructional videos were created by DPR recreation staff. The videos provide an opportunity for families to recreate while at home or at a County Parks and Recreation facility while practicing social distancing. The initial posted recordings include activities such as how to make a ti leaf lei, arts & crafts activities, sports drills, agility training, and stretching exercises. New activities will be posted to the web page every couple of weeks.
 
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