10/22/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

October 22, 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 102 new cases and 3 additional COVID-19 related deaths. There are currently 3,052 active cases in the state.
206 have died
1,045 required hospitalization
11,232 have been released from isolation
There have been 491,450 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.
Hawai‘i To Receive $1.9 Million For Small-Scale Agriculture — The State of Hawai‘i has been awarded $1.9 million by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to increase the quality and quantity of locally grown foods in food-insecure communities that import a significant amount of food. The funds will provide grants to qualifying communities over a three-year period. The Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) applied for the Micro-Grants for Food Security Program in August 2020 and was awarded a total of $1,938,556.80. The award was announced yesterday. The grant program is not connected to the CARES Act and was established under the 2018 Farm Bill to provide support for small-scale gardening, herding and livestock operations to help produce food in areas that are food insecure. 
Adjudication Unit For Unemployment Insurance Claims Launched — The Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) today announced that it added significant capacity to reduce the backlog of claims requiring adjudication that involve a higher level of expertise and knowledge to process. The DLIR contracted services with Maximus Inc., which is also operating a virtual call center for the department. Adjudication is the investigation and resolution of eligibility issues raised and is a manual process that requires interested parties be provided due process to respond to the eligibility issue. Eligibility issues arise from several places including the initial claim, weekly claim, and employer contact, among others. The adjudicators will call both claimants and employers from an 808 number. Claimants and employers not answering calls have been problematic as some phone network services identify the calls as spam or telemarketers.
For more information about unemployment insurance and other labor issues please visit the recently revised FAQs at https://labor.hawaii.gov/covid-19-labor-faqs/.
State ID Cards and Some Driver Licenses Added to Mail-in Options on O‘ahu — O‘ahu residents can now replace a state identification card and renew certain driver licenses without an in-person visit if they meet certain requirements. The effort is meant to address the high demand for appointments after two periods of pandemic-caused closures of driver licensing centers and satellite city halls forced more than 78,000 cancellations. Residents can now request a replacement for a lost, stolen or damaged state identification card by mail, provided no changes are made and lawful status in the US is not temporary. Similar ability already exists to request a duplicate of standard and commercial driver licenses. Eligible residents also can now skip the trip to a city office and renew by mail a two-year license, four-year license and a learner’s permit. Additionally, eligible residents can convert a provisional driver license to a standard license by mail without having to appear in person. These four mail-in options require vision clearance by an eye-care professional. For mail-in instructions, application forms and payment information, go to honolulu.gov/csd
County of Maui Partnering for Drive-Through Halloween Events and Encouraging Fun, Safe Activities — The County of Maui is partnering with a number of community groups and organizations to create safe, alternative Halloween activities for keiki and families to enjoy on Saturday, Oct. 31.
The County is coordinating drive-through Halloween events that will be held at the Outlets of Maui in West Maui and Keopuolani Park in Central Maui. The County also is promoting Halloween-themed festivities at home with the family, in lieu of traditional trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. Learn more, register for the events, and read about safe alternative Halloween ideas 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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