09/10/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update
COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update
September 10, 2020
Yesterday, we saw the 10th death at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo. It is unconscionable that these veterans who sacrificed so much for our country now find themselves struggling to survive under the threat of this virus.
Sadly, the situation we are seeing is ultimately another symptom of the lack of testing and contact tracing that has plagued our state for months. Without it, the virus was able to stealthily spread throughout our community infecting family, friends, caregivers, and our kūpuna veterans.
They deserve better.
Not only is urgent action needed to protect our veterans, we still need more testing and hundreds more active tracers to help prevent this from happening again elsewhere in the state.
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)
COVID-19 News & Resources
Testing in Hawai‘i — Since yesterday, there were a total of 169 new cases and 3 additional COVID-19 related deaths. There are currently 7,090 active cases in the state.
To date, there are 10,292 individuals in Hawai‘i who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of these cases:
94 have died
610 required hospitalization
3,176 have been released from isolation
There have been 329,209 diagnostic tests conducted as of today.
Tracing in Hawai‘i — The people of Hawai‘i should know how many active tracers there are on a given day, how many we have trained in reserve, what percentage of individuals with new infections they have contacted within 24 hours, and the state’s Infection Rate. This virus moves within a day, we need daily numbers to keep up with it.
Number of Active Tracers = DOH only has weekly numbers (211 total for Aug. 31-Sep. 6)
Number of Trained Tracers in reserve = DOH only has weekly numbers (535 for Aug. 31-Sep. 6)
Percent of New Infections Whose Contacts are Traced within 24 Hours = DOH has not provided this information
Infection Rate = No DOH information, COVID Act Now reports 0.87.
George Washington University reports that, given the number of infections and the rate of infection in Hawai‘i today, the state should have 1,345 active tracers. The GWU contact tracing tool can be found in the CDC’s guidance on contact tracing.
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.
Kaua‘i Launches Rise to Work Program — The County of Kaua‘i announced the launch of the Kupa`a Kaua`i Rise to Work program. This program will create temporary job opportunities for displaced workers on Kaua‘i. The County is contributing $2 million dollars from the County’s share of the Federal CARES Act funding. Positions with the Rise to Work program will include both part-time and full-time opportunities and will provide health insurance benefits to interested participants. Rise to Work hires will begin their temporary positions in September and are intended work for 12 weeks. Due to the time limitations with CARES Act funding, the hires will complete their employment by the end of December. The program is intended to help displaced workers who have a variety of skills, from artists, graphic designers, project managers, landscapers and laborers, but Rise to Work is not limited to just those occupations.
Suicide Prevention Month, Week, and Day — Today is World Suicide Prevention Day which falls in the middle of National Suicide Prevention Week (Sep. 7-Sep. 13) and September is National Suicide Prevention Month.
In 2018, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and responsible for more than 48,000 deaths. In the past several months, the COVID-19 pandemic has put enormous strain on individuals, families, and our communities.
The best thing to do is to be aware of what the warning signs are and what resources are available to help.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline
CDC Suicide Prevention Resources
Resources for Veterans
24/7 Mental Health Access Line, 1-800-753-6879