Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Politics forces Lt. Gov. Green off coronavirus response team, first COVID-19 death announcement was in error, tourism plummets, schools stay closed, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Farmers Markets Face Challenge In The Time Of The Coronavirus. As people learn new habits in response to concerns about the novel coronavirus, where and how people get good food is high on the list of new challenges. Hawaii Public Radio.

Website launched to help keep Hawaii’s restaurants afloat. A new website developed by the Hawaii Agricultural Foundation hopes to support restaurants statewide by providing an updated list of locally owned businesses that offer takeout or delivery services. Tribune-Herald.

Major hotels close across the state; job losses mount to more than 40,000 since mid-February. Hawaii is counting down to an almost full collapse of the state’s visitor industry. On Sunday the state’s daily airline passenger counts, which in peak times average about 50,000 passengers a day, had fallen to about 7,000, and of those only about 3,000 were likely visitors. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green Banned From State’s Virus Response Effort. After recently naming him as the state’s liaison, Gov. David Ige has now essentially fired Green, a medical doctor, from participating in the coronavirus effort. Civil Beat.

Legislator calls for Lt. Gov. Josh Green to take over COVID-19 response. Rep. Cynthia Thielen is calling for the state Legislature to appoint Lt. Gov. Josh Green as Hawaii’s COVID-19 emergency director. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Doctors Battle State Health Department Over COVID-19 Testing. Lt. Gov. Josh Green and doctors call for more tests to stem a wave of patients while the state health department advocates conserving testing capacity. Civil Beat.

‘We are worried,’ medical professionals and hospitals seeking help with supplies. More hospitals are asking for help. Those who work in health care say they need more personal protective gear. KHON2.


Hawaii COVID-19 cases rise, death reclassified. A Maui health care worker was among 14 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Hawaii on Tuesday, and the state’s largest health system called for community donations of masks and other protective gear designed to help safeguard those on the front lines of the crisis. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s COVID-19 Cases Hit 90. On Tuesday, 14 new cases were confirmed in the islands. Civil Beat.

90 Confirmed Coronavirus Cases in Hawai‘i: 14 New Cases. This includes 12 new cases on Oʻahu, bringing that island total to 64; and one new case each on Maui and Hawaiʻi Island, bringing their island totals to 12 and 5 respectively. Maui Now.

Re-Test of Death Case Is Negative; Cases Now 90; Oahu Stay-At-Home Order In Effect. Hawaii Public Radio.

State backtracks on first COVID-19 death, says test results were ‘misread’.  In an embarrassing blunder, the state Department of Health acknowledged Tuesday that test results which led to Hawaii announcing its first coronavirus-related death had been misread ― and the individual did not die of the illness. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii health officials backtrack on state’s 1st coronavirus death; retest is negative for virus. The Hawaii Department of Health today reclassified a death formerly attributed to the coronavirus as negative for COVID-19, blaming the confusion on a report being misread. Star-Advertiser.

State Retracts COVID-19 Death Report, Tested Negative. The first reported death from COIVD-19 was erroneous, health officials said today, after test results were misread. A second test came back negative. Big Island Video News.

Department of Health says COVID-19 retest associated with death comes back negative. The Department of Health says an internal communication of a COVID-19 test at the Dept. of Health resulted in a report being misread and initiated a retest of samples today from an Oahu adult, who died on March 20th. Tuesday evening the second test came back negative for COVID-19. KHON2.

DOH Reevaluates Test Results of Fatal COVID-19 Case. Health officials are reevaluating the test of an adult who tested positive posthumously for COVID-19. Big Island Now.

Reevaluation of Hawai‘i’s First Reported COVID-19 Death Comes Back Negative. Maui Now.

Task force doctor defends COVID-19 screening of senators. Dr. Scott Miscovich, a private physician on Oahu who is a senior adviser on Lt. Gov. Josh Green’s COVID-19 Task Force, said Tuesday he conducted the testing of several asymptomatic senators at the state capitol on Thursday after Sen. Clarence Nishihara tested positive. Tribune-Herald.


Superintendent: Hawaii Schools To Remain Closed Through April 30. Despite the continuing school closures, the DOE school system, on a whole, remains open and operational, said the superintendent. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Schools To Stay Closed Until April 30, At Least. The Hawaii State Department of Education announced today school facilities will remain closed to students through April 30, based on the latest guidance and information from health officials and elected leaders. Big Island Video News.

DOE schools closed until April 30. The Hawai‘i State Department of Education announced Tuesday that school facilities will remain closed to students through April 30 based on the latest guidance and information from health officials and elected leaders that includes the Stay-at-Home, Work-at-Home Order signed by Gov. David Ige. Garden Island.

DOE extends school closure until April 30. The Hawai'i Department of Education is extending the closure of public schools until April 30th. KITV4.

Hawaii public school campuses to remain closed through April 30. Public school facilities will remain closed through at least April 30 as authorities urge broad swaths of the population to stay home to stop the spread of coronavirus. Hawaii News Now.

DOE schools to remain closed through April 30. The Department of Education announced on Tuesday that schools will remain closed through April 30. KHON2.


‘Campus is dead,’ UH president says. Monday represented the first day of full online instruction for 50,000 University of Hawaii students and 10,000 employees around the system, UH President David Lassner told the Senate Special Committee on COVID-19 on Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawai’i Office of Public Defenders has petitioned the Hawai’i Supreme Court to release inmates convicted of misdemeanors or of parole technicalities through the use of grants, pardons and reprieves to lower facility population and potentially prevent a community spread of COVID-19. Garden Island.

As popular hiking trails close, several remain open. DLNR has been tracking popular locations where people continue to ignore closures, said DLNR communications specialist AJ McWhorter in an email, and Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers are patrolling closed state parks and other shuttered DLNR facilities. Star-Advertiser.

In Coronavirus Era, Hawaiians Reconsider Cultural Traditions. Coronavirus-related guidelines for personal space are challenging Native Hawaiians and other Polynesians, who grew up in close-knit societies where hugs, kisses and a practice called honi are cultural norms. U.S. News & World Report.


Honolulu to reopen park restrooms while parks remain closed in response to coronavirus. The City and County of Honolulu has reversed its decision to close its more than 300 park restrooms around the island while the parks are closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu To Reopen Public Bathrooms, State Keeps Theirs Closed. Bathrooms at state parks and harbors, which homeless people rely on, are closed. Civil Beat.

More cruise ships coming to Honolulu for food, fuel. At least three more cruise ships are expected to dock in Honolulu Harbor for fuel and provisions — but no disembarkations — with dozens of such ships stranded at sea worldwide and diverted from ports with and without passengers due to the coronavirus pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

As access to coronavirus testing improves, results are lagging. High demand for coronavirus testing forced the state’s first regional treatment center in Kaneohe to move to a new building with a bigger clinic. The new site is across the street at 45-1141 Kamehameha Highway next to the Aloha gas station. Hawaii News Now.

New city plan allows restaurants to temporarily take over metered parking stalls. With the city's help, parking problems are much less of a concern for eateries because customers can wait in their vehicles.  KITV4.

Community Groups Offer Free Lunch To Kids. The grab-and-go meals at a handful of sites around Oahu supplement the DOE’s own meal service which began this week while schools are closed. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Kim administration studying stay-at-home proclamation for possible exemptions. Hawaii County’s legal department is combing through a stay-at-home emergency proclamation Gov. David Ige signed Monday, looking for interpretations that best fit the Big Island, Mayor Harry Kim said Tuesday. West Hawaii Today.

Mayor Issues New COVID Proclamation Cancelling Meetings, Permit Deadlines. Hawaiʻi County Mayor Harry Kim issued a second supplementary emergency proclamation on Tuesday, hours before the state was set to begin its “stay at home” mandate at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday morning. Big Island Video News.

COVID-19 mass screening draws more than 1,600; nearly 300 tested Monday. The line of automobiles extended over a half-mile as residents descended upon Old Kona Airport Park for West Hawaii’s first drive-up COVID-19 testing Monday morning. West Hawaii Today.

HMC prepped to conduct about 100 COVID-19 screenings per day, if needed; seeks donations of protective equipment. More than 200 people have been tested for COVID-19 at Hilo Medical Center’s drive-through testing site since it launched a week ago. Tribune-Herald.


Mayor Considers Designating Maui Quarantine Hotel for Arriving Residents. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino provided an update as the County transitions to a stay-at-home order, in an attempt to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus and prevent an overburdened hospital system. Maui Now.

Maui Health System employee contracts COVID-19. No visitor policy starts this Wednesday. Maui News.

Drive-thru testing center up and running at War Memorial. Officials test 75 for coronavirus on first day. Maui News.

Maui Leads State in Vacation Rental Supply. Maui County had the largest vacation rental supply of all four counties in February with over 230,000 unit nights, an 39 percent increase from a year ago, according to a report from the Hawai’i Tourism Authority. Maui Now.


Lockdown begins today. Today is the first day of the Kaua‘i stay-at-home order, which went into effect just after midnight Tuesday, residents were stocking up to hunker down as Mayor Derek Kawakami released the details of the Kaua‘i stay-at-home plan. Garden Island.


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