07/17/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

July 17, 2020
When I voted to pass the HEROES Act in May, it was because my colleagues in the House and I understood that the hardship created by the COVID-19 pandemic would be something that people would continue to struggle with for several months. My hope is that the Senate and House leadership can come together in the next two weeks to work out their differences and pass a bipartisan assistance bill to help those who need it most.
Sadly, we still are seeing high numbers of COVID-19 cases here at home, much like in other places across the country.
The coronavirus has highlighted how our decisions affect those around us. Vigilant personal hygiene, physical distancing, and wearing a face mask that covers at least your mouth and nose are all crucial to our safety.
Please stay safe this weekend and look out for one another. We are all in this together.
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)

HHS Directs $10 Billion to Hospitals Hit Hard by COVID-19

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it will begin distributing $10 billion in a second round of high impact COVID-19 area funding to hospitals starting next week. This funding is critical now, as parts of the nation confront a recent surge in positive COVID-19 cases and hospitals elsewhere continue to recover and grapple with the financial hardships caused by the pandemic.

REMINDER: SBA’s PPP Lending Deadline is August 8!

The lending deadline for the PPP was originally June 30; I helped pass a bill that was signed into law extending this deadline to August 8.  If you are a small business in need of help and have not yet applied for PPP, then you should go ahead and do so now! For more information about the PPP and other COVID-19 relief programs, visit the SBA’s webpage.

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 23 new cases and 1 additional COVID-19 related death. There are currently 318 active cases in the state.
23 have died
139 required hospitalization
994 have been released from isolation
There have been 124,068 diagnostic tests conducted as of today.
DLIR Issues $2.2 Billion in Benefits Since March 1 — The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) announced updated unemployment insurance claims information, including paying $2,189,522,737 and 2,030,502 weeks claimed since the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic on March 1, 2020. The DLIR expects to borrow from the Federal Government tomorrow to pay for unemployment insurance benefits due to the depletion of the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund. There was $596,912,407 in the Trust Fund at the beginning of the calendar year that was used to pay for State benefits during this pandemic. The additional benefits like the extensions and $600 plus-up are entirely federally funded. The CARES Act allows states to borrow without interest during 2020.
REMINDER: Big Island Non-Profit Organizations Needed As Partners to Distribute CARES Act Aid — The County of Hawai‘i is still 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.
This Weekend is a Great Time to Complete the 2020 Census — If you have not already completed your 2020 Census, please visit 2020census.gov today!
10 minutes of your time will make a difference for Hawai‘i over the next 10 years.
The U.S. Census helps determine things from how many Congressional seats states get to how much funds they get for federal programs. Make sure you are counted so Hawai‘i gets its fair share.
Delays With PUA and UI, What Can You Do? — 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.
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