COVID-19 UPDATE 38

June is national Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month! Many people living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias are vulnerable during the pandemic. Those interested in learning more can find resources and more information on COVID-19, Alzheimer’s and Dementia from the Alzheimer’s Association. People without a history of Alzheimer’s or other dementias can experience “brain fog” (difficulty thinking or concentrating) as an ongoing health problem after testing positive for COVID-19. Currently, there are studies in progress to measure the long-term impact of exposure to COVID-19 on the brain.

Those with and without pre-existing medical conditions can have long-term effects from COVID-19. As new concerning variants of COVID-19 have emerged, it is more important than ever to get a vaccine if you are able to! In particular, the Delta variant is thought to be more transmissible and cause more severe cases of COVID-19. Vaccination has been an effective tool to prevent symptomatic disease, as well as hospitalization from the Delta and Alpha variants! For more information, view the White House COVID-19 Press Briefing slide deck.

UPCOMING COVID-19 WEBINAR

This month’s COVID-19 Public Health Action webinar is for high school students! We also invite parents of students, organizations that work with youth and partners to learn about how the pandemic has taken a toll on teens’ mental health and what resources are available to teens in Hawai‘i. Register today!

STATE UPDATES

Two More Days of #HiGotVaccinated

As of today, 57.6 percent of Hawaii’s population has been fully vaccinated! As June comes to an end, there are still TWO days left to win amazing prizes at #HiGotVaccinated! If you get your first dose of Moderna or Pfizer or a single dose of Johnson and Johnson by June 30, you can submit an entry online. In addition to their grand prizes, there are over 90 deals and discounts you can receive from your favorite local businesses, food, and retail shops that you can view here! Most offers expire June 30, unless stated otherwise.

 

Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) Provides an Extra $100 to “Hybrid Workers”

MEUC benefits will help workers who earn money both through traditional W-2 employment and self-employment income. Workers are eligible if they received W2 wages and at least $5,000 in self-employment income during the latest taxable year. The program was created in response to workers whose past income wasn’t fully being counted when they applied for unemployment benefits. The extra $100 is available until September 4, 2021. Have questions about MEUC? Find answers here and apply today!

 

New Travel Rules & Loosened Restrictions Starting July 8 

Anticipating the state will reach the 60 percent vaccination mark in early July, Governor David Ige announced that starting July 8, Hawai‘i will no longer require a pre-travel COVID test from fully vaccinated visitors from the U.S. mainland. Fully vaccinated travelers will need to show their vaccine card and upload it to the state’s Safe Travels website to bypass the pre-travel testing requirement. In addition, social gatherings will increase to 25 people indoors and 75 people outdoors, including at restaurants! On July 8, restaurants will be allowed to operate at 75 percent capacity. *This does not affect the counties’ COVID-19 policies regarding structured events, weddings, etc. and only applies to travel, social gatherings, and restaurants.

 

Expansion of Safe Travels Program to French Polynesia 

Travelers from French Polynesia may now bypass the State of Hawaii’s mandatory ten day quarantine by participating in the state’s Safe Travel’s program. Travelers will need to take a COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to their flight from a trusted testing partner in French Polynesia. For more information, click here.

COUNTY UPDATES

Kaua‘i County

Those who have recently traveled or are around others who returned from traveling are encouraged to get tested at the Convention Hall. Free COVID-19 testing is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., no appointment needed. This testing site is not for residents with symptoms. If you have symptoms, please call your primary care provider to schedule an appointment to get tested.

The county is hiring trained vaccinators, specimen collectors, lab workers and drivers to expand vaccination efforts and testing opportunities through mobile clinics. Interested candidates can email their resumes to cynthia.chiang@doh.hawaii.gov.

Have keiki that are eligible for vaccination? The Pfizer vaccine (approved for children ages 12-17) is available at all three Kaua‘i hospitals, as well as Līhu‘e Longs. As a reminder, minors ages 12-17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

 

Maui County

On June 15, Maui County revised the emergency rules, allowing:

  • Outdoor social gathering limit increased to 25
  • Restaurants may now operate until midnight
  • Up to 200 may now attend outdoor sporting events

Visit Maui Nui Strong for all upcoming vaccination clinics!

 

City and County of Honolulu

Need help finding a vaccine clinic on O‘ahu? Visit OneOahu’s Vaccine Map! You can even filter by location, type of vaccines available, and if they offer same-day or walk-in appointments. You can also view Hawai‘i Pacific Health’s Mobile Clinic locations and times to schedule an appointment online.

 

Hawai‘i County

Big Island Substance Abuse Council (BISAC) is returning with “Rural Wellness Hubs,” where they will be offering food and resources on mental health and substance abuse services. There will be a kickoff with two drive-through events in Kohala and Nā‘ālehu. The first 100 cars at each location will receive a therapy kit for keiki (backpacks filled with a blanket, a stuffed animal, coloring books, food and other goodies), a food box from the Food Basket, and more! Participants are asked to remain in their car and wear a mask.

  • Kohala Village Hub Parking (55-514 Hawī Road) – July 20 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Nā‘ālehu Hongwanji Mission (95-5695 Hawai‘i Belt Road) – July 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

 

STATEWIDE RESOURCES

High Schoolers Ask Their Questions Around the COVID-19 Vaccine

Do you know high schoolers who have questions about vaccination? Local high schoolers in Hawai‘i interview experts on their questions regarding the safety, science and their concerns around vaccination. You may view Vax Facts H.S. on YouTube and all the questions answered are time stamped in the description box!

 

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) Emergency Financial Assistance Program 

OHA’s Ka Wailele Emergency Financial Assistance Program provides grants up to $1,500 for Native Hawaiians ages 18 years and older with proof of financial hardship to assist with past due rent, mortgage, utilities and rent deposits. Native Hawaiians are limited to receive OHA emergency financial assistance once every two years. Learn more or apply online by visiting Ka Wailele Financial Assistance Program.

 

Hawai‘i Department of Health Survey Shows a Link Between Vaccination and Mental Health 

A survey conducted among 482 adults in Hawai‘i statewide showed a correlation between vaccination and mental health. The survey confirmed the need to make vaccinations more accessible for those who face health and social disparities, and that getting vaccinated can contribute to a person’s overall sense of mental well-being. Some key findings between vaccinations and mental health:

  • Those who are vaccinated feel more optimistic than do those who are not vaccinated. The survey showed 51 percent of those who are vaccinated provided a score ranging from seven to 10 on an optimism scale. This number drops to 35 percent among those who are not vaccinated.
  • Those who have been vaccinated view the pandemic more in terms of its health impact, while those who have not been vaccinated view the pandemic more in financial terms. Of those polled, 42 percent of people who have not been vaccinated think of the pandemic more for its financial impact on the household. The number of vaccinated respondents who feel the same falls to 19 percent.

You can view the full COVID-19 Vaccine Tracking Study to see all the findings of this study!

 

Need Local Medicare Help During COVID-19? 

Hawai‘i State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) continues to help those who qualify apply for Medicare. Beyond applying for Medicare, SHIP also offers guidance on accessing care during a public health emergency! The COVID-19 testing access and coverage fact sheet breaks down what services are covered under Medicare.

 

COVIDHawai‘i Vaccination Data by ZipCode 

The Hawai‘i COVID-19 Vaccine Summary dashboard provides a map of vaccination by zip code! At the bottom of the dashboard, click on map and view data by hovering your mouse over a specific geographic location! This data helps us move towards health equity as we diversify vaccination efforts and outreach. Vaccine providers can use this data to increase vaccine accessibility through mobile and pop-up vaccination clinics!

 

PUBLIC HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK 

The pandemic has demonstrated the importance of good health, and there’s never a better time to start healthy habits. The CDC has compiled 6 tips that can help you make this summer a #HealthySummer!

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