11/11/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

 
November 11, 2020
 
Aloha,
 
As one of the first female combat veterans to serve in Congress, I know how important it is that veterans voices are heard on Capitol Hill and am honored to have been given that opportunity by you these past 8 years.
 
I want to thank all our veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice.
 
In the coming week, I will be returning to Washington where Congress will work to pass legislation to fund the federal government for the coming year — including vital programs for our veterans. We also have the annual national defense bill to pass and I will continue to press for much needed COVID-19 relief as we continue to confront this pandemic.
 
I will continue to send these e-newsletters on a weekly basis with updates about our COVID-19 response in Hawaiʻi as well as with news on developments from Capitol Hill.
 
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 and Tracing in Hawaiʻi — The Department of Health reports that there are 16,205 individuals in Hawaiʻi who have tested positive for COVID-19, to date.
 
There have been 222 COVID-19 related deaths. In the last week there were 3 new deaths (0.25 deaths/day in the past week).
 
Since the beginning of the pandemic, of those infections, 1,185 required hospitalization.
 
The percent positive as reported for the last 7 days is 2.4%. COVID Act Now reports that Hawaiʻi’s infection rate today is 1.07. An average of 4,348 diagnostic tests/day have been performed in the past week.
 
Remember that an infection rate value that is greater than 1 means that the virus is spreading and for a given infected person, that person is infecting more than one other person.
 
The latest DOH reported number of active tracers is 420. This is reported for the week of Nov. 2-Nov. 8.
 
George Washington University reports that, given the number of infections and the rate of infection in Hawaiʻi today, the state should have 579 active tracers. The GWU contact tracing tool can be found in the CDC’s guidance on contact tracing.
 
The Department of Health is no longer reporting the number of cases that have been released from isolation or the number of active cases in the state.
 
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.
 
VA Honolulu Office to Host Virtual Benefits Workshop — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Honolulu Regional Office announced that it will host a virtual benefits workshop for veterans, family members, surviving spouses, and community providers on Tuesday, December 8 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. HST. The workshop will cover compensation, pension, education & training, DIC, survivor benefits, loan guaranty, veteran readiness & employment, burial & plot interment allowance, burial flags, and insurance.
 
For information about how to join the event, you can visit the regional office’s VA webpage and view the event flier as well as the slideshow for the event.
 
Drive-Through Testing on Maui Next Wednesday — Drive-through COVID-19 testing will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hana Ball Park. Residents do not need to have insurance or meet any criteria to get tested for free. Participants must wear a face mask, and they are urged to come at their scheduled time. Results will be reported on the same day as testing. Minit Medical is administering the program sponsored by the County of Maui. All participants must pre-register by visiting www.minitmed.com/pre-register-maui-covid-19. This website also has more information and frequently asked questions about testing. Read the full announcement.
 
Kauaʻi Launches Surge Testing Program — Mayor Kawakami noted that the most recent, free COVID-19 surge testing program event was held this past Sunday. 194 individuals were tested with results being returned in 3-5 days. The next event is scheduled for this coming Sunday, November 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Complex in Kapaʻa.
 
Participants are asked to register in advance at kauai.gov/test to reduce wait times. These tests are NOT part of the state’s pre-travel testing program and may NOT be used for quarantine exemptions.
 
For post-travel tests, visit kauai.gov/covid-19 and click on the post-travel testing button for more information about details. You MUST participate in the state’s pre-travel testing program in order to participate in this post-travel testing program. The ideal time to take a post-travel test is 5-7 days but may be taken no sooner than 3 days after arrival.
 
Mobile Testing Lab at Daniel K. Inouye Intl. Airport — Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced that the City and County of Honolulu, in partnership with the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii Consortium, opened a mobile testing lab for COVID-19 that can process up to 10,000 tests a day at the state’s largest airport. Initially, tests are available for first responders and their families, DOT Airport workers, and City workers. It will be open 7 days a week from 9:00am to 5:00pm. These times will be adjusted in the future according to need.
 
It also has the potential to be used for flights to Japan, to avoid the 14 day quarantine upon arriving in Japan. However, this would require the approval of the Japanese Government, which has not yet been sought. The lab, which opened on November 1, can process test results in 3 to 6 hours and is staffed with a team of local health care professionals. The City invested $16 million in CARES Act funding in the facility. It meets the requirements of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Read the full announcement.
 
Safer at Home Order on Lānaʻi Begins Tomorrow, Nov. 12 — Mayor Michael Victorino announced today that Maui County has received approval from the Governor to issue a “Safer At Home” order for Lānaʻi residents and visitors, beginning Thursday, Nov. 12. The Governor’s approval allows the County of Maui to amend its Public Health Emergency Rules to move the island of Lānaʻi from the current “Stay At Home” rule to “Safer At Home” order in response to the recent outbreak of COVID-19 on the island. The rule amendment encourages all residents and visitors to stay at their residence or place of lodging. Individuals may leave to conduct essential activities and government functions, or to patronize or operate essential businesses and designated businesses and operations. Read the full announcement.
 
Farmer and Rancher Support Still Available on Maui — Maui County farmers and ranchers to apply for reimbursements of expenses for losses related to COVID-19 and for food sustainability. The program is funded by $2.5 million in CARES Act funds and is meant to help sustain the agricultural community through the pandemic. Read the full announcement.
 
TheBus Operator Tests Positive for COVID-19 — On Saturday, 11/7/2020, the operator confirmed that they had tested positive for COVID-19 and immediately placed on leave. The operator’s last day of work was 11/5/2020 and had no symptoms during work. Operator had no close contact with employees or riders. Vehicles driven by the operator were disinfected on the same day they were driven. Read the full announcement for more details and the routes impacted.
 
Kaua‘i To Offer Outreach Services To Homeless Community During Week Of Nov. 16-20 — The Kaua‘i County Housing Agency, in partnership with the Kaua‘i Community Alliance, will be hosting the second annual Kaua‘i Housing Connect homeless outreach event on Nov. 16, 17 and 20, in three different locations across the island. The schedule for the outreach event is as follows:
 
  • ‘Anini Beach Park: Monday, Nov. 16, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.;
  • Salt Pond Beach Park: Tuesday, Nov. 17, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and
  • Lydgate Beach Park: Friday, Nov. 20, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
 
Approximately 15 non-profit agencies will offer various services including flu vaccinations, vision screening, resource cards, hygiene products, food, and signing up for housing vouchers and bus pass programs. Read more here.
 

Office Locations