Hawaii COVID-19 Daily News Digest March 27, 2020Posted on Mar 27, 2020 in COVID-19
Dept. of Health:
DOH reports 14 positive test results today: All of the cases are adults, 12 are residents of the state, one (1) is a non-resident, and one (1) person’s residency is unknown at this time. Of the 14 new positive test results reported today, 10 are from Honolulu, two (2) from Hawai‘i Island, and two (2) from Maui County. There are 120 presumptive or positive cases to date, with the vast majority being Hawai‘i residents (100) and 16 non-Hawai‘i residents. To date, there have been more than 5,800 tests conducted for COVID-19 samples from Hawai‘i with 120 positive results.
DOH and the City & County of Honolulu have mobilized public, private and nonprofit support to provide COVID-19 testing and quarantine services for the homeless community at 524 Ka‘ahi Street in Iwilei. Today, plans were announced to open the COVID-19 Medical Triage and Quarantine Center and provide mobile testing to serve homeless individuals on O‘ahu early next week. “Bringing together government, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector is especially important; the partnership allows us to fund, set up, and operate critical services in far less time than any of us would be able to achieve on our own,” said Gov. Ige. “As we find solutions to overcome the threat of COVID-19, it’s these types of local, collaborative efforts that will make a difference in our community.”
With expanded COVID-19 testing, people may see many new testing services offered by private businesses throughout the state. Laboratories must have a CLIA certificate to perform COVID-19 testing. Under CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments), laboratories are prohibited from testing human specimens for the purpose of diagnosis, prevention, treatment, or health assessment without a valid CLIA certificate. However, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has instituted an expedited application process for laboratories interested in pursuing a CLIA certificate.
At this time, the DOH is not recommending the adoption of blood testing methods for COVID-19. These blood tests have the possibility to be misleading, and their performance characteristics have not been established.
Hawai‘i WIC (Women, Infants and Children Special Supplemental Nutrition Program) continues to provide services during this public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 virus. At this time, WIC staff are available by phone, there is no need to go to a clinic in-person. Call your clinic directly with any questions. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding an infant, gave birth in the last 6 months, or have a child younger than 5 years old, contact a WIC clinic near you to apply for services.
Attention Wahiawa and North Shore WIC participants: Although a building fire destroyed the Wahiawa clinic at 830 California Avenue on Tuesday, March 24, the staff are continuing to provide services over the phone. For assistance, please leave a message at (808) 622-6458.
Hawai‘i Tourism Authority:
Yesterday, 1,589 passengers arrived in Hawai‘i on the first day of the state’s 14-day mandatory self-quarantine for all incoming passengers. Of that number, 268 people were visitors, and most of them were either crew members or returning residents. In comparison, last year at the end of March, more than 30,000 passengers arrived in Hawai‘i daily, including residents and visitors.
Dept. of Business, Economic Development and Tourism:
Visitor statistic information:
Domestic arrivals by island from March 2019 compared to March 2020. Please note data from the past few days not available yet:
Dept. of Public Safety:
As of today no one incarcerated in Hawai‘i have met PUI (Persons Under Investigation) criteria for COVID-19. PSD is very aware of the risks of over-population and crowding in jails, especially during this pandemic. The department is taking proactive measures with criminal justice partners to identify ways to temporarily reduce jail/prison populations while maintaining safety for the community. Among the measures already in place or being considered are greater use of video conferencing for arraignments and plea & bail motions, and enhanced screenings at entry points to avoid the virus from being introduced into any facilities.
Dept. of Transportation
If you’ve been on the roads you already know that traffic is light. This is allowing HDOT Highways Division to take advantage of lower than normal traffic volumes to conduct maintenance and improvements around the state. HART has been given permission to work extended hours. HDOT is monitoring all extended closures and will make adjustments as needed.
Weekly closure information:
Hawai‘i State Senate
Today the Senate’s Special Committee on COVID-19 met to confirm the development of state departmental plans and procedures. During the meeting senators were expected to review and assess those efforts to ensure timely implementation, as well as communications and information dissemination to state residents. The committee received reports from U.S. Senator Brian Schatz on the federal stimulus package and reports from the governor’s office, DOH, HI-EMA, DOT, DPS,and the attorney general. Additional reports came from representatives of the health care industry.