Friday, September 18, 2020

Hawaii educators lay out school reopening guidelines, mayors unclear on pre-travel COVID-19 testing, Caldwell looks to loosen Honolulu lockdown, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Metrics for Hawaii schools reopening

Public schools will make ‘gradual’ transition to blended learning in October. Public school parents should prepare for distance learning to continue into the second quarter, but schools will slowly transition to a blended model that includes some in-person instruction starting in mid-October, schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto announced Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

Some students could return to Hawaii public schools after fall break. Some public schools may offer blended learning later this fall under new Health Department benchmarks, but families should expect to start the second quarter Oct. 12 still in distance learning. Star-Advertiser.

New Guidance Shows When Hawaii Schools Should Go In-Person, Blended Or Learn-From-Home. Under the new guidance, Hawaiʻi island schools would return to in-person learning for elementary school students and blended learning for secondary students. Big Island Video News.

State unveils metrics for school reopening. There is still no set reopening date for classrooms in Hawaii, but the state health and education departments on Thursday provided metrics for how they plan to handle instruction based on the COVID-19 infection rate on each island. Tribune-Herald.

DOH Provides Metrics on HIDOE’s Learning Parameters for Second Quarter. The Hawai‘i State Department of Education will use newly released guidance from the Hawai‘i State Department of Health to plan for appropriate learning models for the remainder of the academic year. Big Island Now.

HIDOE: COVID-19 benchmarks in place for gradual transition to blended learning. It follows guidance developed by the Department of Health and applies to both public and private schools. KITV4.

Gradual Rollout of Blended Learning Expected in 2nd Quarter at Hawai‘i Schools. Governor David Ige joined superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto with the state Department of Education and Dr. Sarah Kemble, Asst. Hawai‘i State Epidemiologist today in announcing updated COVID-19 guidance for Hawai‘i’s schools. Maui Now.

Islands to decide on school reopenings. Via Gov. David Ige’s Thursday press conference, the state Department of Education announced they will use a newly released guidance from the state Department of Health to plan for appropriate learning models for the remainder of the current school year. Garden Island.

HSTA Against New District Metrics Presented by HIDOE, DOH. The Hawai‘i State Teachers Association is adamantly against the new metrics presented by the Department of Health Thursday, which provide guidance for appropriate learning models for the remainder of the academic year. Big Island Now.

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Governor Ige looking into establishing 'international travel bubbles'. On Thursday Governor Ige said he's still looking into establishing "international travel bubbles." KITV4.

Hawaii Will Reopen Without Quarantine To Those Who Test Negative But Some Think It's Unsafe. Mainland travelers may be able to avoid quarantine if they get a negative COVID-19 test before arriving in Hawaii starting October 15th. But some say the one-test plan is unsafe for Hawaii. Hawaii Public Radio.

A day after announcing the launch of a testing program on Oct. 15 for trans-Pacific travelers, the governor said he is working with county leaders on inter-island travel. An inter-island quarantine continues through at least Sept. 30, but is expected to be extended. Hawaii News Now.

Plans for interisland travel unclear as state poised to welcome back visitors.
The governor said he is looking to launch a pilot pre-testing program for interisland travel, but is concerned about testing capacity across the islands. KITV4.

Neighbor island mayors say more details needed before pre-testing program begins. The inter-island quarantine remains in effect through Sept. 30, just two weeks before the pre-travel testing program is set to begin. KHON2.

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Civil Beat Economy Panel: ‘We Don’t Survive’ Without Reopening Tourism. Hawaii may not see 10 million tourists in a year land on its shores again soon — or ever — but the economy won’t fully recover until at least some tourists return, a panel of tourism and business leaders said Thursday. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Airlines to cut one-third of workforce. Hawaiian Airlines’ pre-pandemic payroll will be cut by one-third, or 2,501 jobs, as of the start of next month. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines says more furloughs could come if pre-travel testing program is extended again. A total of 2,501 jobs were cut from Hawaiian Airlines. KHON2.

Qualified workers in Hawaii to get extra week of unemployment benefits from FEMA. Hawaii workers eligible for an additional $300 per week in unemployment benefits from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will receive an extra week of benefits. Star-Advertiser.

State launches its loss wage assistance program. New unemployment numbers released on Thursday show nearly 80,000 people were without a job in August. KITV4.

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University of Hawaii athletic department counts 4 positive test results. Out of 373 tests conducted for the University of Hawaii athletic department, there have been four positive results to date, the school’s Board of Regents was told on Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — Sept. 17: 160 New COVID-19 Cases And 5 Deaths In Hawaii. At least 120 people have died from the virus in Hawaii to date, though the state’s official tally is lower because of reporting lags. Civil Beat.

DOH Reports 160 Cases, 4 New COVID-Related Deaths
. The total number of cases statewide since the pandemic began now stands at 11,105. Big Island Now.

Oahu

Mayor: New order will allow small household gatherings on beaches, parks. The city’s stay-at-home order remains in effect for another week, but the mayor is pledging to ease some restrictions on gatherings and businesses with his next proclamation. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu City Council chairman’s departure and search for his replacement stirs ethics complaints. City Councilmembers calling for more transparency surrounding the departure of Council Chairman Ikaika Anderson have filed complaints with the Honolulu Ethics Commission and have asked to pause the search for his replacement. Star-Advertiser.

Councilwoman Files Ethics Complaints Over Chair’s Departure To Union Job. Councilwomen Heidi Tsuneyoshi and Kym Pine are requesting a more open process to choose Anderson’s replacement. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Rail P3 Bidder Wants More Than $2 Billion For The Final Stretch. Local officials have remained tight-lipped on what’s happening with the long-anticipated award for the project’s final leg. Civil Beat.

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Mayor Caldwell announces additional $75 million in grants for Oahu small businesses. Mayor Kirk Caldwell has announced an additional $75 million in additional financial support for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu Offering Additional $75 Million In Aid To Businesses. Up to $50,000 is available to individual local businesses. Civil Beat.

City makes an additional $75M in aid available to struggling Oahu businesses. Since the fund launched in May, it has distributed more than $50 million to over 5,500 small businesses. Hawaii News Now.

Additional $75 million in grants soon to be available for Oahu's small businesses. This is a reimbursement program, and the city wants business owners to know that every invoice they submit needs to come with a receipt and proof of payment to qualify. KITV4.

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Sewage leak forces temporary closure of Sand Island Beach Park.  The state has temporarily closed the Sand Island State Recreation Area due to a large sewage spill. The state Health Department said the spill came from a broken line connecting a pump station at the park to the Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Ballots to be mailed Oct. 7. The Hawaii County Elections Division announced Thursday that it will begin mailing ballots for the Nov. 3 general election on Oct. 7. West Hawaii Today.

Hilo’s Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home has history of problems. The Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home was a source of concern for federal regulators even before the pandemic, earning an overall “below average” rating and a citation for failing to provide and implement an infection prevention and control program. Star-Advertiser.

Long-awaited hydrogen buses on the way: Transit administrator predicts first bus in service by end of year. It’s been a long road, but the county’s first hydrogen bus — and possibly even three buses — should be traveling Kona streets before the year is out. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Maui Businesses Continue to Close and Struggle as Pandemic Drags On. At least 15 other Maui businesses, including eight restaurants, already have shuttered for good due to the economic woes of the pandemic. Maui Now.

Community clinic pharmacy to close for lack of patients. Malama I Ke Ola Health Center, which services the poor and those without health insurance, will be closing its pharmacy Wednesday, the community clinic announced Tuesday. Maui News.

Two solar power, battery storage projects are submitted to PUC. Price for renewable energy among the lowest on island. Two Maui solar and battery storage projects, which are slated to charge among the lowest rates for renewable energy on Maui, have been submitted to the state Public Utilities Commission for review and approval, Hawaiian Electric announced Wednesday. Maui News.

Kauai

Property tax exemptions, credits available
. The County of Kaua‘i is announcing that 2021 real property tax exemptions or tax credits are available. Garden Island.

HDOH hopes UDSA federal funding will prevent food contamination. Earl Kashiwagi feels the $370,000 grant the state Department of Heath received from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to enhance Hawai‘i’s food emergency response network microbiology lab could benefit safety for food consumers. Garden Island.


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