COVID-19 UPDATE 43   

In honor of Hawaiian History Month, we are committed to learning about the legacy of ali‘i and the decisive actions they took to protect public health. It is evident Hawaiian leaders put the wellbeing of their people above all else. When looking back at the smallpox epidemic of 1853, ali‘i created mandatory quarantines and vaccinations to ensure future generations could thrive. As we look to the future, we want to implement practices and values of native Hawaiians to improve the quality of life for the people of Hawai‘i.

We continue to see a surge in cases statewide and want to thank you all for doing your part by:

  • getting vaccinated
  • wearing a mask correctly and consistently
  • sticking to your household bubble
  • staying at least 6 feet from others
  • avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces
  • washing your hands often

Currently, 64.4 percent of our state is fully vaccinated, which can help control the spread of COVID-19. While vaccinations do not offer complete protection from transmission, they offer us significant protection against hospitalization and death. Lower hospitalization rates also ensure our hospital beds do not remain full, so care is available for those who need it.

Vaccinations are one of the most important tools we have to fight COVID-19, yet some members of our community are hesitant. Convincing our vaccine-hesitant friends, families and neighbors will take patience, kindness, and empathy – something we all need during these challenging times. If you are struggling to have these difficult conversations, join our webinar next Wednesday, September 15 at 1 p.m., which will address how to approach conversations around vaccinations. You can register here.

Upcoming COVID-19 PHA Webinar

Curious on how the city’s vaccine passport program will work and what impact it will have on public health? Join us tomorrow, September 8, at 1 p.m. as we explore the details of the Safe Access O‘ahu program. Our panel will cover vaccine efficacy, the need for the program based on evidence around vaccination and COVID-19 cases, what to expect as it goes into effect, and answer your questions live. Register today!

 

 

STATEWIDE UPDATES

Violators of State & County COVID-19 Rules Fined

Authorities will continue to enforce COVID-19 restrictions as the Delta variant continues to spread across the state and accounts for 100 percent of sampled infections. What are the current statewide restrictions?

Indoor mask mandate, unless eating or drinking.

Bars, restaurants and other social establishments must operate at 50% capacity, and events with more than 50 people must contact the county and seek approval.

No more than 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors are allowed to gather at one time in a social setting.

Please refer to your county for island-specific restrictions. Individuals who break state or county rules can be fined $250 and business owners and individuals with a second infringement can be fined $500.

 

End of All Federal Employment Insurance & Assistance Programs 

Federal unemployment benefits ended on September 4. This includes:

  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
  • Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)

Regular Unemployment Insurance programs will still be available to recipients. For more information, visit hawaiiunemploymentinfo.com.

COUNTY  UPDATES

Maui County

At this time, Maui is not mandating a stay at home order, but Mayor Michael Victorino has asked residents and visitors to take personal responsibility during the current surge in cases. Mayor’s Requests from Maui Now:

  • Consider voluntarily restricting activities to essential needs only like grocery shopping [and] doctor visits.
  • Avoid gatherings, especially indoor gatherings with family and friends that are outside of your household.
  • Employers should allow workers to work from home if possible.
  • Visitors are asked to “enjoy the comfort and safety of your resort accommodations.” County officials say this is not a time to venture out and visit places that are having clusters like Hāna, for example.

Beginning September 15, vaccine cards will be required to dine indoors at Maui restaurants. More information to be released soon.

 

Kaunoa Senior Services is offering online classes via Zoom in September for seniors 55 years old and older. For more information and to register, call (808) 270-7308 or (808) 270-4310.

 

The Maui District Health Office is looking for volunteers for upcoming vaccine clinics at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College:

  • Saturday, September 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 2 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Interested community members can sign up for available volunteer positions here.

 

Kaua‘i County

Kaua‘i Government Employees Federal Credit Union (KGEFCU) is offering in-person assistance on September 8, 9, and 18, for interested applicants of the County of Kauai’s 2021 Coronavirus Rental and Utility Assistance (CRUA) Program. Applications are accepted online, but in-person assistance is available on:

  • Wednesday, September 8 – Kapa‘a Skate-park Pavilion, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 9 – Kapa‘a Skate-park Pavilion, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 18 – Ho‘omana Thrift Store on Kuamo‘o Road in Wailua, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Required documentation should be prepared and on hand. For a list of documents, click here. Representatives from KGEFCU will also be available on-site to answer questions regarding the state eviction moratorium being lifted, and the CDC’s federal eviction ban. Telephonic translation services are available for applicants in the following languages: Marshallese, Pohnpeian, Chuukese, Thai, Spanish, Ilocano, Tagalog at (808) 482-3777.

 

City & County of Honolulu

On September 13, the Safe Access O‘ahu Program will go into effect. This program will require patrons entering restaurants, bars, gyms, zoos, museums, movie theaters and other establishments to show proof of vaccination or provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within the last 48 hours. Want to learn more? Businesses can click hereand patrons can click here.

Collaborative partnerships have been established to increase vaccination and testing opportunities in West Oʻahu. Upcoming testing and vaccination events can be viewed on the COVID-19 Hawai‘i portal. In addition, those looking to get vaccinated in West Oʻahu may view upcoming mobile clinics and schedule an appointment through Hawai‘i Pacific Health.

STATEWIDE RESOURCES 

Updated DOH Guidance: Vaccine, Workplace and Testing Guidance

The Hawai‘i Department of Health updated some of their print resources with COVID-19 guidance:

To find these resources in multiple languages, click here.

Healthy Aging Symposium

In observance of Healthy Aging Month, join the 2021 Healthy Aging Symposium on September 8 from 7 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. and September 9 from 7 a.m. until noon. The free 2-day virtual event will highlight the latest science, best practices, and innovative solutions to improve the lives and health of kūpuna. The event will build upon the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic and focus on addressing the social determinants of health to reduce health disparities and improve long-term recovery and resilience. Sign up today!

Kākoʻo Ulu ʻOihana Program: Accepting Applications for Native Hawaiian Health Care Workforce 

The Kakoʻo Ulu ‘Oihana program provides one-time support for members of the healthcare workforce that are committed to serving Native Hawaiian communities.

Awardees will receive funding for support that may include, but is not limited to, books, supplies, prep course certifications, licensure, conference registrations or other costs related to a student project or presentation. For questions or more information, please email kuo@papaolalokahi.org. Deadline to apply is September 19; apply today!

ASK-A-KAUKA: Wahine Edition

Free women’s health webinar on September 10 at 7 p.m. Dr. Reni Soon and Dr. Ronnie Texeira, both specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, will address: family planning during a pandemic, vaccine safety for pregnant and those hoping to get pregnant, and any other questions you have. Register by clicking here.

PUBLIC HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK

It’s time for the flu shot! Flu season starts in October in the U.S. and the CDC recommends individuals get the flu vaccine by the end of October. Getting a flu shot is the best way to reduce your risk from seasonal flu and its potentially serious complications, especially as COVID-19 continues to spread in Hawai‘i. Get your flu shot at a local pharmacy or doctor’s office – it’s usually free with insurance! You can also learn more about the seasonal flu on the CDC’s website.

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.