Hawaii COVID-19 Daily News Digest May 23-25, 2020

Posted on May 25, 2020 in COVID-19

Department of Health:

Only One New Case of COVID-19 Reported Over Memorial Day Weekend

On Saturday, DOH reported one (1) new case of coronavirus on Maui. On Sunday and Monday there have been no new cases.

Hawai‘i COVID-19 Counts as of 12:00 noon, May 25, 2020

Island of Diagnosis

New Cases

Reported since

2/28/2020

(including new cases)

Total Released from Isolation*

O‘ahu

0

414

389

Hawai‘i

0

81

79

Maui

0

116

103

Kaua‘i

0

20

19

Moloka‘i

0

2

2

Lana‘i

0

0

0

Residents Diagnosed outside HI

0

10

 

Unknown

0

0

 

Total

0

643

 

Total released from isolation

 

 

592

Deaths

0

17

 

* Includes cases that meet isolation release criteria.

Laboratory* Testing Data

Today’s tables are updated based on investigation data only. There has been a temporary interruption in the electronic laboratory reporting, which affects the receipt of negative test result numbers and laboratory testing data cannot be updated. IT staff are reviewing the issue.

Total Number of Individuals Tested by Clinical and State Laboratories

Positive

Negative

44,523**

641

43,867

*Electronic Laboratory Reporting

**15 test results were inconclusive

Hawaiicovid19.com

Guidance for Restaurants, Retail Food Markets And Food Manufacturers
DOH has developed detailed guidance on safe practices and recommendations for reopening Hawai‘i’s food sector. During this initial recovery stage, the health department urges restaurants to act with care and continue to meticulously follow safe practices. Keith Kawaoka, deputy director of environmental health said, “We encourage food operators to promote good hygiene practices by ensuring adequate supplies of soap, individual disposable towels, and hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol for employees and customers. Any employee who exhibits signs of illness should not be allowed to report to work.” At a minimum, customers are required to wear a cloth face covering when moving through a food establishment or while waiting for a pick-up order, and their masks may be removed only while eating.

In addition these additional stipulations for dine-in service:

  • No more than 50 percent or half of the total seating capacity should be available for dining-in use.
  • Dining tables at least six feet apart for indoors and outdoors. (Outdoor seating does not count toward the total seating capacity.)
  • Restaurants are encouraged to require reservations for dine-in service for greater control of customer volume.
  • Consider allowing customers to pre-order while making reservations to decrease the length of time they are in the establishment.
  • Maximum of six customers, not living in the same household, per group per table, with a maximum of 10 customers, living in the same household, per group per table.
  • No self-service salad bar or buffet.
  • Restaurants should also post signage at the entrance that states that no one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19 will be permitted in the restaurant.

As the state moves toward the next phase of recovery, the health department plans to increase the recommended dining capacity for restaurants to 75 percent of total seating capacity while keeping dining tables at least six feet apart. DOH also issued guidance for retail food markets, limiting the number of people in a facility up to 50 percent of fire code occupancy and maintaining a minimum of six feet between individuals. In the next phase, the recommended number of people in a retail food market increases to up to 75 percent of fire code occupancy, while continuing to maintain a minimum of six feet between individuals. The health department is continuously monitoring and evaluating conditions.

For a complete list of requirements for restaurants, retail food markets and food processors and manufacturers in the State Roadmap to Recovery and Resilience: Guidance for Reopening the Food Service Sector (PDF), DOH Food Safety Branch: health.hawaii.gov/san/, and DOH Food and Drug Branch: health.hawaii.gov/food-drug.


Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism:

Hawaii May See Double Digit Economic Downturn In 2020

Hawai‘i is one of the hardest hit states economically, but it is one of the safest states during the COVID-19 pandemic. DBEDT Director Mike McCartney said, “While our economy will not recover overnight, Hawai‘i is well positioned because of our strong human will, innovative spirit and physical infrastructure. We are well positioned to go beyond recovery and evolve into a more balanced and diversified economy.” On Friday DBEDT released its second quarter 2020 Statistical and Economic Report today. The department projects Hawai‘i’s economic growth will fall by 12.1 percent in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Initial unemployment claims started to surge during the week of March 16, and totaled 232,893, as of the end of May 16, 2020, increasing 2,081 percent from the same period a year earlier.

After declining 53.7 percent in March, the number of visitor arrivals was only 3,565 in the full month of April, while the average daily visitor arrivals in 2019 was 28,562. During the first 21 days of May, visitor arrivals to the state totaled 5,397, the daily visitor count (257 per day) now is more than double the April daily count (120 per day). Most businesses surveyed had applied for some type of federal financial assistance, but half of businesses had not received assistance when they were surveyed. The first week of the survey corresponded with the opening of the second wave of federal funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). Businesses that did not get their applications submitted in time for the first round of funding were eligible to have their applications reviewed during the second round, which is still ongoing. The report is based on certain assumptions. Since the global COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying tourism shutdown are unprecedented, Hawai‘i’s economic forecast cannot be generated using past trends; however, basic relationships between economic variables remain unchanged, such as the relationship between job count and unemployment, personal income and GDP. Due to the government assistance programs, there will be a significant increase in personal transfer receipts from the federal government, which consists of income payments to households in which no current services are performed. The federal assistance will be reflected in household spending. Based on these assumptions:

  • DBEDT projects that Hawai‘i’s economic growth rate, as measured by the real gross domestic product GDP), will drop by 12.1 percent in 2020, then will increase at 0.7 percent in 2021, 0.6 percent in 2022 and 1.1 percent in 2023.
  • Hawai‘i will welcome 3.4 million visitors in 2020, a decrease of 67.5 percent from the 2019 level.
  • Visitor arrivals will increase to 6.2 million in 2021, 8.3 million in 2022, and 9.4 million in 2023.
  • Visitor arrivals will not reach the 2019 level until 2025, based on the assumptions. Visitor spending will decrease more during the next few years due to the decrease in daily spending.

For the full release: http://dbedt.hawaii.gov/blog/20-09/


Hawai‘i Tourism Authority:

966 Passengers Arrive on Sunday

Yesterday, a total of 966 people arrived in Hawai‘i including 253 visitors and 362 returning residents. There was a total of 15 arriving flights. This table shows the number of people who arrived by air from out of state yesterday but does not show interisland travel.

AIRPORT ARRIVALS FOR SUNDAY, MAY 24, 2020

 

KONA

MAUI

O‘AHU

LĪHUʻE

TOTAL

Crew

4

7

111

 

122

Transit

 

 

54

 

54

Military

 

 

39

 

39

Exempt

 

 

60

 

60

Relocate to Hawai‘i

2

1

73

 

76

Returning Resident

31

33

298

 

362

Visitor

36

17

200

 

253

GRAND TOTAL

73

58

835

0

966

Flights

2

1

12

0

15

Monday news release:

https://www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/media/4616/052520-passenger-count-press-release.pdf

Sunday news release:

https://www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/media/4615/052420-passenger-count-press-release.pdf

Saturday news release:

https://www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/media/4613/052320-passenger-count-press-release.pdf


Department of the Attorney General:

Special Agents Arrest Two More Quarantine Violators

Social media postings again helped lead to the arrests of two men, on Friday afternoon, accused of violating the State’s 14-day mandatory traveler quarantine rules. Special Agents from the Investigation Division of the Department of the Attorney General arrested 20-year-old Artyon Zhiryada of Happy Valley, OR and 19-year-old Dan Vlasenko of Vancouver, WA as they were leaving a condominium on Lewers Street in Waikiki. In addition to facing quarantine violation charges, Zhiryada faces an additional charge of Cruelty to Animals. Agents say he posted a video, among others, showing him shooting a feral chicken with a spear gun in an area parking lot. They say the pair arrived in Honolulu last Saturday, indicating they were staying at a friend’s condo. They immediately began breaking quarantine requirements and “showed off their escapades by posting their adventures on social media sites as they traveled to various locations around Honolulu.” Attorney General Clare Connors commented, “We appreciate the assistance of those who reported these social media postings to us. Our special agents have arrested 15 quarantine violators in recent weeks and county police departments have arrested additional suspects. Once again, we must warn residents who return, and visitors who come to Hawai‘i, that they will face consequences for violating our COVID-19 emergency rules. Please do the right thing and if you cannot abide by the 14-day quarantine, postpone your trip to the Aloha State until the quarantine ends, for your own safety and the safety of everyone else.”


Department of Land and Natural Resources:

Hundreds of People Violate Emergency Rules at Huge Beach Gathering

Late Sunday night, into the wee hours of Memorial Day, officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement and the Honolulu Police Dept. worked to clear an estimated 200 people from a beach at the Mokuleia section of Ka‘ena State Park on O‘ahu’s North Shore. Witnesses report the crowd was even bigger earlier in the evening.

Three DOCARE officers, joined by five HPD officers, spent the next 4 ½ hours directing partiers to clean up their messes and to leave the area. Saturday morning DOCARE officers cleaned up trash and pallets used to fuel giant bon fires the night before. Open fires on Hawai‘i beaches are illegal. Participants were also in violation of COVID-19 Emergency Rules, as well as not having permits for large gatherings in a state park. Saturday and Sunday night’s parties were promoted on social media. Last night, due to the size of the crowd and the small law enforcement contingent, the goal was to disperse the crowd and get their messes cleaned up. Officers report that most people were compliant, but there were a couple of “knuckleheads,” who wanted to argue and push their luck. No citations were issued, however.

DOCARE Chief Jason Redulla said, “This is exactly the kind of bad and selfish behavior we’ve all been asked repeatedly not to engage in during this emergency. It’s unfortunate, that at least in the case of the Sunday night party, many of the participants appear to be from surrounding military bases. This is a day when we remember the sacrifices of the men and women who’ve given their lives in defense of our country and its disappointing that the urge to socialize and party, at this given time, overrides any obligation to duty and common sense.”

Read the full release: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/blog/2020/05/25/nr20-071/

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PDF: COVID-19 Daily News Digest May 23-25, 2020