10/20/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

October 20, 2020
Aloha from the office of U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard!
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is serving on Army Reserve duty today. While she is away, we will send you these Coronavirus-related updates on her behalf. We are continuing to work on behalf of residents across Hawai‘i through individual constituent casework and coordination with authorities, as well as working in Washington, D.C. to bring resources and support to the people of Hawai‘i.
The House of Representatives is currently not in session and is scheduled to resume legislative business the week of November 16.
So if you are in need of assistance, please call us at (808) 541-1986 or email TulsiOffice@mail.house.gov.
—Office of U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02)

COVID-19 News & Resources

Testing in Hawai‘i — Since yesterday, the Department of Health reports a total of 91 new cases and 2 additional COVID-19 related deaths. There are currently 2,958 active cases in the state.
189 have died
1,025 required hospitalization
11,150 have been released from isolation
There have been 482,982 diagnostic tests conducted as of today.
As a result of updated information, multiple cases were 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 = 308 (+8 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 0.91. (-0.03 since yesterday)
* The DOH only has weekly numbers. These are for the week of Oct. 5-Oct. 11
** 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 534 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.
CDC Strongly Urges Americans to Wear Protective Masks When Traveling — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued new guidance to passengers on public conveyances (e.g., airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, ride-shares) as well as operators of those conveyances (i.e., crew, drivers, conductors, and other workers involved in the operation of conveyances) to wear masks that cover your mouth and nose.
Traveling on public conveyances increases a person’s risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 by bringing persons in close contact with others, often for prolonged periods, and exposing them to frequently touched surfaces. Air travel often requires spending time in security lines and busy airport terminals. Travel by bus, train, and other conveyances used for international, interstate, or intrastate transportation poses similar challenges. Social distancing may be difficult if not impossible on buses and flights.  People may not be able to distance themselves by the recommendation to be at least 6 feet from individuals seated nearby or those standing in or passing through the aisles on airplanes, trains, or buses.
Furthermore, intrastate transmission of the virus has led to—and continues to lead to—interstate and international spread of the virus.  Given how interconnected most transportation systems are across the nation and the world, local transmission can grow quickly into interstate and international transmission when infected persons travel on public conveyances without wearing a mask and with others who are not wearing masks.
Using masks along with other preventive measures, including social distancing, frequent hand hygiene, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, is one of the most effective strategies available for reducing COVID-19 transmission.
Remember, while a COVID-19 test may come back negative, it does not mean that individual is protected from subsequently being exposed to and catching the virus. We must continue to exercise safe behavior to prevent the spread of this disease.
FHA Extends COVID-19 Forebearance Request Timeframe for Single Family Homeowners — Today, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced it is extending the date for single family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages to request an initial forbearance from their mortgage servicer to forbear their mortgage payments for up to six months. Homeowners experiencing a financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic may now request an initial forbearance through the end of this year, December 31, 2020. Previously, homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages needing assistance had until October 30, 2020, to request a COVID-19 forbearance from their mortgage servicer. Read the full announcement.
New Guidance to Hawai‘i Schools on Operating Safely During COVID-19 — The Hawai‘i Department of Health released updated guidance to elementary, middle, and high schools today to help school administrators make decisions to safely transition between different models of learning — virtual classes, traditional classroom learning, or a combination of at-home learning and in-person learning. The updated reopening thresholds for schools now align with reopening plans for Honolulu and Kaua‘i Counties that were approved by Gov. David Ige and continue to be consistent with recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read the full announcement.
Fresh Produce Distribution on Lānaʻi Tomorrow, Reminder about Food Distribution on Kaua‘i — Mayor Michael Victorino announced a produce distribution will take place Wednesday, Oct. 21, to provide produce for families impacted by COVID-19 on Lānaʻi. Produce distribution for the general public will take place from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., or until supplies run out, in the County parking lot located between the County gym and school cafeteria. Cars may line up at 2 p.m. for distribution. Bags will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. To maximize social distancing, produce distribution will be done in a grab-and-go drive-through (no walk up). Motorists will have the option of getting bags placed in their vehicle’s trunk or rear cargo area. Recipients must wear face masks. Read the announcement.
In yesterday’s video update, Kaua‘i Mayor Derek Kawakami reminded County residents of food distribution programs running through the end of the calendar year. Watch the video (starting at the 5:15 mark) for more details.
This message was sent by the Office of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard in compliance with guidance provided by the Committee on House Administration and the Army Reserve. The use of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s military rank, job titles, and photographs in uniform does not imply endorsement by the Army Reserve or the Department of Defense.

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