Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Ige wants new statewide mask mandate, Health Department whistle-blower back at work, $4M COVID-19 testing pod opens at HNL, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from video
Hawaii Gov. David Ige from Nov. 2, 2020 video

Ige: New law needed for mask enforcement. Gov. David Ige on Monday said a new law is needed to help handle those who ignore the coronavirus-related emergency mask mandate in Hawaii by issuing a citation similar to tickets written for minor traffic infractions, which carry a fine but aren’t treated as a criminal offense. Tribune-Herald.

Special legislative session for statewide mask mandate unlikely this year
, Gov. David Ige says. Gov. David Ige said that his administration is pursuing a change to the state law to update the violation of the mask mandate from a misdemeanor offense to a ticket and fine. Star-Advertiser.

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Dr. Jennifer Smith is back on the job. After being placed on administrative leave for more than two months, Jennifer Smith, the state virologist and COVID-19 case investigator who exposed flaws in the state’s COVID-19 contact tracing program has returned to work, Hawaii Department of Health officials confirmed Monday. Civil Beat.

Dr. Jennifer Smith is back on the job.
A doctor who blew the whistle on the state Department of Health is back on the job. KITV4.

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DOE Shuffles Leadership In Curriculum Office. Hawaii’s school chief has removed the head of the office responsible for overseeing the transition to online learning. Civil Beat.

Today’s Lesson: No Wi-Fi = No Learning. Disparities in internet access have long made learning more difficult for some students, from kindergarten to college. And with students learning from home now more than ever, that digital divide has widened. Educators, nonprofits, companies and families are working on immediate fixes, but a complete solution likely means changes in public policy and major infrastructure investments. Hawaii Business magazine.

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US Surgeon General Adams might have to return to Hawaii for trial. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams was cited for allegedly being in a closed park during his work trip to Oahu back in August. Hawaii News Now.

U.S. surgeon general and aide plead not guilty. An arraignment was held for U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams and an aide for allegedly violating an emergency order while at a beach park on Oahu in late August during a COVID-19 emergency order-mandated closure of the island’s beach parks. Star-Advertiser.

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7 Ways To Repair Hawaii’s Broken Economy. State and local officials have yet to produce economic recovery plans. But business leaders have ideas on what’s needed to help stop the state’s financial free fall. Civil Beat.

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Record number of Hawaii votes cast in one of the most anticipated elections in decades. State elections officials said 513,000 Hawaii voters had submitted a ballot as of Monday afternoon. That translates to roughly a 61% turnout. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii soars above half-million early votes cast. About 520,000 people have already voted statewide in Hawaii, ahead of tomorrow’s official election day. That means our turnout is already well above 60 percent with time for thousands of ballots to still be cast. About 520,000 people have already voted statewide in Hawaii, ahead of tomorrow’s official election day. That means our turnout is already well above 60 percent with time for thousands of ballots to still be cast. KHON2.

Hawaii officials ask for ‘aloha’ as results of the U.S. presidential election come in
. Hoping to set an example, the majority and minority leaders of the state House of Representatives are calling for peace and aloha following any outcome of tonight’s divisive presidential election. Star-Advertiser.

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Local Telecom Company Emerging As Potential Successor To Sandwich Isles. The embattled Sandwich Isles Communications may soon need to sell off its statewide telecommunications network to pay off mounting federal debt. Another local telecom company is emerging as a potential successor to provide services on Hawaiian Home Lands. Hawaii Public Radio.

More than 300 Hawaii inmates at Arizona prison test positive for COVID-19. After an outbreak of COVID-19 among Hawaii inmates housed in a private Arizona prison, a mass testing was ordered by Hawaii officials and carried out Thursday, revealing up to 43% tested could have the virus with only a little over half testing negative. Star-Advertiser.

COVID-19 Cases Among Hawaii Inmates In Arizona Now At 378. An inmate from Hawaii was found dead in his bunk Thursday, but it is not known if he had the virus. Civil Beat.

VIRUS TRACKER — Nov. 2: 78 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Hawaii health officials reported 78 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, including 65 on Oahu, four on Hawaii Island, two on Maui, one on Lanai, and one on Kauai. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Oahu opens $4M mobile COVID-19 testing container at airport. As the coronavirus surges to record highs across the mainland, Oahu has opened a $4 million mobile COVID-19 testing container near Terminal 2 at the Honolulu airport to try to stop the virus in its tracks as tourists and residents resume travel. Star-Advertiser.

Fire chief summoned to Council following investigation into overtime, spending. Honolulu Fire Chief Manuel Neves will answer questions from City Council Budget Committee members on Nov. 18 after an investigation into overtime records. Hawaii News Now.

Hotel workers bill before City Council reduced to resolution. A controversial Honolulu City Council bill that would have mandated employee callback rules for hotels and required them to clean occupied hotel rooms won’t be heard Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Kapolei High Closes After 3 Staff Test Positive For COVID. School leaders said they were temporarily closing the campus to employees and students out of an abundance of caution. Civil Beat.

Kapolei High temporarily closing to in-person activities after 3 COVID cases. Kapolei High School will be closed to students and staff after three employees recently tested positive for coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.

State regulator OKs Hawaiian Electric’s takeover of Army power service on Oahu
. Hawaiian Electric has received state approval to take over power distribution at 12 Oahu Army installations under a 50-year contract that won’t affect other customer rates. Star-Advertiser.

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Alan Wong’s closing after 25 years on King Street. The restaurant was known for its delicious cuisine, and high-profile guests ― like the Obama family when they came to town. Hawaii News Now.

Alan Wong closes restaurant permanently. Chef Alan Wong’s flagship King Street restaurant has become a permanent casualty of the pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Renowned restaurant Alan Wong’s to permanently close. After more than two decades an iconic Hawaii restaurant is closing its doors for good. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

Waipio road restrictions proposed.
Hawaii County Council members on Thursday will discuss a bill that could eventually restrict pedestrian access on Waipio Valley Road for safety reasons. Tribune-Herald.

Construction at bayfront park aimed at improving accessibility. Construction at bayfront park aimed at improving accessibility. Tribune-Herald.

Kona Community Hospital Reports Second-Highest Number of COVID Hospitalizations Statewide. KCH is currently treating seven people with the disease — one in ICU, five in the Med Surg acute care unit and one in the OB unit. Big Island Now.

Maui

Maui Police Issue Reminder to Wear a Mask or Facial Covering. Under Rule 5 of the County of Maui, Public Health Emergency Proclamation, permitted masks or facial coverings are defined as masks that completely cover the nose and mouth, have two or more layers of washable breathable fabric, and fit snugly against the sides of your face without gaps. Pleated, multi-layer masks are allowed. Maui Now.

Maui mayor says he's pleased with how residents celebrated Halloween weekend. Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino said he was pleased with how residents celebrated Halloween over the weekend. KITV4.

Maui Mayor Interview: Monday Morning Update. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino provided an update on the weekend Halloween activities, COVID-19 testing on Lānaʻi and the upcoming General Election. Maui Now.

The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Kāʻanapali Reopens Nov. 12. When The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Kāʻanapali reopens on Nov. 12, guests of the resort will be greeted with property enhancements that include new dining venues that showcase Maui-grown ingredients and a new luxury guest tower. Maui Now.

Kauai

$1.8M settlement reached in harassment, retaliation suit against KPD. A long-running legal battle on Kauai has ended in a $1.84 million settlement for a Kauai Police Department assistant chief.  Hawaii News Now.

Kaua‘i remains on Tier 4. The county remains at Tier 4, the least restrictive, characterized by less than two daily active cases reported. At this tier, the county allows nearly all businesses and activities to remain operational with minimal restrictions and allows the state’s pre-travel test program to bypass the quarantine. Garden Island.

Last chance to vote. As of Monday afternoon, more than 62% of Kaua‘i registered voters have cast their ballots in the 2020 General Election, and there’s more expected to come in today. Garden Island.

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