GOV. IGE ANNOUNCES STATE ACTIONS TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF COVID-19
LINK: Supplemental Emergency Proclamation dated March 16, 2020
News Release from Office of the Governor, Mar 17, 2020
HONOLULU – Gov. David Y. Ige announced today state actions to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“The actions I’m announcing today may seem extreme to some of you, and we know that it will have negative effects to our economy. But we are confident that taking aggressive actions now will allow us to have a quicker recovery when this crisis is over,” said Gov. Ige.
Gov. Ige strongly encouraged our visitors to postpone their vacations for at least the next 30-days and reschedule for a later date.
Effective this Friday (March 20), screening of all passengers disembarking cruise ships will be screened. Our airports are working on implementation plans for screening arriving visitors
Gov. Ige is directing the following:
Limit social gatherings to groups of 10 people or less to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
Close bars and clubs.
Close restaurants or provide drive-thru, take out, pick-up, or delivery.
Close theatres, entertainment centers and visitor attractions.
Avoid any discretionary travel.
Suspend services and activities in places of worship.
Stay home if you are a high-risk individual and take additional precautionary measures.
Do not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities.
If someone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19, keep the entire household at home.
Stability is also critical in this unprecedented situation. Accordingly, the following steps have been taken:
All utilities have been directed to take necessary measures to ensure that they can continue to operate in the normal course.
Dir. Kenneth S. Hara, Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency, has the full authority to determine what constitutes critical infrastructure or essential services that will continue operations. This includes utilities, fuel producers, shipping facilities and industry, financial institutions, financial services, telecommunications companies, wholesaler or distributors, grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and other industry vital to our community.
For both the utilities and essential services, government resources and support can be deployed as necessary.
During the emergency, the following additional steps are being discussed with our community’s business partners and non-profit organizations to maintain stability for our families by:
- Ensuring employees have benefits, even if employees are not at work.
- Halting eviction for non-payment of rent.
- Halting foreclosures.
- Working with public and private utility providers to avoid shut-off of service to critical utilities such as electric, gas, water, internet, landline telephone and cell phone.
Gov. Ige has also directed all department and agency heads to review their employees and identify the following:
- Essential-functions (will be required to report to work)
- Non-essential – able to work remotely via telework (work from home)
- Non-essential – unable to work remotely via telework or otherwise
These employees could be re-assigned to work that could be done remotely, as long as it’s in the employee’s job description and classification
For the next 15 calendar days, Gov. Ige is directing the departments to have all non-essential staff stay home. Essential workers will continue to report to work. All employees will continue to be paid and will still be eligible for sick leave, vacation and other benefits. Every employee should look to their respective department for detailed instructions.
Gov. Ige has also banned all non-essential travel for state workers, including to the Neighbor Islands.
In addition, the state is taking the following actions:
Temporarily closing State Libraries to public access to evaluate and adjust operations to maintain social distancing. There will be no fees for late returns and the Library online resources will still be available.
All events at the State Capitol, State Art Museum, and tours at Washington Place are suspended.
The Dept. of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has suspended all combat sports in Hawaii.
Cancelled events at Aloha Stadium and Hawaiʻi Convention Center for the next 30 days.
“It is essential that our government operations and services continue during this time, but we must keep all of our employees and community safe and healthy. We expect more stringent actions in the days to come. These are difficult times, but Hawaiʻi has a history of coming together when faced with challenges. I’m confident that together we will rise to the task,” said Gov. Ige.
HDOT: HDOT HIGHWAYS ACTIONS, PREPARATION FOR COVID-19
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COVID-19 JIC DAILY MEDIA UPDATE 3/17/20
Proper Use of COVID-19 Tests Imperative
News Release from Hawaii DoH, Mar 17, 2020
There is a current shortage of hand sanitizers and toilet paper in Hawai‘i in part because of the public’s over-reaction to COVID-19. The Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) wants to avoid having the same shortage of COVID-19 test resources by making sure the public understands how to properly utilize the newly established screening sites.
If people who are well or experiencing mild flu-like symptoms go to the screening sites, there potentially may be insufficient testing supplies for those who critically need the tests, including older adults and those with existing health conditions.
The public should heed the following steps:
- First, contact your healthcare provider in advance to determine if you need to have an in-person visit with your provider.
- Your provider will determine over the phone whether you meet the criteria for COVID-19 testing.
- If your provider directs you to come in for a screening, bring a photo ID and insurance card.
- Your provider will take a swab for testing.
- The specimen will be sent to a private or state lab for the results. During this time, you are expected to self-quarantine at home until the test results are available, which could be up to 3 to 4 days.
- If you are healthy or experiencing mild to moderate flu-like symptoms, DOH urges you to stay at home and avoid an unnecessary visit to a screening site. The screening sites are only for those who are severely ill with COVID-19 symptoms.
Postpone or Cancel In-Person Events
The Hawai‘i Department of Health recommends postponing or canceling in-person events involving 50 or more people for the next eight weeks. Consider using technology to hold virtual meetings or other means when feasible.
It is important to note these are recommendations to encourage best practices for social distancing; not mandates. Businesses and organizations have the option to hold group events and meetings at their own discretion, keeping in mind that attendees should be two-arms-length or six feet apart when possible. Seniors and those with underlying health conditions who are at a greater risk for COVID-19 or respiratory illnesses should avoid attending public gatherings altogether.
Cruise Ship Being Rerouted
The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) Harbors Division and the U.S. Coast Guard are continuing coordination with Holland America Line’s Maasdam cruise ship, which is on its way to Hawai‘i. Initially, the Maasdam had a port call for Hilo, however that reservation has been canceled. HDOT is currently working to direct the ship to Honolulu Harbor so that disembarking passengers will have various flight options for departure out of Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL). To date, there have been no positive cases of COVID-19 associated with the ship. It is important to note that the Maasdam will have been at sea longer than the 14-day incubation period prior to arriving in the Hawaiian Islands. Prior to port, all ships are required to call in advance with information on any symptomatic passengers. If there are concerns about passengers who are ill, the ship will be held out of port.
2-1-1 Call Center for Information on COVID-19
The Aloha United Way call center is open daily between 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. For information or questions about COVID-19:
Four New Cases of COVID-19 Identified on O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island
As of 2:00 p.m. on March 17, 2020 there is a total of 14 confirmed or presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Hawai‘i. Four new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were identified: Two on O‘ahu, one on Hawai‘i Island and one on Maui. DOH is gathering more information on these cases.
COVID-19 Summary of Numbers as of March 17, 2020 at 2:00 pm
(updated as new information becomes available)
Number of Confirmed or Presumptive Positive Case(s)* 14
Number of Persons Under Investigation (current, testing pending) 12
Number of Negative Test Results 93
Number of Person Self-Monitoring with DOH supervision 9
The 9 individuals who are self-monitoring with public health supervision are all on O‘ahu. These numbers fluctuate often as travelers arrive, depart, or begin and end their self-monitoring with supervision by DOH.
Confirmed: Meets CDC criteria and positive test result received from a certified laboratory such as the DOH State Laboratories Division.
*The CDC has advised states that respiratory samples positive for SARS-CoV2 in a state and public-health laboratory will be considered “positive” with no need for further testing.
Presumptive Positive: Positive test results from a private laboratory requiring confirmation by a state public health laboratory.
Persons Under Investigation (PUI): Meets CDC criteria for investigation and testing pending.
Monitoring: Individuals voluntarily remain at home and refrain from work, school, gathering places, and public transit. They communicate daily with Department of Health staff.
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