Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Caldwell extends Oahu lock-down, but opens parks; Kim mandates masks on Hawaii Island; Victorino defies state beach ban on Maui, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaiian Airlines flight at Honolulu airport ©2020 All Hawaii News
On average, more than 125 visitors fly to Hawaii every day despite coronavirus quarantine. The Hawaii Tourism Authority reported today that 444 trans-Pacific passengers arrived on Monday, including 111 visitors and 151 residents. Star-Advertiser.

The visitor industry showed signs of deterioration before hotels began to close. The rapid deterioration of Hawaii’s hotel industry in the wake of COVID-19 lockdowns began to hit its stride in March, with occupancy plummeting by at least 37% across every island. Star-Advertiser.

Lawmakers looking to diversify Hawaii’s economy away from tourism. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major hit to the tourism industry and businesses that rely on it. KHON2.

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State reports just 2 additional coronavirus cases but 2 more deaths. The number of identified coronavirus cases in Hawaii inched upward to 586 Tuesday based on two new positive test results, while the number of COVID-19 deaths in the state reached 12. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s COVID-19 Death Toll Reaches 12. Two men over the age of 65 died late Monday evening due to coronavirus complications. Civil Beat.

State reports 2 new COVID-19 fatalities, bringing Hawaii’s death toll to 12. The state is reporting two more COVID-19 fatalities in Hawaii, in a grim reminder that while the daily case count from the disease is on the decline many remain very ill. Hawaii News Now.

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She’s Running Hawaii’s Virus Response. But Should We Trust Her? Here’s a deeper look at State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park, why she’s made certain decisions and why some medical professionals think she’s wrong. Civil Beat.

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Report: Dramatic cuts to state worker pay would hurt Hawaii’s already-ailing economy. University of Hawaii researchers are warning proposed pay cuts of up to 20% for state workers could hurt the state’s already-ailing economy. Hawaii News Now.

Public worker union urges Ige to borrow from feds instead of cutting workers’ pay. The head of the state’s largest public worker union is urging Gov. David Ige to borrow money from the federal government if necessary to avoid deep pay cuts for public workers, and U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said Tuesday he also wants to explore the borrowing option to help close a $1.5 billion state budget shortfall caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Governor David Ige Address To State Employees. The governor posted a video address aimed at state employees, in which he thanks everyone for their efforts, and said no decisions have been made regarding salary reductions. Big Island Video News.

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Hawaii unemployment checks, except for gig workers, will include extra $600 federal weekly payment starting Wednesday. So far more than 244,000 Hawaii filings have been made in the wake of COVID-19. That’s overwhelmed the antiquated system and created lengthy waits. Some Hawaii applicants fear the money will run out before they get what’s owed to them. Star-Advertiser.

State labor director gives update on unemployment system, benefits. Hawaii workers already receiving unemployment benefits because of the COVID-19 pandemic should start receiving their $600 weekly “plus-up” payments in addition to their regular claim payments starting today. Tribune-Herald.

Stay at home extension will stress unemployment funds, but federal assistance is on the way. With the City and County of Honolulu’s stay at home order extended until at least May 31st, many of the state’s over 240,000 unemployed or partially unemployed residents are going to continue to need benefits from the state and federal government. KHON2.

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Experts Warn Against Using Antibody Tests As It Becomes Available In Hawaii. Antibody tests may be the key to learning how far COVID-19 has spread in Hawaii, and to getting people back to work. However, the state Department of Health doesn’t think the currently available tests are reliable. Hawaii Public Radio.

Our DC Delegation At Home: Cooking, Yardwork, Surfing And Politics. Each member of Hawaii’s federal delegation has taken on a different role as the federal government struggles to respond to the growing coronavirus pandemic. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Airlines brings in 1.6 million face masks. A Hawaiian Airlines passenger plane whose 3,920-cubic-foot belly was filled with protective masks for Hawaii’s people has landed. Star-Advertiser.

Earth Day turns 50. Both Earth Day and the Clean Air Act turn 50 years old today, and American Lung Association marked the occasion by releasing their annual State of the Air report, which gives states and counties a letter grade on air quality. Garden Island.

Oahu

Mayor Kirk Caldwell reopening city parks for exercise, extending Honolulu stay-at-home order. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Tuesday that he is extending Oahu’s stay-at-home, work-from-home order “with modifications” through May and is reopening city parks — for exercise only — beginning at 5 a.m. Saturday. Star-Advertiser.

Caldwell Extends Oahu Stay At Home Order To May 31. The city also wants to ramp up its testing capacity by providing community health centers with more test kits. Civil Beat.

O‘ahu Extends Mandatory Lockdown Through May. Honolulu County Mayor Kirk Caldwell will extend O‘ahu’s shelter-in-place order through May 31, he announced at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. Big Island Now.

City extends stay-at-home order through May 31, but will reopen parks for exercise. Mayor Kirk Caldwell is extending the city’s stay-at-home order through May 31, but says city parks will reopen Saturday for limited exercise activities. Hawaii News Now.

All 300 Oahu city parks to reopen on Saturday for exercise only. Users are allowed to walk, jog, run or bike, but no gathering. KITV4.

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Honolulu police arrest 91 in connection with coronavirus emergency violations. Honolulu police have issued 7,801 warnings and 3,010 citations to date for violations of the emergency order for the coronavirus outbreak. Star-Advertiser.

Tourists' IG posts get them busted for breaking 14-day quarantine. Frustrated Hawaii residents are turning to social media to identify and report people violating COVID-19 restrictions and bragging about it on social media. KITV4.

Visitors Arrested On Oahu For Violating Quarantine. Two visitors staying in Waikiki were arrested Tuesday morning for violating the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine for all travelers, according to the COVID-19 Joint Information Center. Civil Beat.

Two visitors arrested in Waikiki for violating coronavirus self-quarantine. A 34-year-old woman from Las Vegas and a 33-year-old man from Sydney, Australia were arrested Tuesday morning for violating the emergency rules put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Visitors arrested for violating emergency rules on Oahu. Four more visitors were arrested this morning on Oahu for violating emergency rules. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Kim’s new mask rule more strict than governor’s proclamation. A new emergency rule announced by Mayor Harry Kim requires essential businesses to refuse service to customers who do not wear face masks or coverings. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Island Mayor Harry Kim issues strict rules in response to coronavirus. Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim today issued a new emergency rule mandating that all customers age 5 and older wear face masks or coverings before entering essential businesses or riding the bus, among other requirements. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Kim Issues New Rule Mandating Face Masks At Businesses. Hawaiʻi County Mayor Harry Kim on Tuesday signed a new emergency rule (No. 3) that mandates face masks at businesses, discourages hoarding of essentials, and details how employees must take action if they experience symptoms of illness. Big Island Video News.

Kim Institutes Strict Face Mask, Hand Sanitizing Policies on Big Island. Hawai‘i County Mayor Harry Kim bolstered a state mandate to wear face masks in public with a county Rule of his own. Big Island Now.

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Prolonged rainfall triggered Kilauea eruption, study finds. It was excessive and prolonged rainfall that triggered the 2018 eruption of Kilauea Volcano, according to new research due out today. Star-Advertiser.

FEMA Awards $61 Million To Rebuild Lava Covered Roads In Puna. Senators Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz today announced that Hawaiʻi County will be able to use the money to repair roads damaged during the 2018 Kilauea eruption. Big Island Video News.

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Higa announces mayoral bid: Former County Council chairman and public TV CEO says strong leadership needed. Former County Council Chairman Stacy Higa is throwing his hat into an increasingly crowded ring for mayor. West Hawaii Today.

Kona roller derby team members raise funds, purchase 1,000 N95 masks for health care workers. Members of the Echo City Knockouts Roller Derby Team are ready to make their first donation of 1,000 N95 masks to Big Island health facilities. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui Mayor: Police Will Not Issue Citations for Walking or Running on Maui Beaches. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino said he will not be issuing citations for people that run or walk on the beach because there is no clear delineation on what’s a state beach and what’s a county beach. Maui Now.

Despite state order, Maui’s mayor tells his residents it’s OK to exercise on the beach. Maui County’s mayor said Tuesday that exercising on the beach is fine with him, and police in his jurisdiction won’t cite anyone walking or running on the sand. Hawaii News Now.

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Maui Memorial works to improve communication, safety policies amid cluster of cases. To some longtime staff members at Maui Memorial Medical Center, the April 6 revelation that at least 15 employees had tested positive for COVID-19 — and the maelstrom of controversy and recrimination that followed — was as predictable as it was distressing. Star-Advertiser.

New Maui COVID-19 death is first tied to hospital outbreak; two more new cases in Maui County. State health officials said this morning that there were two more coronavirus deaths reported late Monday, one on Oahu and one on Maui, and that the Maui fatality is linked to the hospital’s outbreak. Maui News.

Kauai

Kaua'i County mayor already working on plans to reopen the Garden Isle's economy. After just four positive coronavirus cases were confirmed Monday, many are wondering when our local economy might open back up. KITV4.

Ige declares Kauai disaster area after March flooding. Gov. David Ige has declared Kauai a disaster area following the flooding on the island late last month. Star-Advertiser.

Kahili Quarry Road closed. A large sinkhole around a culvert under Kahili Road has triggered the closure of the dirt road access to the north side of the Kilauea River, an area that local residents have taken under their wing by forming the Kahili Community Stewardship Area. Garden Island.

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