COVID-19 UPDATE 45
This month we celebrate Health Literacy Month. The goal of health literacy is to make information accessible and easy to understand so people can make the best decisions for their health. Recent scientific work has affirmed that misinformation (generally) and limited health literacy (specifically) are major obstacles to health. We have seen this to be true during the pandemic. When communities are confused by information that conflicts with what officials or health professionals are saying about COVID-19, they are left unable to protect themselves. As a result, recently YouTube implemented a vaccine misinformation policy to remove harmful content that promotes false claims around COVID-19 vaccination. The CDC’s health literacy website offers resources for health communicators, public health professionals, and community leaders to learn more about health literacy and tools to better communicate health information based on the audience.
UPCOMING COVID-19 PHA WEBINAR
We have the honor of learning from Dr. Peter Singer, Special Advisor to the Director General at the World Health Organization who will be joining us live from Geneva. Recommendations for booster doses to people who have been fully vaccinated, brings up a concern for equity as many people around the globe have not received an initial dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. There are growing disparities between wealth and access to vaccines. The vast majority of COVID-19 vaccinations have occurred in wealthy countries. What are the implications of this and solutions moving forward? Join us as we learn more about global COVID-19 vaccine equity and how we can support global vaccine access. Register today!
CDC Recommends COVID-19 Vaccination for Pregnant People
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends COVID-19 vaccination for people who are pregnant, were recently pregnant (including those who are lactating), who are trying to become pregnant now, or who might become pregnant in the future. As of September 27, 2021, more than 125,000 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in pregnant individuals, including more than 22,000 hospitalized cases and 161 deaths.
Governor Ige Extends State’s Emergency Proclamation
Governor Ige extends Hawaii’s emergency proclamation until November 30. This proclamation extends the Safe Travels program, statewide mask mandate, and expirations for driver’s licenses and instructional permits that expired since March 2020. Governor Ige also clarified that employers are not required to pay for COVID-19 testing of employees who choose to undergo regular COVID-19 testing in place of getting a COVID-19 vaccination. For more information, click here.
Governor Ige Proclaimed October 4-8 Digital Inclusion Week
Governor Ige proclaimed October 4-8 to be recognized annually in Hawai‘i as Digital Inclusion Week; a time to prioritize digital equity and broadband access. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for broadband infrastructure and digital equity as rural and disadvantaged communities did not have access to affordable and reliable broadband. You can learn more about Digital Inclusion Week and the events being hosted to promote digital equity by clicking here.
Hawai‘i Department of Health: 09/16 Variant Report
The Hawai‘i Department of Health provides updated variant reports on the bottom of Disease Outbreak Control Division’s webpage. The most recent variant report shows which variants of concern are circulating in each county. The Delta variant continues to be the leading variant of concern among tested COVID-19 infections.
Hawai‘i Hiring 100 Airport Screeners for Safe Travel
Safe Travels Hawaiʻi has been a crucial program in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in our community from travelers entering the state. The State of Hawaiʻi is currently hiring 100 airport screeners to assist in verifying Safe Travel requirements for all incoming travelers. From now until December 25, 2021, all airport screeners will receive an incentive bonus of $300 to $400 monthly. To learn more visit Roberts Hawai‘i or call 808-539-9414.
The Maui Department of Health will be offering all three COVID-19 vaccines at:
- Wailuku Health Center on Mondays until October 25 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and on Fridays until October 29 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- St. Theresa Church in Kihei on Wednesdays until October 27 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
These clinics are by appointment online; sign up today! If you encounter issues signing up for a clinic, please call the Maui District Health Scheduling Office at 808-984-3780.
Kauai’s Office of Economic Development (OED) will be offering grants through the Nonprofit Recovery Grant Program. The funding is available to nonprofit organizations on Kaua‘i that experienced an economic loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications will be accepted online at KauaiForward.com starting Tuesday, October 5 until October 28, 4:30 p.m. HST. This informational webinar provided an overview of the program, program guidelines and information about the application process.
City & County of Honolulu
The University of Hawai‘i Economic Research Organization (UHERO) is conducting a brief 10-minute survey with business managers and owners on the impacts of COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements on businesses. Those who choose to participate will automatically be entered into a drawing of ten (10) x $50 gift cards. You will also be informed of the results of the survey by email, but individual responses will not be made public. Take the survey!
New Testing Sites:
- The Honolulu Fire Department has opened a new free COVID-19 testing site at Consolidated Theaters Kapolei, every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The site will be open until October 26. Pre-register for a timeslot; walk-ins welcome. No insurance is needed, but please bring a government-issued ID.
- Nomi Health is coordinating pop-up COVID-19 test sites at Kāneʻohe Bay Shopping Center, Waikiki Shell, and Blaisdell (drive thru only) until Friday, October 8. Schedule an appointment online. For more information, you may call the Hawai‘i COVID-19 testing support hotline at 808-207-5459.
Nomi Health has a COVID-19 test site at Waiakea Center until Friday, October 8. Schedule an appointment online. For more information, you may call the Hawai‘i COVID-19 testing support hotline at 808-207-5459.
Reporting COVID-19 Scams
COVID-19 scams include identity theft when people post their vaccination card on social media, scammers pretending to be vaccination or testing providers, and others. To report a scam contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline at 866-720-5721 or email email@example.com. Learn more about common COVID-19 scams and how to protect yourself by clicking here.
Resources for COVID-19 Self-Testing
COVID-19 self-tests can be used anywhere and provide quick results. The CDC released two new short videos: How To Use a Self-Test and How To Interpret Self-Test Results. Both resources explain how to purchase a self-test, as well as how to use, dispose of and interpret the results of the test.
Webinar for Public Health Workforce: October 6
Public Health Communications Collaborative has a free webinar for public health communicators that will address the ongoing challenges of dealing with misinformation, political divides and even harassment that the public health workforce has faced throughout the pandemic. You can tune in on your way to work as the webinar will be at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, October 6. Register today!
Accepting Applications: Mini-Grants to Support Local Youth During COVID-19
Mini-grants are an easy way for students and community-based organizations to receive funds for new or existing activities to increase access to COVID-19 vaccinations, information, and resources among Hawai‘i youth. Examples of activity ideas could include:
- Creation and distribution of materials
- Events that bring students and families together for safe discussion
- Digital campaigns sharing stories
- Guest speakers/trainings
This informational guide breaks down the timeline, guidelines, expectations and application process. If you have any questions about the mini-grant program, please contact the Project Manager, Michelle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PUBLIC HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK
This October calendar provided by SHAPE America provides families with ideas to promote health education and skills needed to lead a healthy lifestyle. Health literacy skills start early in life; educating children on how to achieve health will help them lead healthier lives. Today’s tip for October 4 is on mindfulness. Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment. For 60 seconds, let go of today’s agenda and only focus on your breathing. If your mind starts to wander, bring your attention back to your breathing.
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 email@example.com.