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Tuesday, March 31, 2020
March 31, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:16 PM :: 1025 Views

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204 Hawaii COVID: 29 New Cases, 10 More Recovered

Maui Companies to Begin Assembling Ventilators

COVID 19 Source Tracing: The Devil is in the Details

Economists Expect 140,000 Unemployed

FDA Approves Use of Malaria Drugs for COVID-19

426 Criminals may soon be released on to Hawaii Streets

CB: … Hawaii’s highest court is considering the public defender’s request to release hundreds of inmates as the threat of COVID-19 continues to loom over the state’s crowded and outdated correctional facilities, though some prosecutors warn a release en masse would be too risky.

The state public defender’s office provided the Supreme Court a list of 426 inmates who can be released under specific criteria Monday as part of a court order stemming from a petition it filed last week. That includes 137 inmates from the Oahu Community Correctional Center, 44 from Kauai, 45 from Maui, 197 from Hilo, and three from the women’s facility on Oahu….

SA: Nadamoto said that even a cursory glance at the list shows names of inmates he doesn’t want to see released for public-safety reasons. 

Clue: There is no COVID in any Hawaii jail.  And many of the 426 will end up homeless.  And they WILL commit crimes which will distract police from COVID work.  COVID is just the current excuse for what the soft on crime crowd always is trying to do.

Meanwhile: Hawaii prosecutors up petty misdemeanor to felony charge under governor’s emergency proclamation

read … Public Defender’s Office Wants Hundreds More Hawaii Inmates Released

“This is a song and dance!” Senators accuse Governor’s office of poor leadership in COVID-19 crisis

KITV: … Strong words flying between state Senators and the Governor’s office on Monday. The Senate COVID-19 committee asked Chief of Staff Linda Takayama for an update on what the state is doing to protect the public from coronavirus.

From the start, the group grilled Takayama, accusing her and her boss - Governor Ige - of hiding information from them and the public. The 40 minute heated discussion started with a follow up Senator Donovan Dela Cruz following up on the committee’s request to the Governor’s office on the state’s COVID-19 response plan, which they wanted by March 11. He told Takayama that when he heard nothing from her, he tried to get the information directly from state agency directors, and they said the Governor’s office told them not to talk to the Senators.

Takayama said initially, the Governor’s office wanted to keep control to prevent misinformation in an “uncertain” time. “We weren’t sure what the strategy was going forward,” she explained. She was planning to be the conduit between the agencies and the task force. “I’ve since reconsidered; you can have all the information you want,” she answered.

“We don’t need a filter. There was a sense of urgency for a COVID-19 plan when we first met with the administration. When we met with the departments, they were told not to respond,” Sen. Dela Cruz countered.

It’s a response Sen. Dela Cruz said he found “alarming” - both for the Governor’s Office’s decision to filter information, as well as having agency directors told not to respond to the senate….

Sen. Fevella became visibly upset and raised his voice at Takayama. “It blows my mind to know you told these departments” that, he accused. “To circumvent the Senate with the memo? To me, that was irresponsible.”

“We are talking about lives here. People have no trust in the government inclusing our Governor. I have a constituent in the hospital fighting for his life,” he continued, referring to the Ewa bartender. “What do we tell constituents when they hear you’re hiding things from us? … This is a song and dance!”…

Best Comment: “A bunch of cry babies. It’s disturbing and PATHETIC that our politicians seem to only be great at crying, pointing fingers and playing the blame game.”

VIDEO: Senate Special Committee on COVID-19 holds afternoon meeting

read … “This is a song and dance!” Senators accuse Governor’s office of poor leadership in COVID-19 crisis

Experts say Hawaii unemployment rate may hit 25%

SA: … Hawaii’s unemployment rate is projected to soar to 25% later this year in the economic free-fall triggered by the coronavirus disaster, but the state is also in line to receive at least $4 billion in federal aid from the new federal relief bill approved on Friday, according to testimony before a select state House committee this morning.

Carl Bonham, executive director of the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization (UHERO), said there is vast uncertainty in the UHERO projections, in large part because “there is no comparison for this.” Hawaii’s unemployment rate in January was 2.7% ….

read … Experts say Hawaii unemployment rate may hit 25%

Governor Ige announces mandatory quarantine for interisland travel

KITV: … One exemption of the mandatory quarantine for interisland travel is healthcare workers.

Healthcare workers who are required to travel interisland are told to self-quarantine when they arrive, travel to where they are doing their services, and use PPE the entire time that they do their services. Then they are required to return to their place of lodging and self-quarantine for 14-days following their services.

When asked about reports that test results were delayed for some individuals who did drive-thru testing, Dr. Bruce Anderson stated that we should now see a quicker turn around time for results.

Dr. Anderson explained that most of the tests from the drive-thru locations had to be sent to the mainland, where testing was already backlogged.

Dr. Anderson also said that two negative tests and an individual having no symptoms are qualifications for being considered 'recovered.'…. 

LINK: IGE ISSUES EMERGENCY ORDER REQUIRING SELF-QUARANTINE FOR INTER-ISLAND TRAVELERS

read … Governor Ige announces mandatory quarantine for interisland travel

Captain of aircraft carrier with growing coronavirus outbreak pleads for help from Navy

SFC: …In the four-page letter to senior military officials, Crozier said only a small contingent of infected sailors have been off-boarded. Most of the crew remain aboard the ship, where following official guidelines for 14-day quarantines and social distancing is impossible.

“Due to a warship’s inherent limitations of space, we are not doing this,” Crozier wrote. “The spread of the disease is ongoing and accelerating.”

He asked for “compliant quarantine rooms” on shore in Guam for his entire crew “as soon as possible.”

“Removing the majority of personnel from a deployed U.S. nuclear aircraft carrier and isolating them for two weeks may seem like an extraordinary measure. ... This is a necessary risk,” Crozier wrote. “Keeping over 4,000 young men and women on board the TR is an unnecessary risk and breaks faith with those Sailors entrusted to our care.”…

SA: Captain of U.S. carrier in Guam relieved of command after coronavirus letter

SA:  RIMPAC still on, other military exercises canceled

read … Captain of aircraft carrier with growing coronavirus outbreak pleads for help from Navy

COVID-19 Is Taking A Big Toll On Other Types Of Health Care

CB: … Many hospitals are canceling elective procedures, while dwindling numbers of patients are threatening the bottom line of community and rural clinics….

March 28, 2020: Hawaii health director says some physicians ‘closing up their practices’

read … COVID-19 Is Taking A Big Toll On Other Types Of Health Care

Hawaii's stevedores volunteer to test for COVID-19

KITV: … About 70 of them at "Pasha Hawaii" were screened and tested at Pier 51, as a part of the state's effort to keep essential workers healthy.

Doctor Scott Miscovich of the "Premier Medical Group" calls it a critical step to keep necessary supplies coming into the state.

Miscovich says stevedores are not at a higher risk, and there's also no threat to Hawaii's food supply.  The tests results should be back in about 24-hours, and are strictly a precaution.

"If one or two people get sick in a crew or team and it spreads through a team, we could have a whole crew disabled which could disable or slow down the movement of supplies that are necessary. This is just to make sure our state is safe and there are products on our shelves to keep up moving," explained Miscovich….

SA: More testing! And keep eye on the supplies

read … Hawaii's stevedores volunteer to test for COVID-19

Maunakea telescopes close in response to virus order

AP: … Observatories on Maunakea have shut down operations in response to the governor’s stay-at-home order aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

The shutdown of telescope operations is expected to affect more than 500 technicians, astronomers, instrument scientists, engineers, and support staff who work at the Big Island summit and at observatory bases below….

This is the second time operations on Mauna Kea have shut down in a year, following demonstrations that blocked the mountain’s access road for more than five months beginning in July….

HPR: Stargazer March 30 - April 5, 2020: A NASA Mission Blown Off Course By Covid-19

read … Maunakea telescopes close in response to virus order

Hawaii to get at least $4B in federal coronavirus aid

PBN: … The largest amounts are $1.25 billion that will be transferred to state and county governments, $1.24 billion for direct cash payments to Hawaii residents and $1.14 billion for unemployment payments.

Funding for Hawaii also includes $130 million for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, $53 million for public schools and colleges, $11 million for community health centers in Hawaii and $8 million for Community Development Block Grants.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said the $4 billion doesn’t include the small business loan program covered by the stimulus bill signed by President Donald Trump on Friday….

read … Hawaii to get at least $4B in federal coronavirus aid

Break-ins force Hawaii Foodbank to hire additional security

KHON: …“We’ve had multiple break-ins in the last couple of weeks and it came to a point where we had to pull the trigger on making a decision on how we’re going to protect our valuable resources, not to mention our warehouse,” Mizutani said. “We have a hired a security company to look over our company from six at night until four in the morning every day, seven days a week. That’s money that should have been spent on food.”…

Mizutani told KHON2 News that the impact of COVID-19 has been significant, as it has raised the need for food aid and lowered the supply….

read … Break-ins force Hawaii Foodbank to hire additional security

Coronavirus death rate is lower than previously reported, study says, but it's still deadlier than seasonal flu

AP: … The research, published in the medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, estimated that about 0.66% of those infected with the virus will die.

That coronavirus death rate, which is lower than earlier estimates, takes into account potentially milder cases that often go undiagnosed -- but it's still far higher than the 0.1% of people who are killed by the flu.

When undetected infections aren't taken into account, the Lancet study found that the coronavirus death rate was 1.38%, which is more consistent with earlier reports….

read … Coronavirus death rate is lower than previously reported, study says, but it's still deadlier than seasonal flu

Looking back at the 1918-1920 “Spanish Flu” epidemic in Hawaii

ILind: … More than 2,300 people died in Hawaii during the influenza epidemic of 1918-1920, according to a 1999 article in the Hawaiian Journal of History by former state statistician Robert Schmidt and population researcher Eleanor C. Nordyke. This total does not include deaths of military personnel, although the flu broke out first at the Schofield military base in Wahiawa in June 1918. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported at the time that 600 soldiers at Schofield were sick as the disease hit the islands.

“During the first calendar year for which figures on flu cases were compiled, 1919, total cases numbered 12,499,” Schmidt and Nordyke found….

The pandemic also took place in a time of serious labor unrest, which culminated in the great sugar strike of 1920. According to Kuykendall and Day, “Management responded by evicting 12,000 strikers [from plantation housing]. About half of these came to Honolulu, which was in the throes of an influenza epidemic; and it was estimated that 1,200 members of strikers’ families died of this disease.”

See Robert C. Schmidt and Eleanor C. Nordyke, “Influenza Deaths in Hawai’i, 1918—1920,” Hawaii Journal of History, Vol. 33 (1999)

read … Looking back at the 1918-1920 “Spanish Flu” epidemic in Hawaii

Honolulu Star-Advertiser Cutting Payroll Costs To Weather Pandemic

CB: … “Essentially, we just reacted to the significant drop in advertising that occurred when the stay-at-home order went into effect and businesses had to close,” said Dennis Francis, the president and publisher of the newspaper, which is owned by Oahu Publications.

At least eight people were indefinitely furloughed, although the publisher said that number is not final. Some of them are journalists working in the sports and features departments, as many of the events they cover have been canceled.

Most of the staff are now working four days a week instead of five, he said. Some on the operational side are working three-day work weeks. Francis would not say exactly how many people are affected.

“Things are changing day-to-day, so we’re still reacting to that,” he said….

read … Honolulu Star-Advertiser Cutting Payroll Costs To Weather Pandemic

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