Hawai’i COVID-19 Daily News Digest March 26, 2020Posted on Mar 26, 2020 in COVID-19
Office of the Governor:
Today is the first day of the governor’s order that all arrivals to Hawai‘i undergo, mandatory, 14-day-long self-quarantine. This applies to all visitors and returning Hawai‘i residents. Initial reports indicate that incoming airport traffic was light, as expected, and that the process on this first day of the mandatory order, for the most part, went smoothly.
Office of the Lt. Governor:
Lt. Governor Green is the State Liaison for Healthcare Response. He spent the past three weeks speaking with the healthcare community and visiting facilities, including five major hospitals statewide. Approximately 200 providers participate in each call weekly in partnership with the Healthcare Association of Hawai‘i. Lt. Gov. Green also meets twice weekly with healthcare representatives as part of the COVID-19 Healthcare Task Force. Current concerns from the healthcare community are personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilator shortages and ensuring everyone in Hawai‘i heeds stay-at-home and work-from-home orders and the14-day self-quarantine orders. Lt. Gov. Green is working with Dir. Hara, healthcare providers and the Healthcare Association of Hawaiʻi to streamline supply ordering and hospital/healthcare occupancy reporting.
Department of Health:
DOH reports eleven (11) new cases today, all of whom are Hawai’i residents, including two individuals diagnosed outside of the state (passengers from the Grand Princess cruise ship, who have been cleared by the CDC to return home). Of the 11 new cases reported today, eight (8) are from Honolulu and one (1) from Maui County and the two aforementioned cases from the cruise ship. There are 106 presumptive or positive cases to date, with the vast majority being Hawai‘i residents (86) and 15 non-Hawai‘i residents.
Department of Transportation:
On the first day of mandatory self-quarantine for arrivals, DOT reports very light traffic at State airports. Some planes are arriving with fewer than 10 passengers. Some flights had no passengers or only one. Hawai‘i Tourism Authority staff are assisting DOT in collecting, processing and scanning traveler forms. Hotels are being alerted before visitors arrive. The majority of the passengers so far are either returning Hawaiʻi residents or catching connecting flights to the mainland.
Department of the Attorney General:
The AG has joined 27 other attorneys general in calling on the U.S. Department of Education to provide federal student loan borrowers with crucial emergency measures. In a letter to the Education Secretary, the coalition asks the DOE to take specific steps to protect borrowers from further financial burden and debt collection due to job losses and lost wages.
Department of Land and Natural Resources:
Yesterday the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation reopened all restrooms in State small boat harbors and boat ramps. This is in response to CDC guidance for ensuring availability of toilets and hand washing facilities for people experiencing homelessness. The Division of State Parks will be opening a comfort station at Sand Island State Recreation Area on Oahu and at Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park on Hawaii island.
Department of Public Safety:
DPS reports COVID-19 presents unique challenges for prevention and containment in the correctional environment. Knowledge about COVID-19 and public health guidance for responding to the pandemic is rapidly changing. Adaptable and updatable practice tools are needed to develop infection prevention and control plans for COVID-19 across a diverse array of U.S. jails and prisons. DPS has released a Pandemic Response Plan for Hawai‘i.
University of Hawaiʻi:
A UH professor and researcher, along with faculty, staff and students of the UH-Mānoa Dept. of Theatre and Dance are sewing homemade fabric masks for health care workers. This is in response to CDC guidance that fabric masks are a crisis response option when other supplies have been exhausted. The masks will be pleated for better fit and made of 100 percent densely woven “breathable” cotton with pockets that can be inserted with a disposable near N95 non-woven filter material,
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:
USACE is evaluating both the Hawai‘i Convention Center and the City and County of Honolulu’s Neal S. Blaisdell Center for potential use as alternate-care sites. A technical survey team has conducted two planning and site assessments. Tomorrow the team will be surveying sites on Maui. The state has asked USACE to conduct additional site assessments in the coming weeks.
Hawai‘i Air National Guard:
Hawai‘i National Guardsmen are partnering with the Hawai‘i Healthcare Emergency Management Coalition. Medically trained National Guard Members are assisting with administration, logistics, and equipment repair for healthcare responders.