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November 27, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 1:03 PM :: 1994 Views

After 40 Years, RFP for State Financial Software Overhaul

Libertarians woo Tulsi Gabbard for 2024 Run

Spying on You: Hana and Lanai are part of smartphone app pilot project

MN: … Hana and Lanai are the first communities in the state to try out a pilot program application that notifies people who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

The AlohaSafe Alert smartphone application has already been downloaded more than 3,000 times since it launched earlier this month, according to Lynelle Marble, executive director of Hawai’i Executive Collaborative, a community partner helping to drive adoption of AlohaSafe in the state.

(CLUE: We're all about to get the vax.  Why push this now when COVID is nearly over?)

The app is an alert tool that may help reduce the time it takes to notify a person of a potential exposure to COVID-19.

Marble said that due to the level of privacy with the Google/Apple Exposure Notification or GAEN technology being used, the organization is not able to identify the location of the downloads. However, she said that most of the 3,000-plus downloads were after a community meeting with Lanai residents earlier this month.

“Since the number of downloads actually exceeds the population numbers on Lanai, it’s clear that the app has garnered considerable interest, most likely from word of mouth and Maui residents who joined the initial informational meetings,” Marble said….

According to the AlohaSafe Alert website, wearealohasafe.org, users must download the app and opt into the notification system. A random ID will be generated for the device, which will change every 10 to 20 minutes to protect identity and location.

The user’s phone and nearby devices exchange the random IDs via Bluetooth technology. The app does not need to be open for the exchanges to take place.

The phone periodically checks all the random IDs associated with positive COVID-19 cases against its own list. If there is a match, the user will receive a COVID-19 exposure notification, with further instructions from the Health Department on safety for both the individual and their close contacts.

The person’s identity is not shared with other users, Google or Apple, AlohaSafe said. And, only the state Health Department can operate the system.

Brandon Kurisu, president of aio Digital and developer of AlohaSafe Alert, said that to prevent false notifications, all diagnoses must be confirmed by the Department of Health.

“So an infected app user will be contacted by DOH and will be given a code that they input into the app. Once that code is inputted, the system then sends alerts to others who have been within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes of the infected person,” he explained.

As of October, a dozen states have released exposure notification apps, and several others are in the process of developing one, according to the DOH. Countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom have used the technology for contact tracing.

Marble said that in addition to monitoring downloads of the app, officials are conducting surveys to understand use and gain feedback on what could be improved.

“With the early success we’ve seen on Lanai, it would make sense to expand to Maui next,” Marble said. “We are looking to release the app more widely once we’ve coordinated with the Department of Health on how to support the app for a larger user base.”

She added that the pilot project is scheduled to run through early to mid-December, which is around the time the app could roll out statewide….

CNN: Your phone can send you an alert if you were near someone who has coronavirus

ERSI Background:


read … Hana and Lanai are part of smartphone app pilot project

As Mayors Clamor for More Restrictions -- Lt. Gov. Recommends Follow Second Test Lead of Big Island

HPR: … Data released yesterday from the state's surveillance testing shows a small increase in the number of travelers testing positive after arrival. The numbers also show that returning residents have a "very strong risk for COVID-19" compared to visitors.

The latest surveillance program results promoted Lt. Gov. Josh Green to recommend that all counties follow the lead of the Big Island, which has been conducting an antigen test after arrival and a subsequent PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test to confirm a positive case.

"To the extent mayors can follow a similar policy and operationalize post-testing, I recommend that course of action for extra assurance and an added layer of safety to the Safe Travels pre-travel testing program," he said in a news release.

"Plus, as the initial data indicates, strategic post-testing for returning residents could also prove beneficial in slowing the spread of COVID-19," he added. …

SA: Mayors seek travel rule changes amid surging coronavirus cases  

SA: Lt. Gov. Josh Green suggests extending pre-test period, second test for arriving passengers

HNN: Green: Despite criticism from mayors, pre-travel testing system is working

read … The Latest: ; 2 Deaths, 120 Cases; Lt. Gov. Recommends Mayors Follow Second Test Lead of Big Island

Prison Outbreak Boosts Oahu COVID Numbers

HPR: … Mayor Kirk Caldwell believes Honolulu can advance into the next phase of its reopening before Christmas, but the city will remain in its current tier for at least another week and a half.

As of yesterday, the seven-day average for new cases on Oahu was 78, with a positivity rate of 2.5 percent.

To ease more restrictions, Oahu will need two-week averages below 50 cases  along with a positivity rate of 2.5 percent.

Caldwell says the city is on the cusp of lifting restrictions.

"What is impacting us right now is the number of cases coming out of Waiawa Correctional Facility -- you know, somewhere between 40 and 50 and 60 cases in the past couple of days.

"If we don’t add those into our case count, Oahu’s down at 45 cases – which would get us below the 50 that we need to be. So, if we didn’t have the infection rate coming out of the prison, we’d be on our way to Tier 3."

Under the city’s reopening plan, Tier 3 would allow gatherings of up to 10 people and ease more restrictions for gyms, restaurants and retail merchants….

read … City misses chance to ease restrictions, cites Waiawa cases

City council to consider allowing farming village communities on ag land

KITV: … Her idea is to allow agriculture land owners to build lots of tiny homes on their farms, to house workers. Resolution 20-293 proposes an amendment to Chapter 21 of the Honolulu Land Use Ordinance, to change the zoning regulations. "It allows tiny homes, 600 square feet and under, where people can have a space to live - a roof over their head - to do minimal activities, but the rest of the day, they'll be out on the farm and their kids will be safe as well," she sums…..

She believes the larger plots, like those in Kunia, could have a couple hundred homes. "This is just another way of living coming off a pandemic that has caused so much financial suffering," she continues.

Pine says this could alleviate both the affordable housing and the food insecurity crises, as well as help diversify the agriculture crops. "As people have experienced this extreme financial stress right now, you're going to have a lot of people who want to go back to a basic lifestyle."…

This proposal goes before the full council on December 2…. 

SA: Oahu food feasibility proposals met with resistance

read … City council to consider allowing farming village communities on ag land

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