COVID-19 UPDATE 44

With the extremely contagious Delta variant in our community, many parents are eager for the COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for children under 12 to reduce their risk of infection and serious illness. Today, we moved one step closer towards emergency use authorization (EUA) for children under 12, as Pfizer released data, showing their vaccine is safe and effective for participants 5 to 11 years of age. The company plans to submit this data for 5-11 year olds to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) soon for EUA approval. For children under 5,  clinical trial results are expected by the end of the year.

Last Wednesday, we had the privilege of learning helpful tips from CJ Johnson and Malia Lehua Ball on how to communicate about vaccination. CJ stated, “The coronavirus replicates quickly. It adapts quickly. It mutates quickly. And it is invisible until it’s too late.” Now, it’s more important than ever to talk to our loved ones about vaccination and implement the tools mentioned by Malia: to ask open ended questions; affirm and meet people where they are at; and provide information in a neutral, nonjudgmental fashion.

FEDERAL UPDATES

Federal Resources to Increase Monoclonal Antibody (mAb) Treatment

Individuals 12 and older who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are at high risk for severe illness may be referred by a physician for monoclonal antibody therapy. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is providing 30 clinicians to bolster the administration of this treatment. Learn more about monoclonal antibodies for high-risk COVID-19 positive patients at Combat COVID. Those without a healthcare provider may call 877-332-6585 to find out more about the treatment. This treatment is not a substitution for vaccination.

 

Restrictions on Vaccinated International Travelers Expected to be Lifted in November

It is anticipated that travel restrictions will be lifted for fully vaccinated foreigner travelers entering the U.S. in NovemberVaccinated travelers will need to show proof of vaccination before boarding and a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours prior to boarding. Unvaccinated travelers will need a negative COVID-19 test taken 24 hours prior to boarding and will need to show proof that they have bought a test to take after arriving in the United States. More information on international travel restrictions can be found here.

 

$400 Million for Public Health AmeriCorps

The Public Health AmeriCorps is a $7 million joint effort between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and AmeriCorps designed to build a pipeline of public health leaders. The program will help meet public health needs of local communities and develop pathways to public health-related careers; applications are being accepted until Monday, November 8, 2021 at 11 a.m. HST.

STATEWIDE UPDATES

There is Still Time to Apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program!

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program to help struggling households pay for internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. If your household’s income is at 135% or less of federal poverty guidelines, or any member of your household is participating in SNAP, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Federal Public Housing Assistance, or Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit, you may qualify! Apply online, by contacting a participating provider, or by mailing in an application and proof of eligibility. Those who want to promote the program can find flyers and more information here!

 

Hiring Community Liaisons to Assist with Rural Broadband Mapping Project

ʻAuamo Collaborative is hiring temporary, contracted Community Liaisons to assist with data collection for our Rural Broadband Mapping Project, expected to begin in October. Community Liaisons will visit households in rural communities on Hawaiʻi Island, Maui, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, and Kauaʻi to survey internet speeds and help inform broadband advocacy and access in Hawai‘i. Interested applicants should send an email to kokua@auamocollaborative.org.

 

Digital Vaccination Card: Hawai‘i SMART Health Card 

The Hawai‘i SMART Health Card is a voluntary program for individuals to store and carry vaccination cards digitally. Fully vaccinated individuals who received vaccination in Hawai‘i can obtain a SMART Health Card to show establishments, such as restaurants, businesses and other venues, proof of their vaccination on their digital device without carrying a physical vaccine document. Sign-up through the Hawai‘i Safe Travels Digital Platform – this user guide provides step-by-step instructions to obtain a Hawai‘i SMART Health Card. Using the Hawai‘i SMART Health Card is optional; you can still show a physical copy or photo of your vaccine card at the business you wish to enter.

COUNTY  UPDATES

Maui County

Safer Outside Maui is in effect, which means you will need to show proof of vaccination to dine indoors, gathering sizes will be limited to 5 indoors and 10 outdoors, and there will be a 50 percent max capacity limit for restaurants, bars, gyms, recreational boating, ground transport and commercial tours. This Q&A document provides answers to the most frequently asked questions.

 

Minit Medical Urgent Care is now administering COVID-19 vaccines at all locations: Lahaina, Kahului and Kihei. All three vaccines are available and no appointments are needed. Call 808-667-6161 for more information.

 

City & County of Honolulu

Due to the high hospitalization rate, Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced the new Safe O‘ahu Response Plan, which extends the restrictions on gatherings of 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors until October 19.

 

The rental and utility relief program for the City and County of Honolulu has reopened. The application is currently open to households:

  • with income at or below the 80% household area median income or are 90 days unemployed prior to the application date for this program
  • residents of Oahu
  • renter or landlord on behalf of renter
  • 18 years or older
  • impacted by COVID (financial hardship, housing instability)

New Testing Opportunities:

O‘ahu residents of eligible areas (communities identified with high local infection rates) can get a FREE, rapid, at-home COVID-19 test kits for a limited time. Visit Say Yes! To Covid Test to get a test shipped to you for free; site pick-up locations will be announced soon!

 

The Hawaiʻi Department of Health (DOH) has added four new COVID-19 testing locations on Oʻahu that offer PCR mid-turbinate testing with results expected in 24 hours via email. Pre-register at PreventCOVIDHI.com for testing at one of the following locations:

  • ElixRX Pharmacy Kailua on Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Kaiser Permanente Nanaikeola Clinic Parking on Sundays and Mondays from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Mililani Recreation Center 6 on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Pearl City Shopping Center on Tuesday – Saturday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Embry Health is currently planning to set up several free COVID-19 testing sites around O‘ahu. Starting on Monday, September 20, free testing will be available at Kahala Mall in suite UB-U2, which is on the second floor next to HR Block – Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., until November 20, 2021. Walk-ins will be accepted or you may schedule an appointment by clicking here. Results will be given within 24 to 48 hours.

 

Upcoming Vaccination Opportunities: 

Kaua‘i County

Individuals If you need to report a COVID-19 violation you may go to kauai.gov/COVID-19 and click on report a violation or call the Kaua‘i police department at 808-241-1171.

 

 

 

 

STATEWIDE RESOURCES 

COVID-19 Talk Story: Vaccines and Overwhelmed Hospitals 

Dr. Kalehua Krug & Dr. Keawe Kaholokula are participating in a talk story series that will cover such topics as young, healthy kānaka and those who have already caught COVID-19 not feeling the need to get vaccinated, researching reliable medical data as sources of information versus what’s found on social media, the lāhuiʻs long-standing distrust of our government and more. Watch episode one about the latest topics and controversies over COVID-19 vaccination, overwhelmed hospitals and Oahu’s new Safe Access plan.

 

Webinar: COVID-19 Conversations 

COVID-19 Conversations are informational webinars on COVID-19 hosted by an expert advisory group sponsored by the National Academy of Medicine and the American Public Health Association. You can view their last COVID-19 webinar “The Fourth Wave: Vaccines, Variants and the Future” to learn more about what the rise of this highly infectious variant means for vaccinated and unvaccinated adults and adolescents, and what it will take to move past this surge and end the pandemic.

 

Health Equity Guiding Principles for Inclusive Communication

Communications have been central to nearly all aspects of pandemic response efforts. Language is powerful, and the use of inclusive language is critical to convey respect and promote equity. The CDC provides guiding principles for inclusive communications to promote health equity. The CDC also provides links to references, other resources, and style guides to frame health equity and avoid stigmatizing language.

 

Difference Between Additional Doses VS Booster Shots?

Additional doses of Pfizer or Moderna are only recommended for individuals who are moderately to severely immunocompromised. Immunocompromised individuals may not produce as many antibodies from vaccination as needed. In contrast, individuals who need booster shots were able to create antibodies, but may need another shot due to boost waning immunity.

 

PUBLIC HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK

After over a year of restrictions, economic uncertainty, isolation from friends and family, and millions of lives lost due to COVID, there is no doubt that the pandemic has been extremely taxing on mental health. In honor of National Suicide Prevention Month (September), #BeThe1To is a message to spread awareness of actions we can all take to prevent suicide. If you are having thoughts of suicide or desire support, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, open 24/7, free and confidential. Resources are available to learn about: warning signs, five action steps for communicating with someone who may be suicidal, and the importance of self-care. This is a difficult time for those who have lost a loved one to suicide; resources to support you or a friend can be found here.

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.