10/09/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

 
October 9, 2020
 
Aloha,
 
While our COVID numbers in Hawaii are generally improving, we cannot be complacent. Our country is still reporting around 40,000 new infections each day — which he said is too high and indicates a large amount of community spread.
 
We all have a role to play in getting those infection numbers down by maintaining physical distancing, frequently washing hands, and to wear a face mask that covers your mouth and nose when away from your home.
 
Consistently doing these things goes a long way to helping prevent the spread of the virus.
 
So, this weekend, I hope everyone stays safe and practices these simple measures to protect yourself, your family, and your neighbors. We’re all in this together.
 
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, the Department of Health reports a total of 155 new cases and 2 additional COVID-19 related deaths. There are currently 2,612 active cases in the state.
 
 
166 have died
911 required hospitalization
10,651 have been released from isolation
 
There have been 447,810 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 contact tracers there are on any 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 = 300 (+12 from the previous week) *
  • Number of Trained Tracers in Reserve = 507 **
  • Percent of New Infections Whose Contacts are Traced within 24 Hours = ***
  • Infection Rate = ***, but COVID Act Now reports 0.94. (no change since yesterday)
 
* The DOH only has weekly numbers. These are for the week of Sep. 28-Oct. 4
** The state provides numbers on its new dashboard but does not indicate what time period the data covers.
*** 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 621 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.
 
Simpler PPP Forgiveness for Loans of $50,000 or Less — The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Treasury Department, today released a simpler loan forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $50,000 or less. This action streamlines the PPP forgiveness process to provide financial and administrative relief to America’s smallest businesses while also ensuring sound stewardship of taxpayer dollars. SBA and Treasury have also eased the burden on PPP lenders, allowing lenders to process forgiveness applications more swiftly. SBA began approving PPP forgiveness applications and remitting forgiveness payments to PPP lenders for PPP borrowers on October 2, 2020. Visit the Treasury Department’s website for instructions and the application for the simpler loan forgiveness program.
 
DLIR Virtual Call Center and PEUC Claim Application Updates — The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) announced that its new virtual call center experienced 150,000 calls on a daily basis since opening last week. The department and its vendor have determined that a majority of those calls were claimants using autodialing (robocalls) that initially flooded the center and made it very hard for normal callers, but the contractor has implemented solutions to prevent this and claimants can now wait in queue and get through to an agent.
 
The manual PEUC claim application process takes twenty-one days to complete just as when a new claim is filed. The DLIR believes that many claimants are answering the questions incorrectly and has posted information at the following links to assist claimants filing correctly: https://labor.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/PEUC-How-to-Apply-.pdf and https://twitter.com/HI_DLIR/status/1313929573239648256. The DLIR is also following up with all claimants that do not qualify based on their answers to the questions.
 
Maui Extension for Deferral of 10% Penalty on Real Property Taxes — Mayor Michael Victorino has authorized a 90-day extension, now to Nov. 19, 2020, for the deferral of the 10 percent penalty for Real Property Taxes that was due on Aug. 20, 2020, because of the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the deferral provides taxpayers from Aug. 20 to Nov. 19, 2020, to make payments without penalty. But, they are encouraged to pay their bills on time, as usual, to avoid the standard 1 percent monthly interest charge for unpaid balances after Aug. 31st. Previously, Mayor Victorino had granted a 60-day extension. Read the full announcement for more information.
 
Honolulu Permitted Camping Resuming, 5 Person Limit — While permitted camping has resumed in City campgrounds, the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) wishes to highlight some of the changes to camping operations due to the current Mayoral Emergency Order.
 
Most importantly, only 5 people are allowed per campsite. This is in accordance with the current Tier 1 reopening guideline limiting social gatherings to 5 people regardless of household. While regular campground rules allow for 10 people per campsite, the Emergency Order supersedes this rule. DPR is working to adjust the permit printouts to reflect this change, however previously issued camping permits may erroneously indicate that 10 people are allowed per campsite. We apologize for this confusion.
 
For additional guidelines, you can read the complete announcement.
 

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