Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Gov. Ige and Cabinet get vaccinated, Maui tops Oahu in daily COVID-19 increase, $12 minimum wage clears Senate committees, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Office of the Governor
Hawaii Gov. David Ige gets vaccinated PC:Governor's Office

Governor, cabinet members get first dose of COVID vaccine. Gov. David Ige, Hawaii’s first lady and 65 of their cabinet and staff members got their first COVID vaccine doses Monday. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii Health Director Says 3 More Weeks For Next Vaccination Phase. Dr. Libby Char told lawmakers mid March is the soonest people age 70 and older will be able to get in line for COVID-19 vaccinations. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

More coronavirus vaccines on the way to Hawaii.
As of Monday the state had administered 306,432 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, based on preliminary data, up more than 19,000 from the previous day. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.


$12 minimum wage hike clears key Senate committees. Hawaii’s low-wage workers are closer to seeing a hike in the minium wage to $12 after two key Senate committees approved the increase, but the measure’s prospects in the House of Representatives are less certain. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Gov. David Ige expressed reservations about a bill that would unify travel rules across Hawaii, while stopping short of saying he would veto it if it comes across his desk. Star-Advertiser.

Ige against ‘arbitrary’ reopening of schools. Gov. David Ige pushed back Monday against proposals to universally reopen Hawaii schools after spring break next month. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiian Home Land beneficiaries asked to weigh in on potential transfer of land. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is seeking input from beneficiaries on a potential transfer of land that would use millions of dollars in land credit. Hawaii News Now.

Prison Oversight Commission Requests Analysis of Inmate Deaths.
So far eight Hawaiʻi inmates have died of COVID-19 while in state custody, and their relatives are looking for answers. Hawaii Public Radio.

As many military personnel receive the coronavirus vaccine, 1 in 3 decide to opt out. The Defense Department has initiated larger-scale COVID-19 vaccinations on Oahu as it struggles with an overall 1-in-3 refusal rate in the ranks to take the vaccine. Star-Advertiser.

Zippy’s Plans To Pay Employees To Get Vaccinated. Zippy’s Restaurants is poised to join a growing list of businesses offering employees an incentive to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Grapples With How To Use Stockpile Of Rapid COVID-19 Tests
. Some 720,000 rapid COVID-19 tests nearing their official expiration date in March sit in a state warehouse. Civil Beat.

Hawaii hotel occupancy remained flat in January. The Hawaii Tourism Authority said in a Monday report that 23.3% of hotel rooms statewide were occupied last month, based on a survey by Tennessee-based hospitality industry research firm STR Inc. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.

Feb. 22, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 52 New Cases 21 O‘ahu, 28 Maui, 2 Hawai‘i Island, 1 Kaua‘i. Maui Now.


Honolulu is slated to slide into Tier 3 come Thursday. Distancing rules will still apply in Tier 3. However, there are no capacity limits for retailers and spiritual services. Social gatherings sizes will increase to 10 people. Restaurants can also allow 10 people per party. Gyms will be allowed to increase capacity from 25 percent to 50 percent. Hawaii News Now.

This Private School Will Soon Begin Doing COVID-19 Tests On Campus. Iolani School’s high teacher vaccination rate and plans to soon offer free coronavirus testing to students set it apart from public schools. Civil Beat.

Former HART Interim Director Krishniah Murthy Dies. The longtime transit official was hired in 2016 to help guide Oahu’s rail project through an especially rocky period. Civil Beat.

Retailers seek rent relief as coronavirus pandemic wears on.
Many of Hawaii’s retail shops and businesses are still clinging to hope of surviving the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected them for nearly a year now. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Hamakua-Kohala Health Purchases the Kohala Club Hotel. The former Kohala Club Hotel will become the new permanent home for the Kohala Health and Wellness Center. Big Island Video News.

Nearly 2,000 vaccinated at Hilo POD. The mass vaccination POD, or point of dispensing, was organized by Hilo Medical Center and focused largely on essential workers. Tribune-Herald.

County delays trailer usage ban at transfer stations. The County of Hawaii Department of Environmental Management is delaying the implementation of trailer usage at solid waste transfer stations until at least April 16. West Hawaii Today.


Scenes of unmasked tourists in large groups stir frustration, anger among locals. In the daily COVID numbers reported Monday, Maui had more new COVID infections than Oahu. It’s a worrying situation that has some Maui residents upset as visitors continue to flood the island. Hawaii News Now.

Maui’s daily COVID case count surpasses Oahu for the first time. Maui County is close to surpassing the number of COVID-19 cases from last year in just the first two months of 2021. KHON2.

Landing Fees Temporarily Waived for Commercial Passenger Flights to Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi. The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation Airports Division is waiving landing fees for scheduled commercial passenger service to Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi in response to decreased service due to the economic impacts of the ongoing pandemic.  Maui Now.

South Dakota Visitor Arrested on Maui for Alleged Violation of Rules Relating to Quarantine. Police say Corey Mathieu, 34, was arrested on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, after arriving from Texas without a negative pre-travel COVID-19 test and did not have approved lodging in which to complete the state’s mandatory 10-day travel quarantine. Maui Now.

Lanai deer, sheep hunting applications open today. Online applications for the 2021 Lanai Axis Deer and Mouflon Sheep Season will be available to the public beginning today, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife announced. Maui News.


Flood Insurance Rate Map changes effective Feb. 26. The new maps include changes to the FIRM for Moloa‘a Stream near Moloa‘a Bay and reclassified areas behind the Waimea and Hanapepe Levees to Special Flood Hazard Areas. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i County Council and schools reopening.
The Kaua‘i County Council is voting on a resolution that encourages a return to full-time in-person education as soon as possible for elementary and secondary school children. Garden Island.

Ku Makani crisis resource line opens.
Ku Makani, The Hawai‘i Resiliency Project, has opened up a free crisis line (1-800-753-6879), connecting callers not just to resources, but to somebody who will listen. Garden Island.

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