09/17/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

September 17, 2020
Yesterday, Governor Ige announced plans to relax the 14-day quarantine protective measures for trans-Pacific travelers on October 15th which would allow people to avoid the quarantine if they produce a valid negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of their flight. Many questions remain about how this will work. I’ll let you know as I find out more information. 
Unfortunately, it's being reported that the Ige Administration has only used a small fraction of the hard-fought, COVID-related federal resources at its disposal. I continue to call for transparency and accountability. You deserve to know what’s going on. 
The Wall Street Journal reported today about the disastrous consequences of insufficient contact tracing programs throughout the western world, including in the U.S. and at home in Hawai‘i.
That is why I am continuing to call for the Department of Health to ramp up its contact tracing operation and provide daily reports on our state’s testing and tracing capacity.
We know this virus can move within a day.
Our data has to be equally fast so we can react quickly to prevent even worse conditions than what we saw in the past months.
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 160 new cases and 4 additional COVID-19 related deaths. There are currently 6,829 active cases in the state.
107 have died
685 required hospitalization
4,248 have been released from isolation
There have been 365,690 diagnostic tests conducted as of today.
As a result of updated information, one case was removed from the counts.
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 (293 total for Sep. 7-Sep. 13, that is +82 from the previous week)
  • Number of Trained Tracers in Reserve = DOH only has weekly numbers (507 for Sep. 7-Sep. 13, that is -28 from the previous week)
  • 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 0.75. (-0.02 from yesterday)
George Washington University reports that, given the number of infections and the rate of infection in Hawai‘i today, the state should have 932 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.
Gov. Ige Announces New Leadership Team And Realignment Of Covid-19 Efforts — Gov. David Ige today announced a new leadership team that will oversee the state’s public health response to COVID-19 and the pre-travel testing program for COVID-19, which will start October 15. Pre-travel testing enables travelers to avoid a mandatory 14-day quarantine if they are tested no earlier than 72 hours before their flight arrives with an FDA-approved nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), performed using a nasal swab, and can show proof of negative test results from a CLIA certified laboratory. Travelers also will have their temperatures checked upon arrival and must fill out a travel and health form. Upon arrival in Hawai‘i, passengers unable to provide proof of an approved negative test will be required to go into quarantine for 14 days or until they can provide proof of negative test results. Read more about this change on the state’s website.
“Farm to Car” Returns, “Fish to Dish” Starts in Honolulu — The “Farm to Car” program returns this week to provide O‘ahu residents with affordable fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs and other produce from local farmers. The innovative program is a partnership between the City and County of Honolulu and the Hawai‘i Farm Bureau. Starting September 20 and continuing every week through December, people can pre-order local farm products online at www.farmtocarhawaii.org. Then on Saturdays, starting September 26, from 9 a.m. to noon, customers can safely pickup their order with minimal personal contact at the Ewa side of the Neal S. Blaisdell Center (enter via Ward Ave.). See attached graphic of pick-up area. Learn more about the “Farm to Car” restart here!
The “Fish to Dish” program, which supports Hawai‘i’s longline fishing industry and distributes fresh fish to communities across the island of Oʻahu, kicked off this week. The “Fish” portion of the program will provide CARES Act funds to more than 140 vessels of the Hawai‘i Longline Association. The Association will distribute the funds to help cover vessel operating fees over a three-month period. The fishing industry is one of many local sectors that have been hit hard by the severe downturn in customer demand that resulted from the COVID-19 crisis. Fishing boats who are part of the program will then deliver fish to the Honolulu fish auction for purchase. At the fish auction, the Hawai‘i Seafood Council will initiate the “Dish” part of the program by purchasing over 100,000 pounds of fish fillet that will be turned into 350,000 servings. These fillets will be provided to the Hawai‘i Foodbank to distribute through its partner organizations. Prepared fish will be served to kupuna and other hungry families across Oʻahu for five months. Learn more about “Fish to Dish” here!
Drive-Through COVID-19 Testing on Maui This Monday — Mayor Michael Victorino announced that drive-through COVID-19 testing will be held on Monday, Sept. 21, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Lahaina Aquatic Center. The Lahaina Aquatic Center will be closed all day Monday due to the drive-through testing. The Lahaina Recreation Center will be closed Monday morning and open at 2:00 p.m. Minit Medical Urgent Care will administer diagnostic PCR testing and will call individuals with all results, which are expected to take one to three days. Participants should pre-register for the drive-through testing on Minit Medical’s website at www.minitmed.com. Read the full announcement for more details.

Round 3, USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box Program — Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it has approved up to $1 billion in contracts to support American producers and communities in need through the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program. Earlier this week, USDA reached a milestone of having distributed more than 90 million food boxes in support of American farmers and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more about the program at USDA.gov.

Office Locations