Hawai‘i COVID-19 Daily News Digest February 9, 2021

Posted on Feb 9, 2021 in COVID-19

Office of the Governor:

Governor Updates Hawai‘i’s Financial Future

At a news conference this afternoon Governor David Ige provided an update on Hawai‘i’s current financial picture, the near-term outlook, and post COVID-19 pandemic predictions. We are continually monitoring our state revenues, advocating for federal funding, and doing all that we can to provide much-needed programs to help people in need,” Governor Ige said.

Key Points:

  • Fiscal Biennium Budget and Financial Plan submitted to the Legislature in Dec.
  • Federal government passed an aid package in December to assist with the state’s pandemic response and is currently considering another.
  • In January, the Council on Revenues increased its revenue projections by $2 billion over seven years.
  • January revenue report shows general revenue funds down by -9.4% for the month.
  • We still have a significant revenue shortfall. Revenues not predicted to fully recover to pre-pandemic levels until 2024.
  • State’s Financial Plan was updated based on the latest information.

Financial Plan Updates:

  • As previously announced, the Department of Education’s target reductions to reset to 2.5% from 10%, representing a restoration of $123 million to public school classrooms.
  • With federal aid any potential furloughs delayed until at least July.

“I want to thank our Congressional delegation for advocating on our behalf. They know how important it is to the people of Hawaiʻi that federal aid be directed to the states so we can continue to provide needed services.” If President Biden’s relief package passes, the governor outlined some priorities for the state:

  • Increase funding for public school education.
  • Fund Unemployment Insurance and repay the $700 million Unemployment
  • Insurance loan from USDOL.
  • Eliminate program budget cuts and labor savings.
  • Repay $750 million loan to help make payroll.
  • Establish a statewide broadband network.

“While I’m cautiously optimistic about the economic recovery, it is fragile. Until additional federal aid is approved, we must be prudent and plan accordingly,” Governor Ige commented.

Update on FEMA Vaccination Grant

During a morning call with the White House, Governor Ige said it was announced that  

FEMA will be providing funding to the states for the vaccination programs.

Hawaiʻi has requested $175 million. “FEMA has approved our plan and we are waiting for funding to be approved,” Governor Ige told reporters this afternoon.

“The challenge remains – we are simply not getting enough vaccine. We continue to get about half of the vaccine that we have the ability to administer. The White House is working with vaccine manufacturers to get more out. Until we see the results, our vaccination program will be significantly slower than it could be.” Governor Ige cautioned people, particularly kūpuna to be on the alert for COVID-19 scams (see item below).

Emergency Rent Assistance Outlined

Finally, Governor Ige announced that the state is moving ahead with an Emergency Rent Assistance program with federal funds received as part of the December stimulus. This program assists households that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Governor Ige explained that the state received $200 million for rent assistance and utilities and is currently working on agreements related to administration of the program and distribution of funds.

Differences between 2020 Program and 2021 Program:

  • Utilities are included
  • Landlords can apply on behalf of tenants
  • If utility or landlord does not agree to accept, payment can be made to household
  • Households may receive up to 12 months assistance
  • Priority given to households where member has been unemployed and income at

 

Department of Health:

Watch Out for COVID-19 Scams
There has been an alarming increase in various types of COVID-19 scams across the nation, and kūpuna and other Hawai‘i residents are not immune from being targeted as potential victims. 

DOH, in collaboration with the Department of the Attorney General, Executive Office on Aging’s Senior Medicare Patrol Hawaii (SMP), and the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, is alerting Hawai‘i residents about new COVID-19 vaccination scams. 

Scammers usually send phone and text messages demanding individuals to call back to receive a COVID-19 vaccination in exchange for money. Callers may falsely claim the vaccine will be available only for three months for $1,000, a limited time to create a false sense of urgency, as in a recent case involving a call from Jamaica to a Hawai‘i resident. 

All COVID-19 vaccinations are free. At no time should anyone pay for the vaccine,” said Dr. Elizabeth Char, director of the Hawai‘i Department of Health. “Everyone, including kūpuna, will eventually have an opportunity to receive their vaccine.”

SMP Hawaii offers these tips:

  • No one can pay to “jump ahead of the line” and receive earlier access to a vaccination.
  • No one who calls from the Hawai‘i State Department of Health or its trusted partners concerning the COVID-19 vaccination will ask you for a Social Security, bank account, credit card number or related personal information.
  • Legitimate authorities do not ask for payment in exchange for the vaccine – just hang up.

See the full news release: https://hawaiicovid19.com/hawaii-department-of-health-warns-public-about-covid-19-scams/

Summary Metrics - Feb 9 2021

https://health.hawaii.gov/coronavirusdisease2019/what-you-should-know/current-situation-in-hawaii/

Residence Status and Travel History - February 9 2021

Daily Preliminary Vaccine Administration Updates

The chart below will be included in the Daily News Digest, Monday-Friday. A weekly summary with final vaccination numbers will be included each Wednesday.

Daily COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Update Feb. 9, 2021

37 New COVID-19 Cases Reported

DOH reports 37 new cases of coronavirus today. There were no additional deaths.

This report includes cases up until Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Full data is posted on the State COVID-19 dashboard and on the DOH Disease Outbreak & Control Division website at noon each day at HawaiiCOVID19.com/dashboard.

 

Hawai‘i COVID-19 Counts as of 11:59 p.m. Feb. 7, 2021   

Island of Diagnosis          

New Cases

Reported since

2/28/2020

(including new cases)

O‘ahu          

24

21,383

Hawai‘i          

3

2,201

Maui         

7

1,873

Kaua‘i         

0

179

Moloka‘i          

0

25 

Lānaʻi      

0

109

HI residents diagnosed outside of HI         

3

761

Total Cases          

37

26,531++

Deaths          

0

418

Hospitalizations as of 8:30 a.m. on 2/6/21 – Hawai‘i-2, Maui-12, O‘ahu-49, Kaua‘i-0

++As a result of updated information, two cases on O‘ahu and four cases on Maui were removed from the counts.

 

Department of Public Safety:

Statewide Inmate Testing Continues

The Maui Community Correctional Center (MCCC) reports 22 inmate test results as part of mass testing efforts underway at the facility. Of that number, 21 were negative and one (1) was inconclusive. The total positive inmate cases remain unchanged at eight (8). There are 23 inmates in medical isolation, including the eight (8) confirmed positive cases, and an additional 83 inmates on quarantine status. No MCCC staff have reported having COVID-19. COVID-19 testing is continuously being conducted statewide at all facilities. For more information on PSD’s planning and response efforts to COVID-19: http://dps.hawaii.gov/blog/2020/03/17/coronavirus-covid-19-information-and-resources/

 

Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority:

8,874 Passengers Arrive on Monday

Yesterday, a total of 8,874 people arrived in Hawai‘i from out of state. A total 4,669 people indicated they came to Hawai‘i for vacation. There were also 1,507 returning residents. The trans-Pacific passenger arrival data is derived from data provided by the Safe Travels digital system.

Reason for Trip by Arrival Feb. 8

To view more: https://www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/covid-19-updates/trans-pacific-passenger-arrivals/

Helpful Resources

 

Trusted Testing and Travel Partners:

The state of Hawai‘i only accepts Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) from a certified Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) lab test results from Trusted Testing and Travel Partners. For the full list of domestic trans-Pacific, inter-county, international and airline partners or information on how to become a Trusted Testing Partner, go to:

https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel-partners/

 

Safe Travels Hawai‘i Program:
Program overview: https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel/ 

FAQs: https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel/faqs/

Email: [email protected] 

Call Center Number: 1-800-GO-HAWAII 

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Status in Hawai‘i and FAQs:

https://hawaiicovid19.com/vaccine/

Vaccine Call Center: 808-586-8332  

 

COVID-19 Expanded Dashboard (Tables, Charts, and Visualizations):

https://hawaiicovid19.com/data-dashboard/

 

Safe Travels Digital Platform:

https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel/data/


Kaua‘i County:
Kaua‘i COVID-19 webpage: https://www.kauai.gov/COVID-19
To report violators: https://www.kauai.gov/KPD-Online-Reporting

Vaccine Information: https://www.kauai.gov/vaccine

 

Maui County:
Maui County travel and COVID-19 information:
https://www.mauicounty.gov  

To report violators: (808) 244-6400 or [email protected]   

 

Hawai‘i County:
Hawai‘i County COVID-19 webpage:
https://coronavirus-response-county-of-hawaii-hawaiicountygis.hub.arcgis.com/pages/travel 

Critical infrastructure and medical travel request: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/e2f4ce19aa854964a8fd60bec7fbe78c 
To report violators: 808-935-3311 

 

City & County of Honolulu: 
Honolulu COVID-19 webpage: oneoahu.org 

COVID-19 Vaccine Information:  http://www.oneoahu.org/vaccine

Interisland passengers arriving on O‘ahu are not subject to the mandatory quarantine.  
To report violators: 808-723-3900 or [email protected]   

 

# # #

PDF: COVID-19 Daily News Digest Feb. 9, 2021