Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Hawaii most restrictive state in COVID-19 era, hotel industry pushes Ige for reopening, statewide prison testing to begin, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hanauma Bay ©2020 All Hawaii News
Hanauma Bay is recovering. Some want to limit crowds in the long run to further protect it. Users of Hanauma Bay are pushing for an online reservation system to reduce the number of visitors and protect the bay’s ecosystem. Hawaii News Now.

New study ranks Hawaii as state with most COVID-19 restrictions. A new study by finance website WalletHub ranks Hawaii as the state with the most COVID-19 restrictions in the country. Most states have mask requirements but the analyst involved in the study points out that the tough rules on gatherings, beaches, and trails puts Hawaii "over the top." KITV4.

Hotel industry pushes Gov. Ige to relaunch trans-Pacific travel no later than mid-October. In a letter to Gov. Ige, the HLTA, the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii and the Hawaii Agricultural Foundation said that if the state can’t lift the 14-day quarantine for transpacific travel on Oct. 1, it favors reopening in stages, with mass travel resuming Oct. 15. Hawaii News Now.

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Ige Signs Domestic Violence Bills, Vetoes 5 Others. The governor also signed several measures put forward by the women’s legislative caucus. A bill that supporters hope could speed domestic violence cases through the court system is among 66 others that are set to become law. Civil Beat.

Governor Ige releases final veto list. Governor Ige has notified House and Senate leaders of his final veto list, which includes five of the six measures that were on the Intent to Veto list submitted to lawmakers on Aug. 31. KITV4.

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Mass COVID Testing to Take Place at Jails, Prisons Statewide. The Hawai‘i Department of Public Safety Health Care Division is working with the Hawai‘i Department of Health to conduct mass testing for COVID-19 at all correctional facilities statewide. Big Island Now.

Hawaii’s lieutenant governor develops COVID-19 symptoms but is still working. Lt. Gov. Josh Green has developed symptoms of the new coronavirus but is continuing to lead the state’s response to stop the spread of COVID-19. Star-Advertiser.

Lt. Gov Josh Green feeling a little bit more worn out due to coronavirus. He says he’s feeling a little worse than on Monday. KHON2.

Hawaii has lost half of its recovery since June, analyst says. As restrictive measures were eased, a gradual recovery to Hawaii’s economy began in May, and by late June through the middle of July, the state had regained about 35% of economic activity that had been lost since the April low point, according to UHERO’s gauge. However, in the wake of spiking COVID-19 cases that triggered a second round of business restrictions and a partial interisland travel quarantine, economic activity has backslid to where the recovery as of Sept. 5 was only 19% of what was lost since the April low, UHERO’s latest pulse readout said. Star-Advertiser.

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Health Department Has New Contact Tracing Plan, But Will It Be Enough? The state Department of Health has redesigned its contact tracing program with a new leader to adapt to the surge in COVID-19 cases. It's too soon to tell if the changes will be enough to contain the virus but the program will be closely watched. Hawaii Public Radio.

Is DOH Epidemiologist Jennifer Smith Legally Protected As A Whistleblower? Putting a worker on paid leave soon after she blew the whistle can be enough to establish a case under Hawaii’s law. But legal elements can be hard to prove. Civil Beat.

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Hawaii State Hospital member tests positive for COVID-19. The Department of Health has reported a Hawaii State Hospital staff member has tested positive for COVID-19. KITV4.

VIRUS TRACKER — Sept. 15: 66 New Cases And 2 Deaths In Hawaii. The health department is waiting for medical records to confirm 25 coronavirus-related deaths. Civil  Beat.

DOH Reports 66 New Cases, as Death Toll Hits 100. The statewide total of cases reported is now 10,844 since the pandemic began. Big Island Now.

Oahu

Honolulu’s Managing Director explains ‘tier plan’ for reopening. As the Honolulu health crisis begins to come under control, city leaders are sparring over past mistakes and the plan for the future. Hawaii News Now.

Officials defend the emergency orders as frustration mounts over Oahu’s reopening plan. City Council members Tuesday called on Mayor Kirk Caldwell to reopen the economy more quickly and allow families to be together on beaches and in parks. Star-Advertiser.

65% of Hawaii restaurants expect to close in six months, HRA meets with Mayor Caldwell. The HRA chair met with Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell Tuesday evening. KHON2.

CARES-Funded Lab Hitting Delays In Delivering Coronavirus Tests. The University of Hawaii’s lab is a key part of the city’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Civil Beat.

Oahu’s ‘People’s Open Markets’ to resume normal schedule this weekend. Oahu residents will once again have the option to shop at a popular open air market starting this weekend. Hawaii News Now.

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Keith Amemiya Endorsed By Four More Honolulu City Council Members. Five of the nine current council members are supporting Amemiya over former TV executive Rick Blangiardi. Civil Beat.

4 Honolulu City Council members endorse Keith Amemiya for mayor. Four Honolulu City Council members representing much of Central, Windward and East Oahu today endorsed Keith Amemiya for mayor. Star-Advertiser.

Mayoral candidate seeks campaign watchdog action on PAC allegations. Honolulu mayoral candidate Keith Amemiya says his campaign officials found allegedly illegal false name donations to a super-PAC called Aloha Aina Oia’i’o. KHON2.

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Navy Seeks Public Comments On New Submarine Dry Dock. All public outreach will be online due to the pandemic. Civil Beat.

The Future of Local News Isn’t What it Used to Be. Some organizations have cut reporters while others have added staff. And everyone is looking for innovative ways to tell the news. Hawaii Business magazine.

University of Hawaii at Manoa mulls possible cuts in programs, degrees. The proposals include eliminating the Public Policy Center and the Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, and phasing out bachelor degrees in religion, journalism, dance and German along with some advanced degrees that attract few students. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

County pushes forward on COVID-19 spending: Finance Department outlines $21.8M in expenditures. After spending just $4.4 million of its $80 million federal coronavirus relief allotment from March through July, Hawaii County has stepped up its game and in August reported $21.8 million in expenditures. West Hawaii Today.

Judge dismisses lawsuit over quarantines. A lawsuit by a Waikoloa couple alleging Gov. David Ige and Mayor Harry Kim overstepped and overextended their emergency powers during the COVID-19 pandemic has been dismissed. Tribune-Herald.

Jumping right into it: MEDEX Northwest Physician Assistant Program opens in Kona. A new school in Kona opened its doors Tuesday to 17 students aspiring to become the latest medical professionals in a field that is facing critical shortages in Hawaii. West Hawaii Today.

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State investigating alleged illegal dumping in Ookala. Investigators are probing a report of illegal and unauthorized dumping of waste, including animal carcasses and military munitions, in Ookala, the state Department of Health confirmed Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Military grade items found at an illegal dump site on Hawaii Island. The dumpsite is located near Ookala on the island’s Hamakua Coast. Hawaii News Now.

Apparent Illegal Dumping Found Near O‘okala. Military munition storage and shipping containers were among items discovered at an apparent illegal dumping site on the Hāmākua Coast, near the town of O‘okala on Monday. Big Island Now.

Maui

Two Residents of Roselani Place Die, Awaiting Coroner’s Report on Cause of Death. Two residents of the Roselani Place assisted living community on Maui who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 have since died. Maui Now.

3 Maui County schools in top 5 enrollment statewide. Maui High, Maui Waena, Kihei Charter among biggest across the islands. There were more than 21,388 students enrolled in 33 public and charter schools in Maui County. Maui News.

New wastewater facility proposed at Pulehunui. Plans also call for expanding existing treatment plantValley Isle Pumping is seeking the green light for a $1.5 million project to construct a new wastewater pretreatment facility and improve an existing wastewater treatment plant, along with related upgrades, on private land in Pulehunui Industrial Park. Maui News.

Proposed Kā‘anapali Beach Restoration and Berm Enhancement Project. The DLNR Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands hosts an informational meeting regarding a sand replenishment project at Maui’s Kāʻanapali Beach. Maui Now.

Kauai

Governor approves ‘resort bubbles’ for quarantining visitors on Kauai. Kauai is the first island to take a step toward relaunching its tourism sector by giving visitors a little freedom during their 14-day quarantine in “resort bubbles.” Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Ige approves Kawakami’s ‘Resort Bubble’. Mayor Derek Kawakami has penned a new emergency rule which establishes an enhanced-movement quarantine, or “resort bubble” program. Garden Island.

Kauai gets OK to use resort bubbles for a limited reopening of tourism. Kauai Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami announced Tuesday that Gov. David Ige has signed Kauai’s Emergency Rule 16, which would permit visitors at participating resorts to leave their hotel rooms to utilize the resort’s property, including pools and on-site restaurants, during their mandatory quarantine period. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai County moves forward with ‘Resort Bubble’; what it could look like. Kauai county announced Tuesday that Gov. David Ige authorized Emergency Rule 16, which allows for the Enhanced Movement Quarantine, also known as the “Resort Bubble” program. KHON2.

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Mayor Kawakami signs bill to ban polystyrene. Mayor Derek Kawakami Tuesday signed Bill No. 2775 into law, restricting the use and sale of polystyrene foam food-service containers. Garden Island.

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