You may have celebrated Valentines’ Day, but did you know there is another reason to care for your heart this month? February is American Heart Month, marked to raise awareness on heart disease, still the leading cause of death in the U.S. A healthy lifestyle can lower your risk for heart attacks and heart disease, also putting you at a lower risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Here are some ideas to keep your heart healthy and happy!

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COVID-19 VACCINE UPDATE AND RESOURCES

The Hawai‘i Department of Health is continuing the roll out of vaccines to kūpuna ages 75 and older. Due to the severe weather on the mainland, health officials say a total of 23,250 doses were not delivered on Wednesday, February 17. Your patience and understanding is appreciated as the state is awaiting the delayed shipments. The delay has caused some vaccination sites to not accept new appointments at this time, but CVS is accepting first dose appointments for kūpuna. Visit CVS online to make an appointment or by calling CVS customer service at 1-800-746-7287. 

Our COVID-19 Resource page contains free infographics you can download on the COVID-19 vaccines. If you know someone 75 and older, we ask that you share this kūpuna infographic with them or with community organizations. This veteran’s infographic defines vaccination eligibility and information on how to sign up for a vaccination appointment.

The Hawai‘i Department of Health is alerting Hawai‘i residents about new COVID-19 vaccination scams. Please be cautious of phone calls or emails to receive a vaccination, if it is not from your health plan or insurance and check to see if the provider calling is listed on the State of Hawaii’s COVID-19 portal. Signing up for a vaccination appointment will NOT cost you money. We encourage you to share this infographic on signs of COVID-19 vaccine scams! If you think you’ve been scammed, please contact SMP Hawaiʻi at info@smphawaii.org or call 808-586-7281 (O‘ahu residents) or toll free at 1-800-296-9422 (Neighbor Island residents). 

COVID-19 bills

Join us on March 3 at 1 p.m. for our monthly Public Health Action webinar featuring Hawai‘i State Representative Linda Ichiyama, chair of the House Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness Committee and member of the House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness. Representative Ichiyama will share updates on COVID-19 legislation being considered by the legislature. Register for our upcoming webinar by clicking here!

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COUNTY UPDATES

Kaua‘i County

Beginning in late March, the county will reopen recreational camping at county beach park campgrounds as its Shelter in Place camping permit program comes to an end. For information about county camping permits, call 808-241-4460.

The first days open to the general public:

‘Anini and Anahola beach parks: Friday, April 30.

Lucy Wright Beach Park: Friday, May 21.

Lydgate Beach Park: Friday, June 25.

Salt Pond Beach Park: Friday, July 23.

Maui County

Mask Up for Maui County, a new program to increase face mask usage, uses volunteers to approach unmasked individuals with a copy of Maui County’s Public Health Emergency Rules to kindly explain that mask-wearing is mandatory in all public areas and provide a new complementary face mask. The CARES Act funding allowed the County to purchase 80,000 dual-layer face masks for the program. Individuals or organizations hoping to volunteer may call (808) 270-8299 to speak with Alan Fukuyama at the Office of the Mayor.

City and County of Honolulu

Since last year, the City and County of Honolulu has had a “No Mask No Ride” policy in effect for TheBus and TheHandi-Van. However, a new presidential executive order requires riders to wear approved masks while waiting at transit center facilities. Studies have found public mask wearing is most effective at reducing spread of the virus when compliance is high. Even if you don’t use public transportation, wearing a mask while in a public area offers you and your community the most protection. 

O‘ahu could potentially move to Tier 3 by February 25, if the state maintains an average of fewer than 50 new cases daily and its rate of positive tests stays below 2.5%. 

On February 23, Kaiser Permanente Hawai‘i is opening a vaccination site at their Nanaikeola Clinic. Please share information about the clinic with individuals who live in West O‘ahu and qualify to schedule an appointment.

Hawai‘i County

COVID-19 vaccinations are now available in East Hawai‘i through Bay Clinic for kūpuna 75 years of age and older, frontline essential workers and first responders. For more information or to make an appointment, please call 808-934-3278 or email covidteam@bayclinic.org

STATEWIDE NEWS 

State Granted $87.4M to Provide COVID-19 Vaccinations

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) granted the state $87.4 million to open multiple, state-led community vaccination sites. Our following newsletters will report when these sites are open.

Eviction Moratorium Extension 

The statewide moratorium on residential evictions will extend until April 13, 2021. This protects tenants from eviction for failure to pay required renter fees for the rental unit.

Temporary Extension for Travel Testing 

Due to ongoing severe weather events, Hawaii’s Safe Travels Program will temporarily be accepting valid pre-travel COVID-19 test results within a timeframe of 96 hours instead of 72 hours until February 24. Results still must be received prior to boarding and from a Trusted Testing and Travel Partner.

Extension to Renew DL and ID Cards  

The extension for expired driver’s licenses, state identification cards, and learner’s permits will expire on April 13, 2021. Please contact your local DMV to schedule an appointment to renew your driver licenses, state IDs or permits before April 13. 

DLIR Warns the Public on UI Fraud

Hawai‘i unemployment assistance programs have been battling fraudulent attacks and the Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) are working to improve identity verification requirements for the PUA program. One way to combat fraud is to be vigilant of your credit information. If you received a letter regarding a claim for PUA but did NOT apply for benefits, please file a report online with the Federal Trade Commission or by calling the department at 808-762-5751 or 808-762-5752 and choosing option #4. For more information visit DLIR’s Identity Theft FAQs.

Reopening Hawaii’s Public Schools 

On February 12, the CDC advised schools nationwide to reopen safely according to their new reopening strategy. Based on the Hawai‘i Department of Education’s reopening plan, proms, banquets, and May Day must be virtual celebrations. Social gatherings with more than 20 attendees are prohibited through June 1, 2021. This guidance does not include graduation ceremonies, which will be addressed by Friday, February 26.

PUBLIC HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK

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In honor of American Heart Month, this week’s public health tip is to focus on self-care! Health is holistic and we encourage you to spend some time prioritizing your well-being. Here is a guide on how you can incorporate more mindful activities into your week, with ways to inspire others to join you!

COVID-19 resource

DHHL RENT RELIEF PROGRAM 

The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement is now accepting applications for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Rent Relief Program. The program aims to help Native Hawaiians who need assistance with housing-related expenses incurred during the pandemic. To qualify you must be on the DHHL waiting list with proof of financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. See if you’re eligible and apply online!

 

WEBINAR: COVID-19 SAFETY FOR HAWAIʻI BUSINESSES

Hawaiʻi Occupational Safety and Health Division (HIOSH) is hosting a free webinar on February 24 at 12:00 p.m. with Alan Yamamoto, program manager at HIOSH will explain employer responsibilities during COVID-19. This includes updating your written safety and health program with COVID-19 policies and procedures. There is no need to register, as the webinar will be streamed on the OneOahu’s Facebook page. If you have any questions, contact Jill Chapman at jill.chapman@honolulu.gov or 808-768-2332.

 

GET HEALTH COVERAGE FOR 2021

Due to COVID-19, Hawai‘i residents needing health insurance have until May 15 to enroll in Health Insurance Marketplace coverage. Please review your eligibility on this Special Enrollment Period or call 1-800-318-2596 with questions.

 

EXCLUSIVE PPP LOAN FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AND NONPROFITS

Beginning Wednesday, February 24 at 9 a.m. ET, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will establish a 14-day exclusive Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees. Four additional program changes were announced by President Biden to make access to PPP loans more equitable. Learn more about the changes, or apply for a PPP loan, by clicking here.

SENIOR FARMERS’ MARKET NUTRITION PROGRAM 

Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program has opened its application period for 2021. This program offers eligible seniors $50 worth of coupons to spend on local produce at participating farms, farmers markets, roadside stands, and CSA programs. Eligible seniors include Hawai‘i residents 60 or older with a max household income of 185% or below the FPL. This printable handout provides more information on how to apply and how the program works.

 

DO YOU HAVE RESOURCES OR INFORMATION ON COVID-19 TO SHARE?

If you have any resources or updates we should include in our next email or on our website, feel free to contact us at covidresponse@hiphi.org