09/18/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

September 18, 2020
Testing in Hawai‘i — Since yesterday, there were a total of 114 new cases and 13 additional COVID-19 related deaths. There are currently 6,795 active cases in the state.
120 have died
700 required hospitalization
4,394 have been released from isolation
There have been 372,617 diagnostic tests conducted as of today.
As a result of updated information, two cases were 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.
  • Number of Active Tracers = 293 (+82 from the previous week) **
  • Number of Trained Tracers in Reserve = 507 (-28 from the previous week) **
  • Percent of New Infections Whose Contacts are Traced within 24 Hours = ***
  • Infection Rate = ***, but COVID Act Now reports 0.76. (+0.01 from yesterday)
** The DOH only has weekly numbers. These are the numbers for the week of Sep. 7-Sep. 13.
*** the DOH provides no information.
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.
2020 Census, Get Counted Before September 30! — We are in the last weeks of counting for the 2020 U.S. Census. It is vital that everyone is counted. Taking 10 minutes today to complete the Census questionnaire can impact Hawai‘i for the next decade!
If you have not done so already, please visit 2020census.gov to complete your Census questionnaire today! If you’ve already completed the 2020 Census, please spread the word to family, friends and neighbors to do the same.
The Census helps determine how much representation Hawai‘i gets in Congress as well as how many federal dollars will come to our state for important programs that impact our schools, roads, families, and more. Make sure Hawai‘i counts!
Emergency, P-EBT School Meal Program Extended — The Hawaiʻi Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education (HIDOE) announced that there will be a second round of Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program (P-EBT) benefits allocated to children who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There is a tight turnaround to allocate these benefits due to federal restrictions.
  • Ensure that your child’s school has the correct mailing address NO LATER THAN September 22, 2020.
  • If your child is in need and is NOT enrolled in the Free and Reduced-Price Lunch Program, (and you would like for them to receive P-EBT benefits) please enroll NO LATER THAN September 21, 2020 via EZMealApp.com
At the beginning of the summer, during the first round of P-EBT, DHS provided more than 93,500 eligible students with $33,437,250 in food assistance support. This week, the federal government approved issuance of a second round of P-EBT for kindergarten to 12th grade students enrolled in schools operating a distance learning model. Read more about the second round of the program.
DLIR Announces Latest UI Numbers, New FEMA Funds — The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) today announced updated unemployment insurance claims information, including paying $3,186,067,022 and 3,307,331 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 has received approval to pay six weeks of benefits from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The program will pay $300 a week to all eligible claimants that have a minimum weekly benefit amount of $100 or more in unemployment insurance benefits. The program excludes those with a weekly benefit amount of less than $100 in weekly unemployment insurance benefits. Payments will be retroactive for the weeks ending 8/1/2020, 8/8/2020, 8/15/2020, 8/22/2020, 8/29/20, and 9/5/20. Read the full announcement for more information.
New Food Distribution Program on Kaua‘i — In his latest video update, Mayor Kawakami announced a partnership between Kaua‘i County and two food banks to create a new food distribution program that will start on Tuesday, September 22. The program will provide food packages to food insecure individuals and families who have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will run through the end of the year and is made possible, in part, through CARES Act funds. Watch the Mayor’s announcement for distribution dates and locations.

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