COVID-19 UPDATE 31   

A year has passed since our state initially shut down and looking back, we can observe the collective power of multi-sector partnerships in public health and the resiliency of the people of Hawai‘i. This year, we celebrated a milestone as COVID-19 vaccines became available across the country. Last week it was recorded that Hawaiʻi has given more than half of a million COVID-19 vaccines and is ranked 7th in vaccines administered per capita! This is a positive step in protecting our communities and celebrates the hard work of those trying to get Hawai‘i vaccinated, safely and effectively. For those who are interested in learning more about the three available COVID-19 vaccines, click here

FEDERAL UPDATES

American Rescue Plan

The new COVID-19 relief package, the American Rescue Plan, provides Hawai‘i with $6 billion in federal funding to help local families and businesses! Governor David Ige announced state workers no longer have to worry about furloughs and layoffs, thanks to the financial relief provided to the state’s budget! This graphic offers a glimpse of how the funding will support Hawai‘i;a full list of resources from the American Rescue Plan can be found on US Senator Brian Schatz’s website

USDA Extends the 15% Increase in SNAP Benefits

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced an extension to the 15 percent increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits through September 2021! Individuals will continue to receive $28 more per person, per month, or more than $100 more per month for a household of four, in additional SNAP benefits. The increase was supposed to end in June but the extension through September is made possible through federal funding from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. 

Expansion of COVID-19 Vaccinators

The Biden Administration made an amendment to the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act allowing additional medical professionals and healthcare students to be trained to administer COVID-19 vaccines! This will help Hawai‘i implement a faster, smoother, and safer vaccine rollout. This PREP Act fact sheet explains more about the declaration and the new amendment. 

New CDC Guidelines for FULLY Vaccinated Individuals 

  • You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask.
  • You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household without masks unless anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine or get tested unless you have symptoms.

LEARN MORE

STATE UPDATES

Expansion to Vaccinate 1C

The Hawai‘i Department of Health is now vaccinating more high-risk residents and essential workers. Those 65+, patients on dialysis, oxygen, or chemotherapy, essential workers employed at hotels, restaurants, and bars are now able to sign up for vaccination. For residents who identify with this age group or these medical conditions, you may register to receive a COVID-19 vaccine today! 

More Vaccines to Underserved Communities in Hawai‘i 

The latest report COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi: Addressing Health Equity in Diverse Populations highlights racial/ethnic disparities in COVID-19 infections and deaths in the state of Hawaiʻi. According to this data, Pacific Islanders are the group most affected by COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi. Twelve health centers across Hawai‘i have been selected to participate in a federal COVID-19 vaccine program, which will provide additional  vaccines, separate from the state’s weekly allocations, to those disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. A list of those twelve health centers can be found here.

The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Update 

It is expected that the state will be allotted more Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines! If you qualify to get vaccinated under the current or preceding phases and want to get the single shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine please fill out this Department of Health survey. If you are homebound and interested in receiving the vaccine, please email DOH.BHAvaccinepod@doh.hawaii.gov.

COUNTY UPDATES

Kaua‘i County

The Rise to Work program has posted all current job openings online! Browse through all the available positions and please contact the employer directly for more information about the position you are interested in. 

Maui County

SCORE is a Maui County program that provides small business owners with free guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic. SCORE mentors are a resource to bring success to your small business! You may find a mentor online or call the Maui County SCORE office at 808-879-5389.  

Maui County continues to ask everyone going out into a public space to wear a mask with two layers of fabric to provide a physical barrier to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. If you would like to report mask violations, please call this non-emergency police number at (808) 244-6400. 

City and County of Honolulu

The Governor Ige approved Tier 3 modifications for the City and County of Honolulu. Please visit OneOahu for the full list of changes made.

Hawai‘i County

KTA Super Stores is currently scheduling appointments online for the COVID-19 vaccinations to patients 65 years and older and those in Phases 1B and 1C . Please choose a KTA location and register online

Here are more clinic locations and ways to sign up to get vaccinated!

STATEWIDE RESOURCES

Join Us April 7: HIPHI COVID-19 PHA Webinar 

Environmental health affects public health! The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted many inequities that exist from racial and economic disparities to environmental racism. Join us on April 7 at 1 p.m. as we hear from environmental experts on environmental injustices that have been illuminated by the COVID-19 pandemic and how we should respond. Register today!

Guidance on Home Care for Persons with COVID-19 

This booklet provided by the Hawai‘i Department of Health provides an in-depth overview of COVID-19 and information on how to care for yourself or someone with COVID-19 at home. Download the booklet and find a diverse list of COVID-19 statewide resources at the end!

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program opens applications April 8 for business owners of live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions affected by the pandemic. The U.S. Small Business Administration is hosting a webinar on March 30 at 8:30 a.m. to share with business owners eligibility requirements, important information on the grant and how to apply. Interested entities are encouraged to attend this free webinar by registering here

Lifeline: Federal Program to Help with Phone and Internet

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) launched a program, Lifeline, to help make communications services more affordable for low-income consumers. Eligible customers will get up to $9.25 towards a phone or internet bill. You can get Lifeline if you (or someone in your household) has an income that falls below federal poverty guidelines or participates in a federal assistance program such as SNAP or Medicaid. Learn more about Lifeline or apply online today!

Upcoming Events in HIPHI’s Calendar 

HIPHI’s event calendar is a resource to post and view statewide webinars, training opportunities and events on everything related to public health. Check out the calendar if you’d like to post an event or want to see what free webinars are happening this week!

Hawai‘i is Hiring 

Hawai‘i is Hiring is an online resource that connects kamaʻāina to job opportunities, training programs and career navigation. It is a tool to explore different career pathways and also get connected to current job opportunities. 

PUBLIC HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK 


We all want to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, which will happen through consistency of healthy habits over a long period of time. There is urgency to continue to wear a mask, social distance, avoid crowds and get vaccinated when available to you as new strains of COVID-19 emerge. If you didn’t get a chance to read our latest blog post about the new virus variants, you can find it here. There is no fast solution to COVID-19, but together we can all practice these healthy habits to move closer towards herd immunity and minimize the transmission of the virus.

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