09/04/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

September 4, 2020
Yesterday it was announced that Dr. Sarah Park, the Hawai‘i Department of Health’s Chief Epidemiologist is taking a leave of absence. With her and Dr. Anderson’s departure, I’m cautiously optimistic that this change will provide new leaders within the Department of Health an opportunity to step up and fix what’s broken. . 
The public trust has been broken. New leaders in the Department of Health have the opportunity to begin to rebuild that trust by hiring and building a robust testing and tracing operation, and providing transparency to the people about the progress that’s being made. Every day we are losing our loved ones to this virus. We must do all we can to act urgently to defeat it. Allowing the status quo to continue will only result in more unnecessary sickness and death. Read my statement on my website here
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)

COVID-19 News & Resources

Testing in Hawai‘i — Since yesterday, there were a total of 271 new cases and 2 additional COVID-19 related deaths. There are currently 6,593 active cases in the state.
81 have died
583 required hospitalization
2,855 have been released from isolation
There have been 294,102 diagnostic tests conducted as of today.
Looking for federal and state COVID-19 resources — including directions on dealing with UI and PUA, local food banks, testing sites, and economic recovery programs for small businesses? Visit gabbard.house.gov/COVID-19.
DLIR Has Issued almost $3 Billion in Benefits Since March 1 — The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) today announced updated unemployment insurance claims information, including paying $2,995,402,610 and 3,015,688 weeks claimed since the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic on March 1, 2020. With the assistance of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), the DLIR received approval to pay four weeks of benefits in a new unemployment insurance plus up program called the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program. The program, under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), was created by the President via a memorandum earlier this month in response to the July expiration of the unemployment $600 weekly benefit. Read more in the DLIR’s full announcement.
State approved for additional week of Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program  — Gov. David Ige and Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) Acting Director Anne Eustaquio announced today that Hawaiʻi was approved for an additional week of the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program. This adds one additional week of a $300 plus-up for various types of unemployment benefits on top of the three weeks initially approved by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on August 29. To qualify for the $300 benefit, recipients must be eligible for at least $100 in weekly benefit and must certify that they are unemployed or partially unemployed due to the disruptions caused by COVID-19. 
Hawaiʻi County Coronavirus Relief Fund Business and Nonprofit Grant applications are now being accepted — The Holomua Hawaiʻi program will distribute up to $22 million in Hawaiʻi County’s CARES Act funding in the form of one-time reimbursement grants up to $10,000 to county businesses and nonprofit organizations. Holomua Hawaiʻi is a reimbursement grant program for costs incurred from business interruption due to the COVID-19 Emergency Proclamation on March 23, 2020, for the time period when the applicant was impacted. Learn more here
County of Hawai‘i announces Central Command Post to combat COVID-19 — Mayor Harry Kim announced on Thursday the opening of a Central Command Post to expand operations to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Hawai‘i County. The purpose of the umbrella organization, under the Mayor’s Office, is to better coordinate programs of County, State, and Federal agencies, and private sector entities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Aunty Sally Kaleohano’s Luau Hale is being converted into an emergency operation center.
Maui Mayor Announces Partnership to Assist Local Ranchers and Provide Food to People in Need with CARES Act Funding — Mayor Michael Victorino announced today a new CARES Act funded partnership with local ranchers to provide ground beef to Feed My Sheep and people in need. The County has committed $200,000 to support the ranching community, which includes the purchase of cattle from various independent ranchers.  DeCoite Packing House will process the cattle into approximately 1,000 pounds of ground beef, per week. Feed My Sheep will receive the ground beef and distribute to qualified individuals, nonprofit agencies and community feeding programs.

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