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Saturday, March 21, 2020
March 21, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:00 PM :: 1097 Views

Thanks to Virus, DoE Finally Achieves Goal of Eliminating All Standardized Testing

Crushed by COVID? Small Businesses Aid Application Period Extended

217 Candidates File for Election

Hawaii Democratic Primary Cancels In-Person Voting

Working to protect our freedoms

Hawaii COVID Hits 37: 11 New Cases

Honolulu Council Calls for 14-Day Quarantine

Kauai Council Bans Public from Meetings--Just in time for Property Tax Hike, Removal of Alleged Meth Dealer

Hawaii Courts Open--Most Traffic, Criminal, and Civil Cases Postponed Until After April 30

Reality Check: COVID Imported to Hawaii by 41 locals--Only 7 Tourist Cases

HNN: … Hawaii Department of Health Spokesperson Janice Okubo said, “I have been informed that there are residents of Hawai‘i who believe the COVID-19 positive cases here are all visitors to the state, and unfortunately, there is stigma developing against visitors in Hawaii.” ...

UPDATE 12:00 March 21, 2020: As of March 21, 2020, noon, there is a total of 48 confirmed or presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Hawai‘i. New positive results were received today for eleven individuals on three islands. Nine are Hawai‘i residents and two are non-residents. One person is hospitalized in intensive care, another person required a brief one-day hospitalization. Five people have a history of travel and six are pending investigation. In total, 41 cases are residents and 7 are non-residents. ...  

This statement comes after a convoy of vocal residents drove from Honolulu’s International Airport Friday — where there are still many flights coming in with reports of passengers going unchecked — to Waikiki.

State leaders in both the House and Senate are calling for Gov. Ige to institute stricter quarantine procedures for incoming travelers and a shelter-in-place order for those in the islands.

Councilman Ikaika Anderson also had pointed words toward companies catering to visitors. Residents have complained that tour buses continue to drop of tourists at beaches and other local attractions.….

read … DOH worries there is a ‘stigma developing against visitors in Hawaii’

Telescope Protesters Now Protest Against Tourists

KITV: … Over 100 vehicles participated in Friday's convoy, aimed at voicing Hawaii resident concerns about COVID-19 in the state.

"To the tourists of Hawaii, go home, we cannot take care of you if things get bad," said Kawena Phillips of Ku Kia'i Hawai'i….

SA: Photos of Protest 

read … Ku Kia'i Hawai'i convoy draws hundreds

Greenmail Activists Blockade Beach Access Road

WHT: … Residents at Honaunau Bay, also known as Two Step, took it upon themselves to close access to all nonresidents on Friday.

At 6 a.m. Friday, a group of 11 residents put up signs at the entrance saying “beach closed. COVID-19 kills” and turned away a steady stream of cars full of would-be beachgoers.

(Yup.  The sacred beach access path is being cut off.  Hilarious.)

Resident Jimmy Medeiros said after the closure of neighboring Pu‘uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park and state beaches, Two Step was overrun with tourists looking for a place to go.

“There must have been about a thousand people here yesterday (Thursday),” he said.

“We had to do this after the county didn’t respond to us for two weeks. We made many calls,” said Medeiros. “Everyone is coming down. The county is endangering people. Endangering our health and safety. We appeal, appeal, appeal to the county and they don’t respond.”…

Who is Jim Medeiros?  Did you forget? -- "I Trusted Jim Medeiros" and Hokuli`a Settlement Exposed

read … Residents close Two Step: Popular snorkel spot overrun after state closes beaches due to coronavirus

Thousands laid off as eateries shut off dine-in options or close their doors

HNN: … As the state’s mandate barring all dining-in services went into effect Friday, restaurants reported thousands of layoffs.

“Today we had to lay off over 100 employees. It was a very challenging morning for me," said Tom Jones, president and co-owner of Gyotaku Japanese Restaurant.

Jones is also chair of the Hawaii Restaurant Association.

Gregg Fraser, general manager of Viaggo and Italica Bar & Cafe on Kapiolani Boulevard added:

“We operate three restaurants, one on Kauai’s North Shore and these two restaurants. So, we’ve had to layoff about 40 people here and another 25 people on Kauai," he said.

With the new take-out mandate, restaurants have tried to adjust by providing limited take out service and reduced workers’ hours.

But others like those in Waikiki’s hotels have simply closed.

“People are very scared and they don’t know what to do," said Dave Moskowitz, who was among dozens workers at the BLT Steakhouse receiving pink slips this week.

Restaurants and bars employ about 15 percent of Hawaii’s workforce, so many in the industry said that cutting back services to just takeout is going to have a huge economic impact….

read … Thousands laid off as eateries shut off dine-in options or close their doors

Feeel Good Politics: Cruise Ship Passengers Refused Entry into Honolulu as 1,000s arrive by Air Daily

HNN: … The state Department of Transportation said none of the passengers had a fever or displayed any other symptoms of quarantine. They’ve been asked to self-quarantine for 14 days as a precaution.

Meanwhile, no other passengers or crew on the vessel are being allowed to leave.

“Allowing the Hawaii residents off the ship means they will avoid unnecessary air travel and reduces their risk of exposure to COVID-19," Gov. David Ige said, in a news release. "The woman with a fractured leg needs medical attention and therefore must be allowed off the boat.”

The Maasdam arrived at Honolulu Harbor Pier 2 at 6:30 a.m. Friday with approximately 850 passengers onboard. There have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus onboard the ship.

Meanwhile, the Norwegian Jewel is scheduled to arrive Sunday with 1,700 people onboard….

(Meanwhile tourists arrive at HNL daily.  There is no reason to block these cruise ship passengers while admitting airline passengers.) 

read … 6 Hawaii residents, 2 others allowed to disembark from cruise ship docked in Honolulu

Free Corona Testing for Tourism Industry Workers Offered Today

SA:  … Oahu residents whose jobs put them at higher risk for contracting COVID-19 and are showing symptoms can take advantage of a free, drive-thru testing service in Kakaako today.

Hotel employees, restaurant workers, flight attendants, retail workers and first responders are among those being targeted if they are showing symptoms synonymous with COVID-19 and are at risk of being exposed to the new coronavirus because their jobs may have put them in contact with someone testing positive.

The program takes place at Kakaako Makai Gateway Park from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Dr. Scott Miscovich, who is leading the effort, expects 1,400 to 1,600 people to show up at the testing site but anticipates only about one-quarter of them will actually qualify to take the nasal-swabbing test….

KHON: City will hold free COVID-19 screening Saturday in Kakaako

read … Oahu residents whose jobs put them at risk of contracting coronavirus can get tested free

Gun Sales Soar: “What if someone gets desperate and tries to steal supplies from our home?” 

MNL: … Maui gun sales have been soaring, with customer traffic shooting up fivefold, local stores reported Thursday.

A line of 12 to 20 people snaked outside Maui Ammo & Gun Supply in the hot midday sun Thursday in the Wailuku industrial area.

Those waiting to get into the store, some for more than an hour, included parents with their kids; a former military man; a local hunter; a firefighter and his wife; a Hawaii native who practices subsistence living; and a couple who said that they are against vaccines and that coronavirus is made up by the government to control people.

All eight customers interviewed said they wanted to protect themselves and their families if coronavirus panic worsens and their safety is at risk.

“It’s not necessarily the virus that I’m worried about — it’s how people are reacting to the virus,” said one customer at the gun store, who asked for anonymity because her husband is a first-responder. “We’ve already had break-ins in our neighborhood. What if someone gets desperate and tries to steal supplies from our home?”….

read … Residents picking up ‘anything they can get’ at local gun retailers

COVID Criminals: 8 Looters Arrested in Hilo

SA:  … Hawaii island police arrested three men and five juveniles following an alleged burglary at a department store in the Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo that had been shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic — and a simultaneous alleged theft at a different store inside the plaza on Thursday.

Because of an emergency COVID-19 proclamation, police said there are enhanced penalties for certain crimes that include burglary, theft and robbery.

Shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday, officers responded to a burglary at a department store at Prince Kuhio Plaza, which is located at 111 East Puainako St.

A suspect allegedly broke a plate glass window to get into the store, police said. Even though the department store was closed because of the pandemic, employees were inside and confronted the suspect, who fled on foot.

At the same time, police dispatch received a report from another department store in the plaza that three males had stolen clothing and were leaving the area on foot….

read … 8 suspects arrested in simultaneous Hilo burglary, theft related to COVID-19

Council: Big Island mayor’s lack of action over coronavirus putting lives at risk

HNN: … The Big Island, which still has just one reported case of COVID-19, has been the least-impacted major population center across the state in the 15 days since Hawaii’s first case was reported.

But while the mayors of Maui, Kauai and Oahu have taken drastic action in recent days, Kim has been slow to respond, council members said.

“I’m very concerned about our island doing business as usual," Valerie Poindexter, the councilwoman from Hamakua, told Hawaii News Now.

"I’m feeling that the decisions made are not wise decisions, because we are playing Russian roulette with people’s lives.”

Late Friday afternoon, after the council meeting had concluded, the mayor’s office issued a statement saying beach parks across Hawaii Island would be closed beginning Saturday.

Camping and pavilion permits that had been issued at those places were also revoked, the county said.

But council members said Kim should be listening to the health experts who are calling for more aggressive actions.

“This is a pandemic. This is a health-related issue, and that’s not his skill set,” said Poindexter.

During the meeting, Kim said the county was going to continue to leave it up to private businesses to decide whether or not to close.

That’s even though the governor has called on bars and restaurants across the rest of the state to go to take-out and delivery only.

“We got permission from the attorney general, it is that flexible,” Kim said.

“I was not going to make it my decision. I was going to make it the decision of private business, telling them what they should do if they are going to keep it open.”

The mayor’s lack of action appears to also be riling county employees, according to council member Matt Kanealii-Fleinfelder, who said he had received at least 100 emails asking for help….

(Translation: HGEA, UPW want a free paid vacation.)

HTH: Council asks for lockdown; Measures seek to ‘push the pause button’ amid COVID-19 crisis

read … Council: Big Island mayor’s lack of action over coronavirus putting lives at risk

Kona hospital reports 2 presumptive positive coronavirus patients

WHT: …Two presumptive positive coronavirus cases were identified Friday afternoon at Kona Community Hospital, said COVID-19 Task Force chief Lt. Gov. Josh Green.

Both cases involve travelers, Green said, noting that officials were completing the verification process.

(NOTE: The March 20 12:00 DoH report mentions only the one previously known COVID case n the Big Island.)

“The Department of Health takes over from here,” she said, noting that the department will trace contacts, which will include some hospital staff. “We will obviously work with them on that. I really don’t know anything more than that at this point.”

Prior to the presumptive positive cases at Kona Community Hospital, the Big Island had only one confirmed case thus far.

“This is a day where we’re about to see some more disease,” Green said after visiting the Kona hospital and learning about the presumptive positive cases. “This is the beginning as the tests come back in.”

Green was on island Friday visiting Kona Community Hospital and Hilo Medical Center to assess capacity and operations (pressure Harry Kim) as the coronavirus pandemic continues….

read … Kona hospital reports 2 presumptive positive coronavirus patients

Kauai: Mayor On Curfew — ‘I’m Willing To Be Criticized For Overreacting’

CB: … Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami has imposed an islandwide overnight curfew that was scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. Friday, saying that, although Kauai County may be the first in the state to take such a radical step, the island’s size and isolation dictate that the restriction is a logical way to guarantee public safety.

The announcement was greeted positively on social media after Kawakami’s Wednesday afternoon announcement. But dozens of island residents took the opportunity to demand the county and the state do more to halt tourist arrivals, an action Kawakami has said he — like Gov. David Ige — has no power to take, though he supports the concept….

Kawakami’s action appeared to make Kauai the only county to resort to a curfew. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said he had no plans to follow suit on Oahu — at least for the moment. Officials in Maui and Hawaii Counties did not respond to inquiries from Civil Beat about their plans….

“This wasn’t an easy decision,” Kawakami said. 

(Translation: This IS an easy decision.  I am pandering to hysteria.  That’s always easy, especially on Kauai.)

“I’m willing to be criticized as overreacting. But this goes with the frustration with visitors continuing to come in. I’m very mindful that people are going to be losing their jobs, but if we don’t get a handle on this situation, we don’t get a chance to recover our economy.”

(Editor's Note: One problem with that argument--a quarantine mandate would be lifted only because of a reduction of COVID in the rest of the world.  It would not be lifted because COVID has been reduced in Hawaii.)

Kawakami said he is trying to avoid public anger against visitors “when our kupuna (elders) start falling ill, ending up in the hospital and potentially passing away.”…

Raybuck said everyone on island must remain inside their homes, vacation rentals or hotel rooms during curfew hours. Homeless residents should shelter in place, he said.

(Translation: We will not be using this medical emergency to solve the homeless problem by forcing the homeless into SRO shelters—even though they could become a COVID conduit.)

MN: We will judge government harshly if disease spreads

read … Kauai: Mayor On Curfew — ‘I’m Willing To Be Criticized For Overreacting’

A case of recovery: An Oahu man, 70, gets CDC clearance after contracting COIVD-19

HNN: .. Tyson, his wife and his Japanese mother-in-law were stuck on the Diamond Princess, and then evacuated and thrown into an ambulance with other coughing people. They all tested positive, but Tyson says they’ve all recovered.

On Friday, Tyson went to his doctor for a regularly scheduled checkup and once again got the thumbs up from his physician.

During his illness, he was in isolation in a Japan hospital and had a fever, cough and fatigue.

But once he got better, he had to test negative for the disease twice before he was cleared by doctors on March 5 and then released from the hospital….

He showed Hawaii News Now his March 10 clearance from the Centers for Disease Control removing him from U.S. public health ravel restrictions. He came back to Honolulu on Tuesday.

"I'm feeling fine. I feel tired and slowly recovering from this energy draining experience," said Tyson.

"The receptionist asked me have you been to China, have you gone on travel and I told her yeah I was on Diamond Princess and they just kind went woah, but I explained I got CDC clearance and after that they were okay," he said….

read … A case of recovery: An Oahu man, 70, gets CDC clearance after contracting COIVD-19

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