09/11/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

September 11, 2020
Today marks 19 years since Al-Qaeda’s attack on our country. This attack not only changed our country, it changed my life. It motivated me to enlist in the military and protect our country from the evil that attacked and still threatens us today. 
We will never forget the 2,977 people who lost their lives that day, and continue to honor the sacrifices of servicemembers, first responders, and healthcare workers who sacrificed all in the days and years following the attack.
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 167 new cases and 2 additional COVID-19 related deaths. There are currently 7,099 active cases in the state.
96 have died
622 required hospitalization
3,334 have been released from isolation
There have been 334,204 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 0.86.
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.
DLIR Announces Latest UI Numbers, Lost Wages Assistance Program  — The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) announced updated unemployment insurance claims information, including paying $3,081,193,375 and 3,155,245 weeks claimed since the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic on March 1, 2020.
The DLIR also today announced that it is launching a self-certification modification to the unemployment insurance portal on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. This will allow claimants to enroll in the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program by certifying their unemployment was due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.
Claimants are required to sign into their accounts on the unemployment insurance portal and answer a pop-up page that allows them to self-certify that they were partially or wholly unemployed due to COVID-19. A graphic demonstrating the process is available at https://labor.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/How-LWA20200906.pdf. The DLIR will start processing payments in October and the payments will be staggered for each week you are eligible. Payments will be retroactive for all the weeks for which you are eligible.
HUD Releases Nearly $2 Billion in CARES Act Funds to CDBG Program — Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the allocation of the remaining $1.988 billion in CARES Act funding for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. The allocation focuses funds towards places with households facing higher risk of eviction. To date, HUD has provided nearly $5 billion in CDBG funding nationwide to help communities combat the coronavirus and alleviate economic hardship. Specifically, these funds can assist communities with high rates of individuals in industries with high job loss in states with high unemployment, high rates of businesses in industries with high job loss in states with high unemployment, and concentrations of those most at risk for transmission and risk of eviction, with higher amounts for states with high rates of coronavirus.
Honolulu Launches New Website for CARES Act Funds Transparency — The City and County of Honolulu announced the launch of a new virtual dashboard on https://oneoahu.org/dashboard. The dashboard is meant to ensure transparency and allow the public to view in real time City progress in allocating and spending CARES funds in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more about it in the full announcement.
SBA Announces Registration for National Small Business Week Virtual Conference September 22-24 — As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration and cosponsors will host all virtual events September 22-24, 2020. This year’s National Small Business Week activities will include numerous educational panels providing retooling and innovative practices for entrepreneurs as our nation’s small businesses look to pivot and recover, contributing to a stronger economy. Details and registration information will be posted on sba.gov/NSBW as events are finalized.

Hawai‘i County and Nonprofits Announce Meetings on $7.25M in Housing Grants to Hawai‘i Island Residents Impacted by COVID-19 — The County of Hawai‘i and six local nonprofits announced that they will be hosting a series of meetings with community and business leaders on a plan to provide $7.25 million in rent and mortgage assistance grants to residents impacted by COVID-19. Meetings will be hosted virtually by Hawaii Community Lending and the Mayor’s Office on September 14 through September 16, from 5:00-6:00 pm. Get more information or learn how to register here.

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