Thursday, May 14, 2020

64% say Hawaii is moving in right direction on COVID-19, lawmakers seek stricter quarantine monitoring, Kauai reopening its beaches, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii Gov. David Ige Facebook Live screenshot
Majority believes Hawaii is moving in right direction against COVID-19. 64% of Hawaii residents believe government is moving in the right direction in its handling of the coronavirus crisis, a statewide survey has found. Star-Advertiser.

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Officials suggest COVID-19 testing of air passengers prior to their arrival as condition to restarting tourism. Hawaii’s lieutenant governor and a member of its congressional delegation on Wednesday floated the idea of COVID-19 testing for any arriving air passenger prior to travel as a condition to reopen the tourism industry. Tribune-Herald.

Thermal sensors at airports, mass testing seen as key to safely reopening tourism. Thermal sensors, which have been used in a handful of airports around the world to detect travelers with fevers, are emerging as one of several new tools the state could use to reopen tourism. Hawaii News Now.

Congressman Calls For Testing Hawaii-Bound Travelers. U.S. Rep Ed Case is asking the Federal Aviation Administration to suspend rules around pre-boarding requirements. Civil Beat.

Case Wants FAA to Allow Hawai‘i to Impose COVID-19 Testing as a Condition to Boarding Planes for Hawai‘i. Congressman Ed Case today called on the Federal Aviation Administration to confirm the State of Hawai‘i’s ability to impose and enforce COVID-19 prevention public health conditions on air travel to the islands. Maui Now.

Ed Case pushing FAA to allow stricter travel policies for flights to Hawai'i. Hawaii U.S. Representative Ed Case wrote a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration asking for help from the FAA to test people for COVID-19 before boarding a Hawaii-bound plane. KITV4.

Senators express concerns over enforcement of 14-day quarantine order for travelers. Officials are trying to tighten up the system at the airports. But state lawmakers still have concerns over the enforcement of the 14-day quarantine order for travelers and put those concerns in a letter. KHON2.

Senate Committee Asks Chief Justice to be Tougher on Quarantine Violators. The Hawai‘i State Senate Special Committee on COVID-19 doesn’t think the mandatory travel quarantine is being appropriately implemented. Big Island Now.

Some hotels concerned about quarantine enforcement. Some of the state’s hotels say they need more guidance about how to enforce a 14-day quarantine on travelers, including what to do if guests refuse to comply or how to participate if they still use physical keys instead of cards. Associated Press.

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Hawaii’s economy is reopening, but tourism remains on lockdown. Hawaii’s low COVID-19 infection and mortality rates have increased calls to start reopening the state’s economy — but support to restart tourism is still mixed. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu restaurant, Kauai resort lay off more than 180 employees. A restaurant chain in Honolulu and a Kauai hotel have recently laid off a combined 187 workers, according to Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification Act notices filed with the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations this week. Pacific Business News.

This Federal Bailout Is Bringing A Lot More Money To Hawaii Than The Last One In 2008. The Great Recession’s federal stimulus program focused on building projects while CARES is putting more money directly into the pockets of residents and business owners. Civil Beat.

Hawaii to get $50M from federal government to fight COVID-19. The Department of Health said it plans to use part of the money to train about 300 contact tracers after being criticized for being slow to expand the public health workforce to deal with a surge in cases. Star-Advertiser.

State announces plans to bolster contact tracing, testing efforts as economy reopens. The governor announced plans Wednesday to ramp up contact tracing efforts in order to prepare for a possible increase in COVID-19 cases as the state’s economy reopens. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii To Get $50M For Ramped Up Contact Tracing, Funds For UH Tracers Training Sought. Hawaii is receiving $50 million in federal funding to ramp up contact tracing, Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz announced today. Hawaii Public Radio.

Islands to receive $50M in federal funding for Covid-19 contact tracing. The Aloha State will be receiving $53 million in new federal funding to bolster Covid-19 contract tracing and testing across the Islands, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz announced Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

Schatz urges state to quickly bolster contact tracing with $50M in federal funding. Hawaii will get $50 million in federal funding to dramatically expand its COVID-19 contact tracing and testing program. Hawaii News Now.

Hawai'i DOH and UH create contact tracing program. To help locate people who may be infected with the coronavirus the Department of Health and University of Hawaii joined forces to create a year-long $2.5 million contact tracing program. KITV4.

Reentry Support Key in Reducing Incarcerated Population. The transition from incarceration back into society has always been a challenge for Hawaiʻiʻs criminal justice system. Over the course of two months, the COVID-19 threat has moved hundreds of inmates back into the community – oftentimes with little to no support in navigating life outside jail or prison. Hawaii Public Radio.

State senator questions whether he had COVID-19. State Sen. Clarence Nishihara, whose positive COVID-19 test led to the March 19 shutdown of the state Capitol, said Wednesday his test may have been a false positive. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

How Honolulu Will Spend $487 Million In Federal Funds. With nearly half a billion dollars in federal aid, Honolulu plans to spend much of it assisting individuals and businesses, supporting first responders and working to prevent and reduce homelessness, city officials told council members on Wednesday. Civil Beat.

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Health officials work to contain cluster of COVID-19 cases in a Kalihi housing project. The state reported three new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, and officials confirm they’re linked to a cluster of patients at Kalihi Valley Homes. Hawaii News Now.

First COVID-19 Cases Reported In Hawaii Public Housing. Seven cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Hawaii public housing, Department of Health Director Bruce Anderson said at a press conference Wednesday. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s 3 latest coronavirus cases came from cluster in Oahu family. One adult and two minors were infected as part of a cluster of seven cases in one extended family in public housing. Star-Advertiser.

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No food court dining or fitting rooms under new retail reopening rules. Food take-out, drug stores, and food markets have remained open at shopping centers during the COVID-19 pandemic, but on Friday, the rest of the shops can resume business. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Council advances luxury tax measure. A bill creating a structure for a luxury residence tax — with 99% of the targeted property situated in three West Hawaii council districts — easily passed its first hearing Wednesday before the County Council, with one more vote to go before heading to Mayor Harry Kim, who supports it. West Hawaii Today.

Big Island Luxury Homeowners Could Be On The Hook For County Budget Shortfall. Fair or not, owners of high-end homes are being asked to fill a Hawaii County budget hole caused by the coronavirus. Civil Beat.

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ACLU confused by county’s defense for removal of Hilo homeless camp. The American Civil Liberties Union called Hawaii County’s defense of the April removal of a downtown Hilo homeless camp “confusing.” Tribune-Herald.

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Four Concepts In Volcanoes National Park Disaster Recovery Project. Public input is needed to review various concepts in a disaster recovery project following the 2018 Kīlauea eruption and summit collapse. Big Island Video News.

National park seeks input on four proposed designs. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the U.S. Geological Survey are seeking community feedback on a series of proposed recovery projects within the park. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Second Phase of Reopening Maui County Parks Begins Saturday, May 16. Mayor Michael Victorino announced the reopening of additional County parks and beach parks will take place on Saturday, May 16. The reopening of parks facilities includes select tennis and pickleball courts. Maui Now.

Maui nurses describe grueling battle in and outside the hospital. It has been a grueling battle on the front lines of Hawaii’s largest outbreak. It has been 12 days since Maui's main hospital admitted its last coronavirus patient. Hawaii News Now.

County proposes changes to zoning district. Short-term rentals would be removed but B&Bs allowed. The Maui Planning Commission recommended a bill Tuesday that would allow more than one accessory dwelling and remove short-term rentals in a rarely used zoning district. Maui News.

UH-MC to hold most fall classes online. Two-thirds online, one-third in person. University of Hawaii Maui College was ahead of the curve when it came to creating and releasing a fall class schedule that includes safety protocols for COVID-19. Maui News.

Maui retail store employee owed back wages after being denied leave to care for child during crisis. After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, it determined that Mana Foods violated the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act when it denied the employee leave. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai

Kaua‘i beaches are reopening on Friday, according to a Wednesday announcement by Mayor Derek Kawakami, who has also announced an extension of the mandatory quarantine for incoming travelers through June 30th. Garden Island.

Kauai plans to reopen beaches, while extending passenger quarantine. Kauai will reopen its beaches Friday as part of a two-week pilot program that allows people to use the beach under certain restrictions designed to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai beaches to reopen with restrictions under 2-week pilot program. Kauai beaches will reopen Friday as part of a two-week test involving a new set of restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Kawakami Extends Mandatory Quarantine for Incoming Travelers to Kaua‘i Through End of June. Kauaʻi Mayor Derek Kawakami today announced that he has signed Emergency Rule 9, which extends the mandatory quarantine for incoming travelers to the island of Kauaʻi through the month of June. Maui Now.

Nearly 500 cited for breaking COVID-19 rules. The Kaua‘i Police Department has issued 493 citations as of May 11 since March, according to a department spokesperson. Garden Island.

Mayor proposes $33.6 million CIP budget. The CIP budget, which the Kaua‘i County Council will discuss in a meeting Friday, is proposed at $33,642,237, down from $34,410,730, which was submitted in early March, before the county could gauge how long-standing the coronavirus pandemic would affect revenue streams. Garden Island.

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