Thursday, March 26, 2020

Tourists attacked in Waikiki, Hana road blocked by locals as aloha turns to anger against Hawaii visitors; 14-day quarantine for travelers begins, residents batten down for extended social distancing, more top COVID-19 and other news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Pocket park in Waikiki ©2020 All Hawaii News
Visitors who took advantage of cheap airfare attacked in Waikiki amid growing virus fears. A mainland family who took advantage of the cheap airfares to Hawaii found themselves being victimized for it in Waikiki on Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Closed? Tourists stuck on road to Hana. With no enforcement, local groups set up road blocks. Haiku resident Ramana Sawyer, who manages the Twin Falls attraction and the farm stand, said that he closed access to the area last Wednesday in response to recent county and state announcements. He still had to turn around more than 300 people Thursday. Maui News.

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Mandatory quarantine for all arrivals start Thursday. Starting tomorrow, the state will start placing everyone arriving at the airports under quarantine. Returning residents will have to stay home, while visitors will be forced to remain in their hotel room for two weeks. KHON2.

State's 14-day mandatory quarantine will apply to all arrivals, residents and non-residents. Governor David Ige issued an order to help stop COVID-19 from spreading and it goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. KITV4.

Southwest joins others in making cuts. Southwest Airlines is among the last of the carriers to announce flight reductions for Hawaii, which relies almost exclusively on airlift to bring visitors to the tourism-dependent state. Star-Advertiser.

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State health officials projecting the effects of COVID-19 in Hawaii could last months. State health officials are projecting the coronavirus will be a serious threat to Hawaii for up to five months with the peak of the outbreak yet to come. Star-Advertiser.

Ige: Staying at home the only way to beat COVID-19. Gov. David Ige on Wednesday recognized the challenges faced by Hawaii residents during the statewide lockdown aimed at slowing the progression of COVID-19, and discussed ongoing efforts to provide relief to those affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Tribune-Herald.

State Takes Steps to Help Hawai‘i Residents amid COVID-19 Pandemic. With the first day of the statewide stay-at-home order in the books, Gov. David Ige emphasized the importance of compliance in combating the coronavirus pandemic. Big Island Now.

5 New Cases of COVID-19: Hawaii State Total 95. As of noon on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, the state total count of positive coronavirus cases was 95, including 4 new cases on Oʻahu; and one new case each on Maui and Kauaʻi.  Maui’s island count is now 13. Maui Now.

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Hawaii jobless rate tops 10% with 58,000 out of work. Estimated unemployment in Hawaii surged past 10% Wednesday, but extra financial relief for workers laid off or furloughed could be arriving relatively soon. Star-Advertiser.

As Hawaii’s economy falters, construction is a rare bright spot. While so much of Hawaii’s economy is grinding to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic, Hawaii’s construction industry is ramping up. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Visitor Arrivals Down 87% to 4,131 on Tuesday from 32,330 on the Same Day in 2019. Maui Now.

State offering financial help. State officials on Wednesday announced a host of efforts intended to ease the financial blow from the new coronavirus. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Health Workers Are Already Running Low On Protective Gear. Some more rural Hawaii hospitals say their normal vendors are rationing supplies. Civil Beat.

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Ige, Green Smooth Over Differences On COVID-19 Response. Hawaii’s lieutenant governor said he and the governor talked about working more closely together on the coronavirus crisis. Civil Beat.

Green briefs County Council: Lt. Gov. pushes for stricter coronavirus protections. Lt. Gov. Josh Green vowed Wednesday to continue his message of greater social distancing, more coronavirus testing and stricter laws to cut off the deadly disease before it overtakes the islands — regardless of what’s been going on in state Capitol corridors. West Hawaii Today.

Lt Gov Green Gets Into The Nitty Gritty On COVID-19 Readiness. Big Island Video News.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green Addresses Alleged COVID-19 Response Exclusion. Green clarified his role in the statewide effort to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, and said that if his recommendations aren't being received adequately, he will "tell the entire planet." Big Island Video News.

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Chief justice wants jail populations reduced to limit COVID-19 infections. Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald has directed some top Hawaii judges to work with police and prosecutors to identify jail inmates who can be quickly released to reduce the inmate population in Hawaii’s packed jails to try to prevent the spread of coronavirus among the prisoners and staff. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Prison Plan For COVID-19 Emphasizes Hygiene Over Inmate Releases. The state says that, despite overcrowding, there will be room to isolate sick inmates. Civil Beat.

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From South America to Hawaii Without A Single Health Check. As the coronavirus pandemic spread across the globe, Americans returning to the U.S. were entering the country without any health screening. Hawaii Public Radio.

Boat Harbor Restrooms Reopen To Ensure Availability for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness. Effective now, all DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation restrooms statewide at small boat harbors and boat ramps across the state will reopen, to observe CDC guidance for ensuring availability of toilets and hand washing facilities for people experiencing homelessness during this COVID-19 emergency. Maui Now.

EPA blocks unregistered disinfectant from entering Hawaii ports. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today said it has stopped several shipments of an illegal health product – Virus Shut Out — from entering U.S. Pacific ports due to violations of federal pesticide laws. Star-Advertiser.

DOE Will Increase Meals To Meet High Demand. DOE officials acknowledge meal shortages at some sites. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Homes Loan Payments Deferred For 6 Months. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Hawaiian Homes Commission has approved an emergency postponement of mortgage payments for DHHL direct loans. Big Island Video News.

Visitor industry is ready to help with crisis. The industry has offered support to the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency from employee resources to hotel repurposing. HI-EMA is also evaluating the Hawai‘i Convention Center for medical overflow options if needed. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Honolulu Said It Would Reopen Public Bathrooms. It Hasn’t. The CDC says park bathrooms should be open 24 hours a day. Honolulu still isn’t following those guidelines. Civil Beat.

City works to reopen park comfort stations . Officials say that they have been working to open these facilities and that they will be locked during the evening park closure hours, which has been done before. KHON2.

Malls and beaches empty, stores close and layoffs mount as stay-at-home order sets in. Waikiki, the state’s No. 1 tourist destination, was all but deserted Wednesday. Malls looked like ghost towns with most of their retail shops closed. And popular beaches were empty. Hawaii News Now.

Blood Bank of Hawaii asking Oahu residents to keep donating. The Blood Bank of Hawaii is putting out a desperate call for donations during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Blood Banks Need Your Help To Avert ‘A State Crisis’. Supplies are dropping and hospitals are conserving blood as much as possible. But health officials say it’s still safe to give blood. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

COVID-19: Kiaʻi Leave Maunakea, Observatories Suspend Operations. Activity on Maunakea has come to a halt due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, as Thirty Meter Telescope opponents and existing observatory personnel are staying at home. Big Island Video News.

Coronavirus threat prompts TMT opponents to pull back from Mauna Kea protest camp. After more than eight months of nonviolent protests at the base of the Mauna Kea Access Road, the opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope are pulling out of their camp and telling their supporters to take shelter from the novel coronavirus. Star-Advertiser.

TMT Protest Camp Packs Up Due To COVID-19. Camp elders promised to return if construction is planned to resume. Civil Beat.

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Nurse Believes Big Island Hospital’s Policies Could Spread COVID-19. A 20-year veteran of Hilo Medical Center is concerned that a lack of personal protective equipment, coupled with what she described as unsound hospital policy, could turn a facility on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic in Hawai‘i into an epicenter for its spread. Big Island Now.

Few out and about on first day of statewide lockdown. Whether it was because of Gov. David Ige’s order to lock down the state or simply due to inclement weather, few people were out and about on the first day of the state’s five-week stay-at-home order. Tribune-Herald.

North Hawaii Community Hospital seeks masks, other gear. Queen’s North Hawaii Community Hospital in Waimea is participating in a statewide drive to collect personal protective equipment, or PPE, for health care workers. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Some call to open county restrooms. Homeless and their advocates call it health issue. Maui News.

Maui Critical Service Providers Seek Public Donations of Protective Equipment. Maui non-profit organizations Aloha House, (including Maui Counseling Group), Mālama Family Recovery Center, and Maui Youth and Family Services, are seeking the public’s help to obtain personal protective equipment, so their staff can help clients with critical substance abuse and mental health treatment needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Maui Now.

Many Maui Hotels Temporarily Suspend Operations. The list of hotels around Maui and across the state are rolling out plans to address the reduced visitor load and mass cancellations as mandatory quarantines for arriving travelers, and newly implemented stay-at-home orders go into effect. Maui Now.

Kauai

Learning new rules. Mayor Derek Kawakami re-emphasized the bottom line of this Emergency Rule No. 5, which localized Gov. David Ige’s statewide stay-at-home order, a rule that took effect Wednesday just after midnight. Garden Island.

Budget talks to continue. The Kaua‘i County Council convened differently on Wednesday, as Councilmembers Luke Evslin and Mason Chock participated remotely via telecommunications in the meeting to practice social distancing amid the current COVID-19 outbreak. Garden Island.

Residents hopeful on day one of stay at home. Amid a stay-at-home order and travel quarantines for those traveling to Hawai‘i from the mainland or internationally, families on Kaua‘i are finding ways to cope, follow rules and support the community. Garden Island.

KPD looks to restructure salaries. Promotions within the Kaua‘i Police Department have been difficult to fulfill due to pay inversions, and KPD Chief Todd Raybuck believes he’s found a cost-effective solution. Garden Island.

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