10/21/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

October 21, 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 78 new cases and 14 additional COVID-19 related deaths. There are currently 2,997 active cases in the state.
203 have died
1,033 required hospitalization
11,188 have been released from isolation
There have been 487,311 diagnostic tests conducted as of today.
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. (no change 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.
HUD Awards Housing Counseling Grants To Hawaiʻi Orgs — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded more than $12.5 million in supplemental housing counseling grants. These supplemental grants will support quality housing counseling services, including the foreclosure avoidance and rental counseling services used by many families as they work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants will directly support the housing counseling services provided by 219 HUD-approved local housing counseling agencies, national and regional organizations, and state housing finance agencies (SHFAs) who competed under HUD’s FY 2020 Supplemental Comprehensive Housing Counseling Grant Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) or HUD’s FY 2019/2020 Comprehensive Housing Counseling NOFA. As part of this award, organizations in Hawai‘i will be receiving $10,028. Learn more on HUD’s website
Hawaiʻi Small Businesses To Get $25 Million In Grants To Adjust To COVID-19-Related Marketplace Changes —  The State of Hawai‘i, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i, today announced the launch of the Hawai‘i Business Pivot Grant program. The grants will distribute $25 million in financial and training support to struggling small businesses in Hawai‘i to help them adjust to marketplace changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will provide approximately 2,500 small businesses with reimbursement grants to cover expenses up to $10,000 that they incurred implementing changes to their operations, products and services. 
Funded by federal CARES Act appropriations, the program provides qualifying businesses reimbursement for eligible expenses incurred since March 20, 2020, including investing in e-commerce, reconfiguring workspaces, adding safety equipment and implementing new business processes. The grant application period starts on October 22, 2020 and will remain open until November 23, 2020, as funds are available. The Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i will administer the program. Learn more about the program and apply here
Interisland Travelers to Hawai‘i Island Now Have Choices to Avoid Quarantine — Interisland travelers to Hawai‘i County will have choices on how to avoid quarantine after they arrive. The new system, effective October 21, will enable interisland travelers to either test for COVID-19 no more than 72 hours before traveling to Hawai‘i Island, or be tested after arrival.  A negative post-arrival test would allow the traveler to be released from quarantine. This means that Hawai‘i County will now be in line with the statewide interisland 72-hour pre-travel test policy.
CARES Act Funding Available to Hawai‘i Child Care Programs — Hawaiʻi Community Foundation (HCF) is partnering with the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Human Services to distribute federal funds awarded to the state through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020. The goal of the Child Care Stimulus Grant Program is to provide regulated child care programs with one-time, flexible funding to ensure the continuity of their programs, prevent permanent closure and/or support child care providers to re-open their operations safely with financial resources. Allowable expenses include utility payments, rent/mortgage payments, staff salaries, cleaning supplies, personal protective gear and other supplies needed to care for children. Learn more here.
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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