Monday, April 20, 2020

Hawaii beaches closed, masks mandated, evictions postponed as state's 10th COVID-19 death announced; counties struggle to draft budgets, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Ala Moana beach park last year ©2020 All Hawaii News
With new restrictions, Hawaii’s shorelines are empty ... for the most part. With new rules in place further restricting people from gathering on sandy shorelines, beaches were fairly empty for a beautiful Saturday in Hawaii. Hawaii News Now.

Ige's fifth emergency proclamation closes beaches, mandates face masks, places moratorium of evictions. Full text here.

Ige Issues Eviction Moratorium Through April 30. The order won’t prevent landlords from pursuing evictions starting May 1. Civil Beat.

After the state closed all beaches due to COVID-19, Hawaii County issued a list of limited openings for ocean access and restroom usage. Following Friday’s announcement that Govrnor David Ige has signed a fifth emergency supplementary proclamation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic closing all state beaches in Hawaiʻi in order to limit activities outside the home, Hawaiʻi County Mayor Harry Kim signed his own new set of rules for the Big Island. Big Island Video News.

Victorino to Ige: Reconsider beach exercise ban. There is more trouble in paradise as new statewide public health emergency rules banning beach exercise were awash with protest and confusion. Maui News.

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Tourists using transient rentals to bypass Hawaii quarantine restrictions prove hard to track. COVID-19 crackdowns on transient vacation rentals, which aren’t considered essential businesses right now, are proving just as hard for the counties to enforce as the laws meant to regulate them. Star-Advertiser.

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Man visiting from Washington becomes Hawaii’s 10th COVID-19 death. Maui County logged one new death Sunday, bringing the statewide death toll into the double digits. The DOH said 10 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported statewide — six on Oahu, four on Maui. Hawaii News Now.

Man hospitalized for COVID-19 at Maui Memorial dies, his death brings state total to 10. The 10th COVID-19-related death reported in the state was a man who was hospitalized at Maui Memorial Center. KHON2.

Hawaii health officials announce 10th COVID-19 death as statewide coronavirus cases rise to 580. Hawaii Department of Health officials reported the state’s tenth death from COVID-19 today, as the statewide tally of coronavirus cases rose by six to a total of 580. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i Confirms 10th Death Related to Coronavirus. Hawai‘i reported only six new cases of COVID-19 overnight, also registering the state’s 10th death as a result of infection. Big Island Now.

Maui sees Hawaii’s 10th death from virus. The Washington state man was in his 40s to 50s with no previous medical conditions and had a history of travel, the state Department of Health said Sunday. He had been in serious condition during a 21-day stay at the Maui Memorial Medical Center, where the state is investigating a cluster of COVID-19 cases at the island’s largest hospital. Star-Advertiser.

Fourth COVID-19 Related Death on Maui is Washington State Man With No Previous Medical Conditions. “The individual was an adult male from Washington state in the 40-59-year age group who had no previous medical conditions and a history of travel,” according to a press release issued by the state’s COVID-19 Joint Information Center. Maui Now.

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Stimulus Checks Won't Cover Even A Month's Expenses in Hawaii. Eligible residents in Hawaii, and around the country, are starting to receive cash stimulus payments from the federal government. But the one-time $1200 checks won’t go far in Hawaii. Hawaii Public Radio.

Tracing the Path Of COVID-19 In Hawaii — 1 Name At A Time. An understaffed health department is looking to hire more investigators to identify and isolate people who have been exposed to COVID-19. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s Civil Rights Office Is Still Closed During A Time It’s Needed Most. The Hawaii Civil Rights Commission still accepts only paper filings and isn’t set up for remote work. Civil Beat.

University of Hawaii researchers urge the state to step up its coronavirus response. A trio of University of Hawaii researchers is urging state officials to accelerate its public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, not only to save lives but to help restart the economy. Star-Advertiser.

Union leaders and state Legislators put out a call for hundreds of state worker volunteers to help tackle the massive backlog of unemployment claims. “The plan is have over a thousand people man that center over the next week-and-a-half," said House Speaker Scott Saiki.  Hawaii News Now.

What will Hawaii's "re-opening" look like? Director of Hawaii's Department of Health Dr. Bruce Anderson told KITV4 he believes Hawaii's re-opening could look like a gradual, "tiered" approach. KITV4.

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Lockdown has gone too far, Hawaii protesters say. A caravan of about 50 vehicles Sunday traveled from the state Capitol to Costco in Kapolei to protest what participants consider governmental overreach in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

‘Open Hawaii’: A small group of protesters feel its time to ease up restrictions. Nearly two dozen people rallied in a rolling caravan Sunday, saying their rights are being violated by government mandates. Hawaii News Now.

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COVID-19 is new pestilence for Hawaii farmers. Phyllis Shimabukuro- Geiser, director of the state Department of Agriculture, said recently that some farmers reported losing 50% to 60% of their market last month largely because of hotel and restaurant shutdowns. Star-Advertiser.

Running For Office During A Pandemic? It’s Tough For Newcomers. Some non-incumbents running for elective office in Hawaii are focused on public health as they also seek to gain political traction. Civil Beat.

Hawaii officials brace for ‘big surge’ of newly homeless from coronavirus shutdowns. Out of approximately 6,500 homeless people across all islands, only one so far has tested positive for the new coronavirus, but officials worry that an even bigger homeless problem could explode out of the financial devastation already hitting the state. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Inmates Still Packed Into Arizona Prison Despite Virus Concerns. The company that runs Saguaro Correctional Center says proper pandemic protocols are being followed. Civil Beat.

Things Are Not Good Between Hawaii Senators And The Governor. Tempers over the Ige administration’s slow response to the growing pandemic boiled over Friday at a special Senate committee hearing. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Council advances bill to defer property tax for pandemic-stricken businesses. A bill that would allow coronavirus-impacted businesses to hold off paying their property taxes passed the Honolulu City Council’s first hurdle last week. Star-Advertiser.

Face mask mandate while in public goes into effect Monday for Honolulu. Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s mandate for all Honolulu residents to wear non-medical masks or face coverings while out in the public conducting business, will go into effect Monday, April 20, at midnight. KHON2.

With fewer cars on the roads, officials are pushing projects forward faster. Ed Sniffen, Hawaii Department of Transportation Deputy Director of Highways, tells us they are seeing about 48-percent less traffic on the freeways on Oahu. KHON2.

Rick Blangiardi Is Back On TV, But This Time He’s A Political Candidate. The former Hawaii News Now general manager is making his pitch to be mayor of Honolulu. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Property tax base protects county coffers. Hawaii County’s reliance on property taxes for its operations buffers it, at least in the short term, from the drastic tax losses experienced at the state level as it struggles to revive an economy clobbered by the coronavirus, local officials said Friday. West Hawaii Today.

Bright side to outbreak: Arrests are down 33%. It’s said crime doesn’t take a vacation, but because of the statewide emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the daily booking log at the police station is a lot shorter than usual. Tribune-Herald.

Air Travel Arrivals Down Sharply at KOA. Only one flight has touched down at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keāhole (KOA) over the last two days, according to numbers provided by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. Big Island Now.

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Third McDonald’s In Kona Closes Due To COVID-19 Outbreak. The McDonald's restaurant located at 75-5729 Kuakini Highway is now closed, joining the McDonalds at Kona Commons and Walmart in a COVID-19 cluster-related shutdown. Big Island Video News.

Big Island McDonald’s COVID-19 cluster now up to 30 confirmed cases. The Hawaii Department of Health announced that the total number of confirmed cases linked to a cluster of cases among McDonald’s restaurants in Kailua-Kona has gone up. KHON2.

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Fogging out the virus: County deploying disinfectant equipment to health care facilities. Hawaii County is taking charge of getting foggers to health care and county facilities in an effort to quash the spread of COVID-19 on the Big Island. West Hawaii Today.

New Emergency Shelter Construction Underway In Hilo. 32 shelters are going up at the County’s NAS Pool parking lot and will be ready for occupancy early next week, officials say. Big Island Video News.

Bill would allow county to acquire private roads. A Hawaii County Council committee will discuss this week whether the county should acquire private roads to improve traffic flow throughout the island. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Finance director doesn’t support property tax forbearance. County Finance Director Scott Teruya said Friday that while Mayor Michael Victorino’s administration has not talked about forbearance for property taxes due to large-scale unemployment caused by the coronavirus pandemic, he would not recommend it. Maui News.

Checkpoints set up on Maui to limit people heading into Hana. Checkpoints are being set up to limit the number of people traveling into Hana and East Maui. Maui County said the checkpoints will be located after Twin Falls on Hana Highway and at Ulupalakua Ranch on Piilani Highway. Hawaii News Now.

Near ban on plastic disposable utensils OK’d. Measure, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2022, sent to mayor for signature. Maui News.

Kauai

Kauai: This Island Has Been Holding Steady Against Coronavirus. What’s Up? County officials say Kauai imposed public restrictions quickly. But some residents think the government’s gone too far.  Civil Beat.

Organizing the houseless. Five county parks have been established as permitted sheltering zones for the Kaua‘i houseless community by Mayor Derek Kawakami as part of the effort to contain the novel coronavirus — Lucy Wright, Salt Pond, Lydgate, Anahola and Anini — and many of them are already established campsites with varying levels of community organization. Garden Island.

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