Thursday, September 17, 2020

Ige reassembles COVID-19 team, sets Oct. 15 tourism reopening date; VA 'tiger team' moves in after 15 veteran deaths; Hawaii Island beach closures extended, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Department of Health Director Libby Char

 

Gov. David Ige announces Oct. 15 as the start of the state’s pre-arrivals testing program. Gov. David Ige has set Oct. 15 as the new date to launch a pre-arrivals testing program to reopen tourism in Hawaii. Star-Advertiser.

Ige: Hawaii Will Launch Pre-Travel Testing Program Oct. 15. The long-awaited program to let travelers bypass quarantine is set for next month, but state leaders did not have all the details ironed out on how it will work. Civil Beat.

Pre-travel COVID-19 testing program for trans-Pacific visitors to begin Oct. 15. Ige on Wednesday announced the start of the often-delayed program, which will allow airline passengers to avoid a mandatory 14-day quarantine if they test negative for the coronavirus within 72 hours of arriving in Hawaii. Tribune-Herald.

Facing mounting economic woes, Hawaii to launch pre-travel testing program Oct. 15. After being delayed for months, a much-touted pre-travel testing program that authorities say is a key step in rebooting the tourism industry will be launched Oct. 15, allowing trans-Pacific visitors to forgo a 14-day quarantine if they test negative for COVID-19. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Ige sets mainland tourism to reopen Oct. 15. Governor David Ige has set a new date for reopening tourism to mainland travelers, pushing it back to Oct. 15. This will be the third time it has been delayed. KHON2.

Pre-Travel Testing Program Scheduled to Start Oct. 15. Hawai‘i’s pre-travel COVID-19 testing program will launch on Oct. 15, Gov. David Ige announced in a press conference this afternoon. Big Island Now.

Hawaii’s Pre-Travel Testing Program to Start Oct. 15.
Governor David Ige this afternoon confirmed that the state’s pre-travel testing program will launch on Oct. 15, enabling travelers to get a COVID-19 test no earlier than 72 hours prior to their flight arrival in Hawai‘i to avoid the 14-day mandatory quarantine if the test comes back negative for the virus. Maui Now.

Ige: Pre-travel testing Oct. 15.
Gov. David Ige has pushed back Hawai‘i’s pre-travel testing program to Oct. 15, and announced a new leadership team to realign the state’s COVID-19 efforts. Garden Island.

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Gov. David Ige assembles new COVID response team. After months of ambiguity in public policy to reopen the economy, Gov. David Ige announced a new leadership team Wednesday with the specific focus on restoring the state’s most important economic engine. Star-Advertiser.

Governor Ige announces new leadership team and realignment of COVID-19 efforts. The Governor hopes the pre-travel testing program can provide a much needed boost to the economy, but people need to be tested before boarding an airplane. KITV4.

New DOH director sets priorities for COVID-19 response.
It was the first day on the job for Dr. Libby Char, the new Director of the Hawaii State Department of Health. KHON2.

Experts: New testing methods could speed up tourism’s reopening. New COVID-19 testing methods and better access to tests could make it safer for tourism to ramp up, experts say. Doctors still call the polymerise chain reaction, or PCR test, the gold standard. That will be the test the state requires under the pre-travel testing program set to launch Oct. 15. Hawaii News Now.

How accurate is the test for the pre-travel testing program and where can you get one? Only  a certain COVID-19 test will be accepted, which is the Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT). KHON2.

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Hawaii Has Spent Only A Small Fraction Of CARES Act Money. The state and neighbor island counties are required to expend nearly $863 million by the end of the year — or they will lose it. Civil Beat.

Senator Hirono calling for more transparency on how CARES Act money is spent. Hawai'i U.S. Senator, Mazie Hirono is calling for more transparency on how federal CARES Act money is being used. KITV4.

Hawaii Supreme Court denies Kokua Council’s request to intervene in DOH contact tracing. The Hawaii Supreme Court on Monday denied Kokua Council for Senior Citizens’ petition to compel the Department of Health to increase the number of COVID-19 contact tracers in Hawaii and to require that the agency improve translation services. Star-Advertiser.

New Directors Named For Hawaii’s Labor Department. Scott Murakami left the pandemic-beleaguered agency earlier this year. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige appoints Anne Perreira-Eustaquio to head the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Gov. David Ige today announced the appointment of Anne E. Perreira-Eustaquio as director of the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. She has been serving as acting director since last month. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — Sept. 16: 102 New COVID-19 Cases And 3 Deaths In Hawaii.
On Wednesday, 102 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed by state health officials, along with three COVID-19 associated deaths on Oahu. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Leaders of the hospitality industry say that hotels will be ready when tourism restarts. Waikiki currently has 5,000 rooms ready to go, with more expected to come online before tourism returns to Hawaii on October 15. KHON2.

Dr. Jim Ireland named new chief of Honolulu Emergency Medical Services. Ireland is no stranger to the city. Back in 2010, he was director of the Emergency Services Department, overseeing both EMS and ocean safety. KITV4.

Honolulu Police Are Issuing An ‘Unprecedented’ Number Of Pandemic Tickets. Many are being dismissed. But the court system is struggling to keep up as thousands of violators are forced to appear before a judge anyway. Civil Beat.

Leahi Hospital Employee Tests Positive For COVID-19.
No residents at the elderly care facility have tested positive for COVID-19 to date. Civil Beat.

Elections officials remind Hawaii voters they don’t need to request ballots. Honolulu elections officials said Wednesday voters don’t need to request ballots to be mailed to them after the U.S. Postal Service sent postcards to residents across the country warning them to ask for mail-in ballots at least 15 days before Election Day. Hawaii News Now.

Council seeks provisions for Hanauma Bay park’s protection. Two measures — one that’s going through the Honolulu City Council and another that’s already been approved — could promote the recovery of Hanauma Bay’s marine ecosystem even once visitors are allowed back in. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Veteran Affairs infection specialists head to Hilo veterans home. A federal team from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs specializing in infection control and safety will arrive today at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo to put an end to a major COVID-19 outbreak resulting in 15 deaths. Star-Advertiser.

Federal 'Tiger Team' Heads To Hilo Veterans Home As Death Roll Rises To 14. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is sending a larger COVID-19 team to the Big Island Thursday to help contain the coronavirus outbreak at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home. Hawaii Public Radio.

Team from Veterans Affairs set to arrive today; Another COVID-19 death reported at Hilo vets home. With 15 COVID-19 deaths now associated with Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home, a team from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will review “almost everything” about the facility’s management of the outbreak. Tribune-Herald.

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Hawaiʻi Island Beach Parks Closed For Two More Weeks. The closure of all County and State Beach Parks on Hawai‘i island will be extended for two additional weeks, and will reopen at 7 a.m. on October 1. Big Island Video News.

Mayor Kim Extends Big Island Beach Closures Until Oct. 1. All county and state beach parks on the Big Island will remain closed through the end of the month, Hawai‘i County Mayor Harry Kim announced on Wednesday. Big Island Now.

Target Hilo sees “multiple” COVID-19 employee cases. Multiple people have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Target store in Hilo, which is located on Makaala Street. KHON2.

Council endorses voluntary contact tracing apps.
A nonbinding resolution urging the mayor to support a voluntary contact tracing app cleared the County Council by an 8-1 vote Wednesday after it was changed to allow more than one specific vendor. West Hawaii Today.

Nearly $1M in HUD funds earmarked for 4 virus relief projects. A Hawaii County Council committee voted in favor of allocating nearly a million dollars in federal funds to a quartet of COVID-19 recovery projects throughout the county. Tribune-Herald.

$3.7 Million Granted For Various Eruption Recovery Efforts. Money will go toward private road restoration, assisting impacted farms, building affordable homes for displaced residents, and helping Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School. Big Island Video News.

18 nonprofits receive lava recovery grants.
The Hawaii County Kilauea Recovery Team awarded $3.7 million in grants to 18 nonprofits to assist in eruption recovery efforts in lower Puna. Tribune-Herald.

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Man Charged in ‘Bizarre’ Case of Illegal Aquarium Fishing. Authorities have arrested a man on several charges involving illegal aquarium fishing in West Hawai‘i waters, after what the state Department of Land and Natural Resources described as a “bizarre series of events” that ended with a search and rescue operation for two women apparently abandoned at sea. Big Island Now.

Illegal aquarium fishing arrest prompts search and rescue mission. Another arrest has been made for illegal aquarium fishing in West Hawaii waters. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Some products will soon get pricier with shipping rate increase. Businesses brace for Young Brothers invoices in already challenging times. Residents soon will see prices increase on certain products in the wake of the 46 percent emergency rate hike approved by the state Public Utilities Commission for interisland shipper Young Brothers that took effect this month. Maui News.

Red Placard Issued to Vietnamese Cuisine Restaurant in Kīhei, Maui. According to the DOH, the restaurant’s kitchen was allegedly infested with roaches among many other food safety violations and health hazards. Maui Now.

Ali‘i Kula Lavender Open Two More Weekends Before Temporary Closure. Aliʻi Kula Lavender Farm in Kula on Maui announced it will be open for two more weekends before it transitions to a temporary closure starting on Oct. 1, 2020.  Starting next month, the farm will be closed to visitors until further notice. Maui Now.

Kauai

Kupa‘a Kaua‘i food distribution program to begin Sept. 22. The County of Kaua‘i is partnering with the Hawai‘i Foodbank Kaua‘i Branch and the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank to provide food packages to individuals and families who have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Garden Island.

All water sites test high in September water results. The Kaua‘i Chapter of Surfrider’s Blue Water Task Force has completed water quality sampling for September 2020, with a limited set of data due to the pandemic. Garden Island.

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