Hawai'i COVID-19 Joint Information Center's Daily News Digest for July 30, 2020
Office of the Governor:
SB126 Signing and Line Item Veto
Gov. Ige held a news briefing Thursday to announce he has signed Senate Bill 126, with modifications. The governor said his primary concern was to expend the CARES Act funding before it expired at the end of the year and to ensure maximum flexibility to use the funds where it is needed most. The vetoes include;
• A $90 million appropriation for airport screenings and health assurance initiatives. Gov. Ige pointed out DOT believes that $70 million will be sufficient for equipment and services to test, verify, and monitor travelers during COVID-19.
• $230 million to provide an additional weekly unemployment benefit of $100 per week. Gov. Ige says U.S. Congress is currently considering another economic stimulus package and they’re unsure what will be approved and Hawai‘i needs to be flexible in using the funds for other needs in case Congress provides additional funding for unemployment benefits.
• $100 million for housing and rental assistance and the administrative costs related to the housing relief and resiliency program. Gov. Ige said HHFDC believes the initial amount of $50 million can be spent by the end of the year to help homeowners who have experienced a reduction of income due to COVID-19. Funds saved by the reduction may be applied to the period March 1 through Aug. 1.
• $100 million for the purchase of PPE. Gov. Ige cited that the appropriation doesn’t include the purchase and distribution of much-needed sanitation or disinfectant supplies. DOD also has stated $61 million is sufficient for PPE.
• The governor said he would also reduce $36 million to $10 million appropriated for retraining and workforce development programs and reduce $15 million to $10 million that would be used to support emerging industries to create a supply chain for cleaning supplies and PPE.
• $2 million appropriation for a public-private partnership to support public high school seniors who were adversely affected by COVID-19 would be reduced to $1 million.
• Lastly, the $1,080,000,605 transfer from the Emergency Reserve Fund will be reduced to $648 million. This is a technical correction because the amount is overstated by $432,000,605.
The governor noted that the inability of Congress to appropriate additional COVID-19 funding creates uncertainty at the state level about what can or should be done. He has been working with Hawaiʻi’s House and Senate leadership to respond appropriately.
Gov. Ige reiterated that Hawai‘i is dealing with unprecedented times due to COVID-19 and stressed the need for flexibility. He also added, “We are confident that with these changes, we will be able to best serve the needs of Hawaiʻi residents.”
Department of Health:
32 New Cases of Coronavirus Reported in Children Today
32 children (pediatric cases) under 18-years-old are among the 124 new cases of coronavirus being reported today by DOH. This is a new single day record and the majority of the cases, as with previous record days, are on O‘ahu.
Hawai‘i COVID-19 Counts as of 12:00 noon, July 30, 2020
More information may be found at www.hawaiicovid19.com
For more tables, charts and visualizations visit the DOH Disease Outbreak Control Division: https://health.hawaii.gov/coronavirusdisease2019/what-you-should-know/current-situation-in-hawaii
Hawai‘i Tourism Authority:
Hawai‘i Visitor Statistics Released for June 2020
In June 2020, visitor arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands decreased 98.2-percent compared to a year ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to preliminary statistics released Thursday by HTA. A total of 17,068 visitors traveled to Hawai‘i by air service last month compared to 951,628 total visitors (by air and cruise ships) during the same period a year ago. https://www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/media/4986/june-2020-visitor-statistics-press-release-final.pdf
2,380 Passengers Arrive on Wednesday
Yesterday marked 18 weeks since the State’s mandatory 14-day quarantine went into effect for all passengers arriving in Hawai‘i from out of state. Yesterday, a total of 2,380 people arrived in Hawai‘i including 570 visitors and 870 returning residents. There was a total of 26 arriving flights. This table shows the number of people who arrived by air from out of state yesterday but does not show interisland travel.
Department of Labor and Industrial Relations:
State Has Issued $2.5 Billion in Benefits Since March 1
DLIR announced updated unemployment insurance claims information Thursday, including paying $2,508,933,874 since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 1, 2020. DLIR Deputy Director Anne Perreira-Eustaquio said, “93-percent of the valid unemployment insurance claims that have come in since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic have been processed and paid out by the DLIR. Currently our biggest challenge is the staff and resources required to address the high level of imposter and regular fraud in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.” She also noted, “It is unclear if Congress will pass another economic stimulus package that includes an extension of additional unemployment insurance benefits. The additional $600 federal benefit expired for the week ending July 25th, which is the last payable week of $600 payments to claimants. If anyone is still waiting on payments for any claims made from April 4 through July 25, you will be made whole and you will receive those benefits provided you are otherwise qualified.” http://labor.hawaii.gov/blog/news/state-releases-updated-unemployment-insurance-information-7/
University of Hawai‘i:
JABSOM Students Create COVID-19 Videos
in English and Hawaiian
During their first year at JABSOM, ‘MS1’ students fulfill a requirement of community health by completing a service-learning project. The medical students can typically choose to work at the H.O.M.E. Project, Waimanalo Health Center, Teen Health Camp, and nine other sites. This year, their plans had to change because of COVID-19. Keeping in mind physical-distancing rules, the class came up with an alternate service project instead; creating videos to remind people about the importance of washing your hands, wearing face masks, practicing physical distancing, exercise during COVID-19, and more. Dr. Martina Kamaka from JABSOM’s Native Hawaiian Health Department said, “My nine students picked the topics and broke into teams. My research assistant and one of the students volunteered to edit.” The videos are both in English and Hawaiian.