Thursday, March 19, 2020

Doctors sound the alarm on Hawaii coronavirus risk, counties lack medical facilities, most mayors closing parks, restaurants, Kauai imposes curfew, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

public domain
A hospital in Hawaii, public domain photo
All 16 Hawaii coronavirus cases related to travel; ‘no evidence of community spread,’ health officials say. The state Department of Health said today that the two new cases of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, are Oahu residents who had traveled outside Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii medical professionals ask Gov. David Ige to mandate extreme social distancing measures. Nearly 100 Hawaii doctors and medical providers are imploring Gov. David Ige to mandate the shutdown of all non-essential businesses and order residents to stay home to stop the rapidly spreading coronavirus. Star-Advertiser.

Medical Community Urges Ige To Mandate Business Closures, Keep People Home. In a letter, 94 local doctors and health professionals urged Governor David Ige to immediately take more decisive action to limit the spread of COVID-19. Big Island Video News.

Are Hawaii Hospitals Prepared For A Pandemic? The state health director says Hawaii’s hospitals are already near capacity, with expansion difficult. Oahu hospitals have 477 ventilators, Kauai County has 18 ventilators, Maui County has 27, and Hawaii Island has 39. Civil Beat.

Green criticizes lack of testing as Hawaii cases rise. State public health officials think community spread will eventually occur in Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.


Public schools to close through early April as state scrambles to stop spread of coronavirus. The state plans to close schools through early April as part of a massive effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Classrooms Not Scheduled To Reopen Until April 7. The Department of Education update means six more instructional days are canceled. Civil Beat.


Despite governor’s plea, visitors are still coming ... and crowding into eateries. Despite government warnings not to travel, many visitors are arriving at Honolulu’s airport for spring break vacations. They’re also gathering in enclosed spaces. Hawaii News Now.

1 in 4 hotel workers could lose their jobs. About 1 in 4 workers in hotel-supported jobs in Hawaii could lose their jobs in the next six months as the COVID-19 pandemic attacks the health of the state’s tourist economy. Star-Advertiser.

Number of unemployment claims statewide doubled in just 24 hours. The number of unemployment claims statewide doubled in just 24 hours from 1,500 claims to 3,000 claims on Tuesday. KITV4.

Hawaii Unemployment Website Glitches As Applications Surge. Hospitality workers and service-industry workers are losing their jobs as the COVID-19 pandemic worsens. Civil Beat.


Counties implement their own restrictions. The state Department of Health clarified Wednesday that “while these are not mandates with consequences for non-compliance, these directives require the cooperation of businesses, organizations and individuals to be effective from a public health perspective". Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i Mayors’ Responses to COVID-19 Differ Starkly. Big Island Now.


Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard suspending presidential campaign, will support Joe Biden. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard on Thursday announced she’s suspending her presidential campaign and will offer her support to former Vice President Joe Biden. Hawaii News Now.

Hawai'i Representative Tulsi Gabbard suspends campaign for president. In a statement to her supporters, US Representative Tulsi Gabbard announced that she is suspending her campaign to secure the Democratic presidential nomination. KITV4.

Gabbard Hosts Telephone Town Hall For Hawaiʻi Residents. This afternoon, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) hosted a telephone town hall for over 10,000 Hawai‘i residents where she was joined by Hawaiʻi Lt. Governor Josh Green, a practicing physician who has served as the state’s lead official coordinating its COVID-19 coronavirus response. Maui Now.


Programs Emerge To Help Borrowers, Small Businesses Cope With COVID-19 Crisis. A former state attorney general says it’s important for people and small businesses to know their rights. Civil Beat.

New $2.5M Hawaii Fund Aims To Help Nonprofits With Coronavirus Pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic is leading to job losses, quarantines and lots of uncertainty in the Aloha State. Civil Beat.


Hawaiian Airlines deepens cuts to nearly 40% systemwide. Hawaiian Airlines on Wednesday night deepened its systemwide flight reductions to nearly 40% in April as COVID-19 cases spread in Hawaii, resulting in restrictions that put downward pressure on travel. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines further cuts flights to adjust for lower demand. Hawaiian Airlines announced they were continuing to cut back on flight offerings amid declining demand due to the coronavirus pandemic. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Airlines Reduces Flight Schedule Systemwide. As COVID-19 cases, (and government restrictions) increase, Hawaiian Airlines is making further adjustments to its network. Big Island Video News.


Caldwell orders restaurants closed except for takeout, drive-thru and delivery. Oahu restaurants and bars will be able to offer only takeout, drive-thru or delivery food services — or otherwise need to shut their doors — under a new and sweeping emergency proclamation issued Wednesday by Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Star-Advertiser.

Last Call: Caldwell Orders Bars, Restaurants To Restrict Service Starting Friday. The mayor also closed city parks and other public facilities. Civil Beat.

City orders restaurants, bars and night clubs to close dine-in services for 15 days. Honolulu’s mayor is widening his closures of city facilities to prevent the spread of coronavirus, and has ordered restaurants, bars and clubs to close dine-in services. Hawaii News Now.

City mandates all Oahu restaurants, bars and nightclubs to cease indoor service. The Chairman of the Hawaii Restaurant Association, Tom Jones, said the impact could see about half of the restaurant employees without work. KHON2.

Mayor orders Honolulu restaurants, bars to close indoor dining for 15 days to stop COVID spread. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Wednesday signed a supplemental COVID-19 proclamation ordering all restaurants, bars and nightclubs on Oahu to close indoor services starting Friday for 15 days as Hawaii deals with the coronavirus pandemic. Pacific Business News.


City parks closing until the end of April. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced today all City and County of Honolulu parks will be closed until April 30. KHON2.

City closes all city parks, golf courses and Honolulu Zoo. Honolulu’s mayor is widening its closures of city facilities to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.

Some are practicing social distancing, others are ignoring warnings, what is being done to protect residents? On Wednesday, Waikiki Beach was completely packed with people who were obviously closer together than six feet. KHON2.


Officials say passengers, crew must remain on 2 cruise ships heading to Honolulu. Hawaii Department of Transportation officials said Wednesday afternoon that two cruise ships carrying thousands of passengers and crew members will be allowed to dock at Honolulu Harbor, but no one on board will be allowed to leave the ships. Star-Advertiser.

2 Cruise Ships Turned Away By Other Ports Head To Honolulu. Two cruise ships turned away by other ports are headed to Honolulu. Associated Press.


Rotary International cancels June convention, which would have brought 20,000 visitors to Honolulu. The Rotary International Convention, the state’s largest piece of group business this year, has canceled its plans to come to Hawaii in June. Star-Advertiser.

2 Oahu men arrested for illegal harvest of nearly 785 Opihi. Two Oahu residents were cited by DLNR conservation officers after they were allegedly caught picking hundreds of opihi from rocks in a marine life conservation area. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii men arrested for illegal harvest of nearly 800 opihi. The men were charged with a petty misdemeanor and if convicted could be fined or face jail time. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Cleanliness is next to productivity: Kim vows county will remain open for business. Office doors are propped open and the buildings reek of bleach and disinfectant. But coronavirus or no, Hawaii County is open for business and Mayor Harry Kim intends to keep it that way. West Hawaii Today.

Hawai‘i County Parks, Beaches to Remain Open as Mayor Kim Creates Cleanliness Task Force. Hawai‘i County has no plans to close down its public parks and beaches in response to the COVID-19 outbreak across the state, Mayor Harry Kim said Wednesday. Big Island Now.

Council schedules emergency meeting: Videoconference meeting to address COVID-19; emailed public testimony encouraged. West Hawaii Today.

Waimea hospital expanding COVID-19 testing to six days a week. he Waimea facility will now offer drive-up testing for patient’s with physician’s orders at the entrance to Queen’s North Hawaii Community Hospital Primary Care Clinic Monday through Saturday. West Hawaii Today.

Popular Hilo eateries begin laying off employees. Some East Hawaii restaurants are following Gov. David Ige’s Tuesday recommendation to move to a takeout/delivery service model during the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis, while other eateries are choosing to continue their dining room operations. Tribune-Herald.

‘It’s the right thing to do’: Local restaurants adjust operations amid coronavirus. For many West Hawaii restaurants, it was business as usual Wednesday; however some are heeding Gov. David Ige’s suggestion to switch to carry-out service amid the coronavirus pandemic. West Hawaii Today.


Mayor Victorino Announces Public Health Emergency Rules for Maui County. Mayor Michael Victorino announced a number of Public Health Emergency Rules effective as of 7:45 a.m. Friday, March 20, 2020, directed toward limiting the gathering of groups of people and curtailing vehicular transportation except for essential activities or operation of essential business or government functions, such as travel to and from work and medical appointments. Maui Now.

Maui Mayor Victorino announces new rules for Valley Isle residents. Maui Mayor Mike Victorino “greatly encouraged” families to shelter in place to help stop the spread of coronavirus. On Wednesday, the county took similar steps as Oahu in ordering all bars, nightclubs, theaters, and tourist attractions to close by Friday morning. Hawaii News Now.

Mayor Victorino announces Public Health Emergency Rules for Maui County. Mayor Michael Victorino announced a number of Public Health Emergency Rules effective as of 7:45 a.m. Friday, March 20, 2020, directed toward limiting the gathering of groups of people and curtailing vehicular transportation except for essential activities or operation of essential business or government functions, such as travel to and from work and medical appointments. KITV4.

Recreational options for families on break dwindle because of virus. County open-air parks closed; theaters dark; food donations needed. Maui News.

Clerks to reschedule court cases. Clerks helped people reschedule their District and Family Court cases, and some inmates appeared by videoconference for court hearings, as measures were implemented Tuesday in 2nd Circuit Court to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19. Maui News.

Maui Permitting Agencies Announce Revised Procedures Due to COVID-19. The County of Maui’s key permitting departments have announced revised procedures for permit applications and inquiries due to COVID-19 impacts. Maui Now.

Hāna Highway (Route 360) Restricted to Local Traffic Until Further Notice. The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation informs the traveling public that Hāna Highway (Route 360) between Kapakalua Road and Hāna Town is restricted to local traffic until further notice beginning March 18, 2020. Maui Now.


Kauai mayor issues mandatory curfew, limits airline travel to essential needs only. Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami today announced he has implemented an islandwide nighttime curfew beginning Friday. Star-Advertiser.

Kauai mayor implements island-wide curfew to reduce spread of COVID-19. Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami initiated an island-wide curfew on Wednesday in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Pacific Business News.

Kawakami: “Kaua‘i is on Vacation”; Implements Nighttime Curfew Starting Friday. Kauaʻi Mayor Derek S.K Kawakami has implemented, via emergency rule, an islandwide nighttime curfew beginning Friday, March 20. Maui Now.


Molokai residents protest at airport. On Molokai on March 18 dozens gathered outside the airport with signs urging visitors to go away. KHON2.


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