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Monday, November 23, 2020
November 23, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:02 PM :: 2097 Views

OHA: A Tale of Two Audits

VIDEO: COVID patient left to sleep on bench after quarantine mix up

Mayor-elect Blangiardi favors more aggressive reopening of Oahu

SA: …  Honolulu mayor-elect Rick Blangiardi indicated today he is willing to be more aggressive in re-opening Oahu to allow for such things as bars, other small businesses and team sports to be open more quickly than under current Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s existing tiered system of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I would really be willing to … take a look at what we can do to open up certain things,” Blangiardi said during this morning’s segment of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser live stream program Spotlight Hawaii. “I think I take a very different approach to what’s being done right now on getting our kids back to playing sports …”

Generally, “I really want to take a look at that versus keeping everything shut down,” Blangiardi said. “At some point, we need to learn to live with this disease. And we’ve been living with this a long time.” ….

read … Mayor-elect Blangiardi favors more aggressive reopening of Oahu

Blood Bank of Hawaii hoping more convalescent plasma donors step up ahead of the holidays

SA: … Convalescent plasma, which contains antibodies from recovered COVID-19 patients, is currently considered an experimental treatment used in clinical trials, and authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Since Hawaii’s convalescent plasma program was launched in late April, the blood bank has collected more than 500 doses from approximately 121 recovered patients who are local residents. In May the first recovered coronavirus patient to receive convalescent plasma therapy in Hawaii was discharged from The Queen’s Medical Center.

The pool of potential convalescent plasma donors has since grown substantially, and Blood Bank of Hawaii CEO Kim-Anh Nguyen is hoping more will come forward ahead of the upcoming holidays, which is when donations tend to slow down.

“Those patients that just recovered from the surge in August, please, please, come out to donate, if you can, and let’s build our stockpile now for the mountain that I’m very afraid Hawaii will experience,” Nguyen said….

read … Blood Bank of Hawaii hoping more convalescent plasma donors step up ahead of the holidays

Star-Adv: Safe Travels gets more burdensome

SA Editorial:  … The unwelcome upshot of the revision is that we’ll likely see fewer trans-Pacific travelers. Some won’t want to book a vacation and jump through pretesting hoops, if uncertainty looms over whether a test result will turn up in time to avoid getting boxed into a mandatory two-week quarantine.

Addressing the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s board on Thursday, its new CEO, John De Fries said: “This has been brought about by the number of people who have arrived with no test uploaded, test results pending. That segment of traveler has caused a tremendous amount of workload and a bottleneck in the system.”

If that’s the case, the state should be scrambling to fix — and improve — the system that’s helping to restart Hawaii’s long-stalled tourism industry, rather than simply scrapping a clunky component at the expense of travelers. Safe Travels now has 28 “trusted testing and travel partners.” Given stricter demand for the three-day turnaround, it should seek out more partners.

Also, at Oahu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, it seems possible that a recently launched mobile testing laboratory could serve as a post-arrival testing option and be tasked with helping to break up the bottleneck. The lab has a capacity to crank through 10,000 COVID-19 diagnostic tests in a day, with a turnaround time of three to six hours, from registration to test results. For pending-test arrivals, instead of being stuck in quarantine, this might provide an alternative.…..

Big Q: Do you agree with Hawaii tightening its pre-test travel program, where travelers with pending COVID results must go into 14-day quarantine?

SA:  Kauai wants stricter travel entry rules

read … Safe Travels gets more burdensome

Hawaii vacation turns south

KITV: … Ben Fox, a teacher of 22 years, says a few hours after arriving his 12 year old son had to use the bathroom badly but it was occupied by his wife, who even though she had received a negative test result for COVID, was suffering from severe stomach problems.

After repeated requests by his son to go to the bathroom, he put on his masks and took out to the hotel hallway to try and find a place for him to go. Fox claims he came back in 5 minutes but already a security guard had come to the door to check on them. Fox says 2 hours later, Honolulu Police showed up and placed him under arrest for violating quarantine….

read … Hawaii vacation turns south

Pacific Islanders hardest-hit—OHA Piggybacks

SA: … It takes a bit of navigating the cumbersome DOH website to find the racial/ethnic data that used to be included in the Star Advertiser summaries, but Native Hawaiians do not appear to be among the highest risk groups. At 21% of the population, they represent 17% of cases and less than 7% of deaths.

Pacific Islanders account for 4% of the population, 28% of cases, and 23% of deaths.

Filipinos represent 16% of the population, 21% of cases, and 22% of deaths.

Those of Japanese descent comprise 15% of the population, 7% of cases, but almost 25% of deaths. That's surprising and shocking….

Related: COVID: UH, OHA head different NHPI projects

read … Pacific Islanders hardest-hit—OHA Piggybacks

Expedia: Kauai’s example for monitoring illegal vacation rentals could be useful

MN: … Despite the very real economic benefits vacation rentals offer, we understand that “bad actors” can hurt the community. As the world’s leading online travel platform, Expedia Group wants to support our legal vacation rental owners who pay their taxes and work to provide a high-quality, clean, and safe guest experience. Expedia also wants to be the leader in enforcement against illegally operated properties who hurt the legal operators and take away essential business. For Maui County, illegal rental properties rob you of hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax revenue.

Kauai has shown that platform-based solutions can counteract these illegal rentals and create a win-win situation for both the county and those who rely on vacation rentals to make ends meet. In June 2020, Kauai entered into a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Expedia Group. As the first cooperative agreement between a travel platform and any government entity in Hawaii, the MOU was designed to help the county effectively enforce its vacation rental laws, while simultaneously protecting Kauai’s tourism industry by allowing legal, responsible vacation rental owners to operate.

This agreement requires a tax map key (TMK) number for every property advertised on websites under Expedia Group’s brand, such as VRBO. Expedia Group submits monthly reports of property listings to the county, who is then able to ensure all listed properties are operating legitimately.

Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami, Planning Director Ka’aina Hull, and other county officials worked with our team at Expedia Group for nearly a year to reach this agreement, clearing a path forward for visiting families and responsible rental owners. The MOU’s signing came at a critical time for Kauai’s recovery during the COVID-10 pandemic. With the MOU in place, our partners have certainty that their operations can continue once travel to Hawaii is open. They can also rest easy knowing that the illegal rentals — which have made all vacation rentals look bad — are not going unchecked, and the county has assurance that the community isn’t being robbed of much-needed tax dollars as it rebuilds its economy….

read … Kauai’s example for monitoring illegal vacation rentals could be useful here

Man’s Death In Honolulu Police Custody Caused By Drugs, Shackles And A Struggle

CB: … The autopsy report, based on interviews with witnesses, details a situation in which Pama was acting erratically: entering someone else’s truck, tumbling out of the passenger’s seat head-first, trying to hit an officer when they tried to calm him down.

After Pama was handcuffed, he lay on his stomach where “he continued to resist and attempted to kick,” the autopsy recounts. “More officers arrived with shackles.”

It was after Pama was shackled and was sitting upright that he started going in and out of consciousness. He died at 9:22 p.m ….

read … Man’s Death In Honolulu Police Custody Caused By Drugs, Shackles And A Struggle

Mobile Medical Unit to Sew Stitches After Homeless Bumfights

MN: … More help is on the horizon for Maui’s needy population as police spearhead an effort to roll out a Mobile Medical Educational Unit possibly by the end of the year.

The mobile unit will be a bus offering wound care, mental health services and education on preventative measures for COVID-19, as announced last week at Mayor Michael Victorino’s news conference….

As the MPD-led program gets its start, Maui County is assisting another organization, Ka Hale A Ke Ola, to repair its mobile hygiene unit.

About a week ago, a toilet, water heaters and other supplies were stolen from the unit, which Ka Hale A Ke Ola regularly brought to St. Theresa’s to offer hot showers and a bathroom for South Maui’s homeless. Locks on the doors had been drilled and the trailer was essentially gutted, the nonprofit said.

Victorino said that the trailer should be “up and running” by December. The county provided the original funds for the unit, which cost a little over $34,000.

Ka Hale A Ke Ola Executive Director Monique Ibarra said Friday that they are grateful that the county is offering to cover the cost of the repairs, including paying staff overtime if needed, so the unit can be ready before Christmas.

“I’ve already spoke to the manufacturer and have placed an order for the parts to get shipped to Maui,” Ibarra said. “Our hope and prayers is that the shipping of the parts will be quick and not too delayed due to COVID.”…

(Idea: Buy the homeless copper ingots.  Its more efficient.)

AP: Bumfight at church homeless shelter, two dead, many wounded

read … More mobile help coming for Maui people in need

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