07/09/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update
COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update
July 9, 2020
Today, I called on Governor Ige to delay lifting the 14-day quarantine for trans-Pacific travelers coming to Hawai’i, until the Coronavirus spike has dropped and there is a system in place to mitigate risk for the people of Hawai’i. We can’t let our guard down while trying to rein in the surge of infections we are seeing here and across the country. You can read my full statement on my website.
During my telephone town hall yesterday with Dr. Scott Miscovich and Darin Leong, we answered questions about testing and the need for continued emergency assistance programs. We talked about the surging number of COVID-19 infections in Hawai‘i and across the country, which is causing some states to pause reopening plans. The burst of new infections are straining hospitals, medical supplies and PPE stocks, and the ability to get tests done in a timely manner.
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,
Member of Congress (HI-02)
Take 10 Minutes to Help Hawai‘i for the Next 10 Years: 2020 Census
My office is in frequent contact with the Census Bureau, and the window for people to respond will be closing soon! After a short delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, local U.S. Census officials are hard at work to make sure Hawai‘i’s residents are counted.
The U.S. Census is done once every 10 years and impacts representation in the federal government and the amount of federal resources Hawai‘i gets in the decade that follows. That makes it extremely important for everyone to be counted and the 2020 Census questionnaire only takes 10 minutes to complete.
10 minutes can have an impact on our state for the next 10 years!
You can learn more about the 2020 Census on the Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism website or you can go online to complete the 2020 Census at 2020Census.gov.
Help for Homeowners with FHA-Insured Single Family Mortgages
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced additional home retention measures to help homeowners with FHA-insured single family mortgages who are financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to bring their mortgage current at the end of their COVID-19 forbearance. Effective immediately, mortgage servicers will be able to use an expanded menu of loss mitigation tools, known as a “waterfall,” to assess homeowners’ eligibility for other options to bring their mortgages current if they do not qualify for FHA’s COVID-19 National Emergency Standalone Partial Claim. These options are available for homeowners whose mortgages were current or less than 30 days past due as of March 1, 2020.
HUD Provides Eviction Prevention and Stability Toolkit
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released its “Eviction Prevention and Stability Toolkit” to encourage Public Housing Authorities (PHA) and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) landlords to plan for and implement strategies to keep families stably housed and mitigate economic hardships due to the Coronavirus. Once the CARES Act relief bill was signed into law, an eviction moratorium was enacted for 120 days on Public Housing, Housing Choice Vouchers, FHA-insured multifamily properties, and multifamily-assisted properties. The 120-day eviction moratorium ends on July 25, 2020. To assist families in mitigating any hardships that may arise, HUD has provided an Eviction Prevention and Stability Toolkit.
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 36 new cases and 0 additional COVID-19 related deaths. There are currently 272 active cases in the state.
To date, there are 1130 individuals in Hawai‘i who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of these cases:
19 have died
123 required hospitalization
840 have been released from isolation
There have been 107,009 diagnostic tests conducted as of today.
Delays With PUA and UI, What Can You Do? — The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our state as infections surge here and across the country. The continued economic uncertainty has prolonged the strain on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Unemployment Insurance (UI) systems. The volume of claims and reports of fraud have put additional pressure on the PUA and UI systems to respond to claims.
In the meantime, continue to engage the PUA and UI systems directly.
For more information about UI, visit the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) website to start the process and follow up on your claim. This website includes a link to contact information related to the status of your claim.
Visit https://pua.hawaii.gov/ to start your claim. The DLIR notes that fraud continues to be a big problem and provides a webpage dedicated to frequently asked PUA questions.
If you need assistance with the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, please go to https://lbr.force.com/PUASupport/s/contactsupport and submit a help desk ticket. This will enable you to receive assistance more quickly. The DLIR asks that you use the above link and refrain from contacting other UI offices for PUA assistance as they are not a part of the PUA support team and are unable to guarantee that you will receive assistance.
Hawai‘i County Seeks Non-Profit Organizations to Help Get CARES Act Funds to Those in Need — The County of Hawai‘i is seeking non-profit organization partners to help distribute COVID-19 economic assistance. The County received $80 million in CARES Act funding and is moving quickly to get the funds where they are most needed. It is currently accepting proposals from Big Island non-profit organizations. The application deadline is July 21 at 4:30 p.m. Visit the program webpage for more information and details on how qualifying organizations can apply.
Hawai‘i Gets HHS Funds for COVID-19 Testing — Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded more than $21 million to support health centers' COVID-19 response efforts. The majority of this investment—$17 million—supports 78 Health Center Program look-alikes (LALs) with funding to expand capacity for COVID-19 testing. Due to the urgent need across the country to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, funding to expand capacity for COVID-19 testing is being made available to LALs through the Health Center Program. In Hawai‘i, the Wahiawā Center for Community Health received $184,052 in funds while the Hawai‘i Primary Care Association received $75,000 in support.
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’s Department of Health, Adult Mental Health Division (including the 24/7 Mental Health Access Line, 1-800-753-6879)
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
COVID-19 Updates (https://www.kauai.gov/covid-19)
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
Testing Dates/Sites (https://www.covid19mauinui.com/testing)
County of Hawai‘i
COVID-19 Updates (website) * news & recovery info
Testing Dates/Sites (located on its FAQ webpage)