Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Coronavirus antibody tests starting Thursday, labs improve turnaround time, mayors eye phased reopening, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Testing for coronavirus in Hawaii
Coronavirus antibody tests will start Thursday. As Hawaii carefully considers reopening the economy, the first laboratory- based coronavirus antibody tests will begin Thursday to ascertain how many people have actually been infected in the islands. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Labs Improve COVID-19 Testing Turnaround Times. DOH says results from most diagnostic testing can now come back within 24 hours. But the state’s plan for testing once the economy reopens is still unclear. Civil Beat.

State senators and DOH differ on who should get tested for COVID-19. State Senators want the Department of Health to come up with a policy regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) testing in Hawaii. KITV4.


Health inspectors go virtual to get new restaurants up and running. In the digital age, even restaurant inspections are going online. The first virtual inspection was done at Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers in Hawaii Kai from the Department of Health’s Halawa facility on Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Health department conducts first virtual health inspection. Since the stay at home order, many things have moved to the virtual realm, and now this includes food safety. KHON2.


BOSS Survey of 404 Local Executives Shows Optimism Crushed. Poll conducted March 30 to April 17 reveals pessimism unmatched among Hawai‘i’s business leaders since the depths of the Great Recession. First quarter numbers on revenue, employment and profit hint at second quarter devastation to come. Hawaii Business Magazine.

An optimistic film industry prepares for the day productions can resume in Hawaii. As the state tries to recover from the financial meltdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Hawaii’s film industry hopes to help jump-start the economy. The state's film commissioner, Donne Dawson, said there are roughly two dozen productions on hold, including commercials, TV series and feature films. Hawaii News Now.

More fixes to Hawaii unemployment system coming soon. Hawaii’s still-overburdened unemployment system is slated for more upgrades this week and next week to ease a jam in which 153,949 claims filed since March have yet to be paid. Star-Advertiser.

Some worry workers won’t return as the state plans for reopening. The reason starts with basic math. With the federal government’s $600 weekly bonus added to unemployment checks for up to six months, some people are making just as much money, or even more, staying home than going to work. Hawaii News Now.


2 New COVID-19 Cases Reported, Including First Lanai Resident. The statewide total of confirmed coronavirus cases is 609. Civil Beat.

Hawaii COVID-19 Updates for Tuesday, Apr. 28. There were two newly reported cases of COVID-19 in the state of Hawaiʻi - both in Maui County - bringing the cumulative total to 609 cases as of noon on Tuesday. Big Island Video News.

Cases Up 2; Ige Restarting Businesses; Survey: Some Companies Have No Income. Health officials reported two new cases of the coronavirus today, continuing a trend of single-digit increases in recent days that is spurring efforts to reopen the state. Hawaii's case count is at 609. Deaths stand at 16. Hawaii Public Radio.


Visitors keep flying to Hawaii despite mandatory quarantine, including 149 on Monday. The Hawaii Tourism Authority reported a total of 500 passengers arrived by air in Hawaii on Monday, including 149 visitors and 160 residents. Star-Advertiser.

COVID-19 Monitoring Could Turn Hawaii Into A Tourist ‘Prison Camp,’ Critics Say. Among the possibilities state Attorney General Clare Connors has floated for monitoring tourists in quarantine are ankle bracelets and GPS monitoring. Civil Beat.


Distance Learning Will Still Fill A Need Once Classrooms Reopen. The Hawaii schools superintendent outlined some plans for a post-pandemic school system in a letter to Hawaii’s congressional delegation Monday. Civil Beat.

Some Adult Care Homes Want Inspections Halted During COVID-19 Crisis. Caretakers of Hawaii’s elderly say state inspectors are putting their patients at risk when they visit — particularly if they keep their shoes on. Civil Beat.

Navy detonates unexploded WWII ordnance off Mokulua island. Navy explosive ordnance disposal technicians Monday detonated two World War II-era 100-pound gravity bombs and removed other ordnance from the highly-traveled channel between Lanikai and Mokulua North, otherwise known as Mokunui Islet. Star-Advertiser.


With few new COVID-19 cases on Oahu, Caldwell says it’s time to reopen some businesses. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is hoping to reopen some “low-risk” businesses on Oahu as early as Friday, but first must get approval from the governor to do so. Hawaii News Now.

Caldwell eyes May 1st for possible reopening of low-risk businesses. Honolulu’s Mayor Kirk Caldwell said the opening of some businesses in the city and county may be happening soon, these would be businesses that fall under the low-risk category. KHON2.


HART video system fails, but votes on $40 million in change orders proceed. A video system set up to let the public watch meetings of the Ho­nolulu rail authority’s board of directors failed Tuesday for the second time this month, but rail board members proceeded with their meetings anyway and voted to approve nearly $40 million in new rail project change orders and contracts. Star-Advertiser.

Rail Meeting Crashes Online, Leaving Public In The Dark. The agency overseeing Hawaii’s largest-ever public works project has struggled to run remote meetings smoothly during the virus crisis. Civil Beat.


Two men cited for being on Diamond Head rim. Officials say the 21-year olds were on the upper footpath on the ewa side of the crater rim. KHON2.

Silver linings at Hanauma Bay. The only human beings within the 101-acre arena of sea, cliffs and sandy beach were fellow researchers from the University of Hawaii’s Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology’s Coral Reef Ecology Lab, which Ku‘ulei Rodgers leads as principal investigator. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Kim eyes reopening some businesses as long as safety measures are in place. With the state’s lockdown extended through May, Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim says he will seek to reopen some businesses that were deemed nonessential. Tribune-Herald.


Kim wants four more years: Three-time mayor pulls nomination papers. Kim, 80, pulled nomination papers for the mayor’s race on April 20, according to the state Office of Elections. West Hawaii Today.

As he grapples with COVID-19 response, Mayor Harry Kim announces re-election bid. Big Island Mayor Harry Kim says he’s planning to run for re-election. Hawaii News Now.

Kim Explains Motivations Behind His Bid For a Fourth Term for Hawai‘i County Mayor. Harry Kim has unfinished business. Big Island Now.


Feds Fund $30 Million For Eruption-Damaged Water Systems In Puna. Senators say the money will be used to repair two reservoirs and 15 miles of water lines, but the county says the money can be used for alternative water projects. Big Island Video News.

Robert Fujimoto, retired CEO of HPM, dies at 93. Robert “Bobby” Fujimoto, retired chairman and CEO of HPM Building Supply, died Thursday at Hale Anuenue Restorative Care Center in Hilo. He was 93. Tribune-Herald.

State proposes biocontrol for miconia: Butterfly may help manage invasive weed in Hawaii forests. In an effort to manage invasive miconia trees, the state Department of Agriculture is proposing the release of a butterfly known to feed on the noxious weed threatening Hawaii’s forests and watersheds. West Hawaii Today.


Announcement on Phased Reopening Expected Tomorrow, Details on New Maui Cases. An announcement on the phased reopening of businesses for Maui County is expected tomorrow, according to an afternoon update provided Tuesday by Maui Mayor Michael Victorino. Maui Now.

Video: Mayor Victorino COVID-19 Update, April 28, 4 p.m. Maui Now.


The team reopening Kaua‘i. Recovering from the coronavirus pandemic will take time, but the county has been discussing short- and long-term goals since the beginning. Garden Island.

Economic reboot. As of Tuesday, Kaua‘i now has zero active confirmed cases of COVID-19 on island, and Mayor Derek Kawakami says there are teams of experts working to reopen the local economy. Garden Island.

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