COVID-19 UPDATE 47

Approximately 88 million American adults—more than 1 in 3—have prediabetes and more than 84 percent don’t know they have it. In recognition of National Diabetes Month, we encourage you to learn more about risk factors to prediabetes; you may take a free risk test by visiting diabetes.org/risk-test.

It is possible to manage or reverse prediabetes and prevent it from turning into type 2 diabetes through healthy lifestyle changes. Healthy lifestyle changes include trying to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity, and choosing healthier foods and drinks. It is important for those who are diagnosed with diabetes to stay up to date on vaccinations. Diabetes is an underlying medical condition associated with higher risk for severe COVID-19, so if you have diabetes, you may be eligible to receive a booster dose. Learn more at hawaiicovid19.com/vaccine.

UPCOMING COVID-19 PHA WEBINAR

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been more than 8,300 hospitalizations among children aged 5 to 11 in the United States. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for keiki ages 5-11. Pfizer’s data showed the vaccine is safe and 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 infections in this age group. Before vaccinations become available, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will meet Nov. 2-3 to issue recommendations for clinical use of the vaccine. In preparation of this, we encourage parents and guardians to join us as we learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations for keiki and answer your questions. Register today!

FEDERAL UPDATES

New Initiatives to Make COVID-19 Testing More Accessible 

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is investing $70 million from the American Rescue Plan to help bring more high-quality, at-home tests onto the market in the U.S. in coordination with the Food and Drug Administration(FDA). FDA announced that at-home tests will now be able to be sold in single-test packs, so you no longer have to buy two-test packs which will make tests more affordable and accessible.

FDA Authorizes an EUA of Pfizer for Keiki Ages 5-11

In order for the vaccine to become available to this age group, the FDA must first issue Emergency Use Authorization (received on October 29), then the CDC issues recommendations for clinical use of the vaccine (meeting on November 2 & 3). Data from clinical trials has shown the vaccine is safe and 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 infections in children ages 5-11, so states are anticipating that vaccines could be available later this month.

STATEWIDE UPDATES

Green Light For Vaccinated Travelers Entering Hawai‘i 

Governor David Ige discouraged non-essential travel to Hawai‘i during the Delta surge in August. However, with case counts declining and hospital capacity improving, Governor Ige announced starting November 1, the state is open to vaccinated travelers. This includes inter-island and domestic travel for business or pleasure. Read the full press release here.

Who is Eligible for a COVID-19 Booster?

Residents who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, after six months of being fully vaccinated can get a booster if they are:

Residents aged 18+ at least two months after their initial dose of a Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine are also eligible to receive a booster. People can get a booster shot different from their primary series; you can schedule an appointment by visiting hawaiicovid19.com/vaccine.

COUNTY  UPDATES

Maui County

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Hawai‘i experienced a decrease in tourism. However, as the state reopens and tourism returns, the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) and Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau (MVCB) are encouraging community members to attend a Maui Nui Destination Management Action Plan community meetings to share their views on tourism’s future direction for Maui, Lāna‘i and Moloka‘i. Click your desired time to register:

 

Maui Island Community Meeting

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

 

Lāna‘i Island Community Meeting

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

8:00 – 9:30 a.m.

6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

 

Moloka‘i Island Community Meeting

Date will be announced.

 

Hawai‘i County 

Hawai‘i County’s Financial Empowerment Center is offering free professional, one-on-one financial counseling and coaching to all Hawai‘i residents. Counseling sessions can range from 30 to 60 minutes, with no limitation to the number of free sessions an individual can participate in. Request an appointment today!

 

City & County of Honolulu 

Major Rick Blangiardi announced loosened restrictions to the Safe O‘ahu Response Plan. Starting on Wednesday, November 3:

  • Outdoor seated events can have 100 percent capacity for vaccinated attendees wearing masks.
  • Indoor seated events can have 100 percent capacity for vaccinated attendees wearing masks.
  • Indoor interactive events can have 50 percent capacity and can have up to 150 people (such as weddings and funerals).
  • Outdoor interactive events will operate at 50 percent capacity and can have up to 500 guests.
  • Bars will be able to serve alcohol until 2 a.m.

Starting on Wednesday, November 24:

  • Indoor interactive events (such as weddings and funerals) can have up to 300 people who are vaccinated and wear masks.
  • Outdoor interactive events will not have a limit for vaccinated guests wearing masks.

More information can be found on oneoahu.org.

 

Say Yes! COVID Test is a program to increase free COVID-19 testing on O‘ahu. The Honolulu Fire Department will be giving away 2,000 at-home rapid tests on Tuesday, November 2 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Aloha Stadiumwhile supplies last. Those who attend can enter through the entrance off of Salt Lake Boulevard.

 

Embry Health is offering free PCR COVID tests at Bill Balfour Jr. Waipahū District Park, George Fred Wright Wahiawā District Park, and Kahala Mall (hours vary by location). These tests can be used to meet the Safe Access O‘ahu requirements, with results available in 1-2 days. No appointment is necessary, but to avoid waiting at a clinic, schedule an appointment online. If you have questions, call or text the main call center at 480-376-2170.

 

Micronesian Ministers Uut held a webinar on how to apply to the City’s Rental and Utility Relief Program and how mediation can help renters with a summary in Chuukese, Kosraean, and Pohnpeian. The webinar was recorded and saved on the Kōkua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Service’s Facebook page as a community resource. Here are the timecodes:

  • 6:35 – Presentation on Rental and Utility Relief Program by Amy Asselbaye, executive director of the Office of Economic Revitalization
  • 21:04 – Presentation on mediation for renters and landlords, by Tracey Wiltgen, executive director of The Mediation Center of the Pacific
  • 39:31 – Questions and answers session with Facebook audience
  • 48:25 – Chuukese summary of rent help and mediation services by Philios Uruman
  • 1:07:29 – Kosraean summary of rent help and mediation by Shanty Asher
  • 1:26:53 – Pohnpeian summary of rent help and mediation by Paulina Perman

STATEWIDE RESOURCES 

Visiting Family in a Long-Term Care Facility 

Plan on visiting someone in a long-term care facility? This infographic explains helpful tips to protect them and yourself. Connecting with family members virtually and in person can play an important role in their physical and mental wellbeing.

 

Infographic: Impact of COVID-19 on Employee Mental Health 

To help employers better understand and support the mental health needs of their employees, Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI) conducted an analysis of the impact of work disruptions of COVID-19. The results of this study have been put into an easy to share infographic; fill out this form to download the free infographic.

 

2021 Health Providers Cancer Symposium Addressing COVID-19 

Health Providers Cancer Symposium for the Pacific Region will be presented on Saturday, November 20, 2021 from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. addressing the impacts of COVID-19 on cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment in Guam, Hawai‘i, and the Pacific Region. Learn about evidence-based strategies to get patients back into the clinics by registering here.

 

Updated: School Guidance for Hawai‘i Schools

Summary guidance for Hawai‘i schools is available on hawaiicovid19.com under guidance documents. The guidance includes core strategies for schools as well as information for parents and guardians on information if you or your child tests positive for COVID-19. The guidance is also available in Burma (Burmese), Cambodia (Khmer), Cebuano, 简体中文 (Chinese-Simplified), 繁體中文 (Chinese-Traditional), Kapasen Chuuk (Chuukese), Hawaiian, Ilokano (Ilocano), 日本語 (Japanese), 한국어(Korean), Kosrae (Kosraean), Laos (Laotian), Kajin M̧ajeļ (Marshallese), Pohnpei (Pohnpeian), Gagana Samoa (Samoan), Español (Spanish), Tagalog (Tagalog), ภาษาไทย (Thai), Tonga (Tongan), Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese), and Yapese.

PUBLIC HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK

Influenza (flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but are caused by different viruses. They can have similar symptoms, so how can you differentiate COVID-19 from the flu? The chart above lists some similarities and differences between COVID-19 and flu, but testing is needed to tell what the illness is and to confirm a diagnosis. Both the flu and COVID-19 vaccinations offer protection from serious illness; you can get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine at the same time! Health professionals interested in flu vaccination resources can visit the CDC’s digital media toolkit or getmyflushot.org.

 

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.