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Wednesday, April 8, 2020
April 8, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:29 PM :: 2130 Views

COVID Crackdown? "Online registration required to leave the home"

Ige: Safety Concerns Take Priority over Transparency

The Jones Act is American Self-Sabotage

Politico: Ige 4th Worst Corona Virus Governor

Remove GE Tax from Medical Practices to Save Private MDs

Hawaii’s jobless claims top 194,000—Long Wait for Benefits thanks to HGEA

SA: … Unemployment claims in Hawaii rose to 194,936 on Monday from March 1, which is considered the beginning of the COVID-19 impact for the state.

Scott Murakami, Department of Labor and Industrial Relations director, said Tuesday the department has begun to see a tapering off in new claims; however, they are still well above historic levels.

Murakami said recent claims have fallen to a range of 7,000 to 8,000 from 10,000-plus per day two weeks ago and 15,000 to 16,000 per day prior to that. But the current claim volume is still significant given that before COVID-19 a high day for the department would have been about 200 claims….

On average, Murakami said, claims processing is taking 21 days, a number the department is working hard to reduce.

Gig workers — those who work as independent contractors or as on-call or temporary workers — are waiting even longer as the U.S. Department of Labor still hasn’t provided the states with guidance on those applications.

Longer waits are also true for applicants waiting to get CARES Act assistance, including an additional $600 a month for four months and a 13-week extension beyond Hawaii’s normal 26-week unemployment insurance period. Once DLIR gets a clear federal directive, Murakami said, the CARES Act benefits will be retroactive to Jan. 31….

UPDATE: As shutdown continues, Hawaii passes an ominous milestone: 200,000 unemployment claims

April 4, 2020: HGEA More Scary than COVID?  Ige afraid to Reassign Useless do-nothing HGEA Members to Help With Unemployment Backlog

MN: Maui County unemployment claims nearly 11K in one week

read … Hawaii’s jobless claims top 194,000

Jobless residents frustrated with being locked out of state's unemployment filing system

KITV: … Connie Gadley of Ewa Beach lost her job at IHOP in Pearl City, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the restaurant to close two weeks ago.

She filed for unemployment benefits with the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) online, but hasn't received any confirmation of any kind.

"I totally know they're swamped. I understand that. I just would like acknowledgment of it, they've received my application," she said.

She says a co-worker received word about his claim, so she tried contacting the multiple numbers given by the agency -- with NO luck….

I try calling four different call center numbers myself and each time, I get a busy signal.

Gadley is not alone. Dozens of people have written to KITV-4, expressing frustration with the inability to access the system, both by phone and online.

The issue is capacity. Right now, there's a staff of 83 -- assigned to help nearly 200,000 applicants. …

A photographer with KITV-4 visited the new call center at the Entrepreneurs Sandbox around noon on Tuesday and observed staff not answering phones or doing work. …

HNN: Labor Department’s new phone bank goes down on first full day of operation

April 4, 2020: HGEA More Scary than COVID?  Ige afraid to Reassign Useless do-nothing HGEA Members to Help With Unemployment Backlog

read … Jobless residents frustrated with being locked out of state's unemployment filing system

Lt. Gov. Josh Green calls for more extensive testing

SA: … Expanding testing to all intimate contacts of coronavirus patients, whether they have symptoms or not, will stymie community transmission, Green said. 

“If they kissed them, we should test them.”

“It’s no secret that I believe we have needed much more extensive testing of COVID-positive contacts. This is how countries in Asia stopped the spread,” Green said, adding that private physicians and hospitals have stepped up to fill the testing void left by the state Department of Health, which has taken a position against extensive testing….

“In health care, information is critical. We should be fully assessing any COVID spread in Hawaii. Many people across our state are worried, and tests would help both characterize the full epidemic and contribute to peace of mind.”

The change in policy would help to catch many asymptomatic cases, which is “how we will change behaviors,” he said.

“The moment you test positive, everyone gets very serious about it. People don’t take the disease as seriously until they know they’re positive,” Green said. “If you test positive, then you know to separate yourself from your kupuna.”

The Health Department has argued that only people with symptoms should be tested, though new evidence shows asymptomatic carriers can pass along the virus….

State officials have touted Hawaii as having among the highest number of COVID-19 tests in the nation, but community physicians — doing the bulk of testing in the islands — say the state still isn’t doing enough to prevent a massive outbreak on the horizon. Of the nearly 15,000 tests conducted statewide, the DOH has conducted more than 400.

“Every other civilized country in the world has proven that testing is the only way we’re going to get ahead of this. That’s how aggressive it is,” said Dr. Scott Miscovich, who has conducted 40% of private tests for COVID-19. “It’s just ridiculous what they’re saying. It is just so medieval. They’re like the only people on the planet that are saying don’t test. They’ve only done 400 tests. That’s incomprehensible, undeniable gross negligence.”

SA: Drive-thru COVID-19 screening to be held in Waianae

HTH: East Hawaii facilities conducting fewer COVID-19 tests

Related: VIDEO: Hawaii DoH Official Goes on 10-minute Rant Against Corona Testing

read … More Testing

Mayor Caldwell announces 'pause' in construction at Waimanalo Bay Beach Park

KITV: … On Monday the city's contractor found a three inch iwi fragment within the project area. (Neatly perched upon a hollow tile, with an orange ribbon tied to it, no doubt.) The contractor immediately followed all protocols when this type of inadvertent discovery is made.

On Tuesday afternoon the city met with the State Historic Preservation Division on site as well as Waimanalo community leaders….

SA: Waimanalo park project halted again over health concerns

Big Q: What did you think of the city restarting work on Sherwood Forest on Monday? (Work has paused for now.)

read … Mayor Caldwell announces 'pause' in construction at Waimanalo Bay Beach Park

Kaua‘i COVID-19 Q&A: Do I need documents to go see mom?

TGI: … Q: My mother-in-law has dementia and lives alone in Lihu‘e. We live in Wailua Homesteads and drive to Lihue to take care of her. If stopped what kind of documentation do we need?

A: Leaving the house to care for the elderly, minors, dependents persons with disabilities or persons in a high-risk group is allowed. Additionally, a local rule notes that more than one person from a household may leave the residence to engage in supervisory care for a person in one of these groups.

There have been no official rules stating that official documents must be shown at checkpoints….

TGI: ‘Where are you going?’

read … Kaua‘i COVID-19 Q&A: Do I need documents?

HPD sets up tent city near Airport to serve the newly-arrived homeless instead of deporting them

HNN: … The Honolulu Police Department launched the Provisional Outdoor Screening and Triage (POST) facility Tuesday.

The first POST site is set up at Keehi Lagoon. It can accommodate up to 50 people.

Homeless individuals without COVID-19 symptoms will be required to self-quarantine at the POST site for 15 days, according to the city. They will receive medical screenings, hygiene services, security and meals.

“It’s for people that can care for themselves and are willing to be complaint in regards to the 15 day self quarantine," said Capt. Mike Lambert. “It’s no bigger expectation than we have for our residents now.”

(This is the closest they get to admitting that it is for homeless flying in from the mainland.  Clue: Who else has to do quarantine?)

If an individual comes down with symptoms during their stay, HPD says the person will be transferred either to the Kaaahi Street facility in Iwilei, or a medical facility.

If the person does not develop symptoms, officials say those individuals will go to another site so they can connect with service providers and get shelter….

NR: City opens its Provisional Outdoor Screening and Triage facility

read … HPD sets up tents at Keehi Lagoon to serve the homeless

Kauai Curfew Reduces Hospital Intake by 40%—but not because of COVID

SA: … With most people staying at home — coupled with the island’s 9 p.m. curfew — Kawakami said Kauai hospitals are seeing a 40% decrease in incoming patients.

While he worries about domestic violence among families stuck at home, he said vehicle accidents are down, along with “all of the unnecessary business that goes on during the witching hours, when the werewolves come out.”…

HTH: HMC postpones elective surgeries

WHT: ‘Frankly, it’s delightful’: Traffic down in West Hawaii since stay-at-home order

Cataluna: Kauai mayor orders curfew but serves up encouragement

read … Doesn’t do much about COVID

Latest Trick to Force Mass Release of Criminals--Corrections officers complain about lack of basic protection at facilities

SA: … Corrections officers at two separate Hawaii facilities told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that they are not being issued face masks, sanitizers or other equipment they need to safely do their jobs at the state’s jails and prisons.

Their description of work conditions confirms the concerns that (thrills) inmate advocates have been raising for weeks: (they are so happy) that little is being done to protect either the inmates or employees at Hawaii’s historically overpopulated jails and prisons from the new coronavirus, making them extremely vulnerable to mass infections that could spread into (from) the larger community….

read … Corrections officers complain about lack of basic protection at facilities

Honolulu police issued more than 5,000 warnings

SA: … Honolulu Police Department Deputy Chief John McCarthy said police have issued more than 5,000 warnings and arrested 26 for violating state and county stay-at-home orders.

“As of today we’ve decided to move forward with full-enforcement rather than warnings,” McCarthy said during Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s news conference this afternoon on the city’s response to the coronavirus….

read … Honolulu police issued more than 5,000 warnings

Expand options for distance learning

SA: … The Star-Advertiser’s March 30 editorial, “Rise to challenge of distance learning,” called on our public school system to effectively use technology to support continued academic and social-emotional learning while school facilities are closed due to COVID-19. As a community-based education advocate, I couldn’t agree more….

Related: We’re All Homeschoolers Now

read … Expand options for distance learning

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