Aloha, Wishing you and your loved ones happy holidays as 2023 draws to a close!…
We hope you are all safe and well after last week’s severe storm. The pandemic, paired with the extreme weather conditions, speaks to our resilience and the importance of collective community efforts as we extend care for our neighbors. The Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) has information on what to do about damage and losses caused by flooding. HI-EMA also provides COVID-19 updates and resources on their social media pages: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
International Travelers Need a COVID-19 Test One Day Before Arrival
All international travelers, regardless of vaccination status, must show a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than one day before travel to the United States. Learn more about international travel by clicking here.
Omicron Variant in Hawai‘i
Viruses change (mutate) over time. These mutated versions of the virus can survive and spread in a community, affecting treatment and prevention. There has been discovery of a new variant, Omicron. When someone tests positive for COVID-19, the Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) can look at the sample provided to determine which variant it is. So far, there have been twelve cases of the Omicron variant found on O‘ahu. Our response should be one of taking precaution by continuing to be consistent with preventative measures such as gathering safely, wearing a mask, and getting vaccinated with a first series of COVID-19 vaccine or a booster.
Reminder for Regular Checkups for Keiki
The Hawaiʻi State Department of Health (DOH) encourages parents and caregivers to resume regular, in-person checkups with their child’s doctor. Keiki need regular checkups and dental visits to track development and identify any health problems earlier to avoid complications and more costly treatment. Need help finding a pediatrician or want to learn more about taking your keiki to a checkup? Visit www.keikicheckup.com.
Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) is Re-Opening Offices
As of December 1, 2021, the State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) reopened offices statewide. In-person services for both general unemployment insurance claims and employer services will be available from 7:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays on a first come, first served basis. Individuals must present a vaccine card showing full vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative COVID-19 test result within 48 hours before entry. In-person services are not guaranteed and will be accommodated as time and resources allow. Learn more by clicking here.
Booster Recommendations for Residents Ages 16+
The Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) is adopting the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on COVID-19 booster vaccinations. Hawai‘i residents ages 16 and 17 may receive a booster dose if it has been at least six months since the completion of the initial series of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. Schedule a booster appointment at hawaiicovid19.com/vaccine.
In-home COVID-19 vaccines are available Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. For an appointment, call (808) 586-8332 or (833) 711-0645; translators are available for language assistance.
- Tuesday, December 14, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. at Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center (275 W Kaʻahumanu Ave, Kahului)
- Wednesday, December 15, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. at St. Theresa Church (25 W. Līpoa Street, Kīhei)
Walk-ins are welcome at both sites.
Current COVID-19 restrictions as of December 1, 2021:
- The new rule limits social gatherings to 40 indoors and 100 outdoors. Any event over the gathering limit of 40 indoors and 100 outdoors requires an event organizer who will be tasked with ensuring that all attendees are either fully vaccinated or have proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 24 hours of the start of the event.
- Event coordinators are no longer required to register event information on the Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency website; however, they will be responsible for maintaining contact information for all attendees in the event the Department of Health (DOH) needs that information for contact tracing efforts.
More information can be on KauaiForward.com.
Current COVID-19 restrictions as of December 1, 2021:
- The new rule limits social gatherings to 40 indoors and 100 outdoors.
- Businesses, bars, restaurants, gyms, barber shops, and places of worship can operate at 100 percent capacity.
- All parks, pavilions, gyms and recreation areas are open!
- Saturday, December 18, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Kona-Kau Marshallese Church (92-1429 Kaʻiulani Blvd. Oceanview, HI). Pfizer and Moderna will be offered; Vaccination for keiki ages 5 and up and boosters will be available. For more information, call (808) 932-4205 ext. 1.
Answers to Tough Questions about Omicron Variant
Need language to explain the Omicron variant to others? Visit publichealthcollaborative.org/faq/ for answers on frequently asked questions around the Omicron variant. Access free shareable graphics on the Omicron variant by clicking here.
Prioritizing Mental Health in the Workplace
Integrated Benefits Institute’s (IBI) latest research delves into the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of the U.S. workforce. The analysis found that two in five employed adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depression disorder – a four-fold increase from pre-pandemic levels. Employers can learn more about how to support staff’s health and wellbeing on IBI’s webinar, Prioritizing Mental Health in the Workplace.
Tips for Making COVID-19 Testing More Comfortable for Keiki
Keiki who are tested for COVID-19 may be scared to have a nasal swab test performed. This blog post provides examples of how to talk to young children about testing and strategies to make them feel safe and comforted.
Sample COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for Employers
The Health Action Alliance offers free tools and resources for business owners, health professionals, and community leaders curated by experts in business, health and communications. Employers interested in creating a vaccination policy can find a template here. For many other useful resources, visit www.healthaction.org/resources.
PUBLIC HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK
Throughout the month of December, when someone donates blood through the Blood Bank of Hawai‘i, they will provide a meal for the hungry through the Hawai‘i Foodbank. Two hundred blood donors are needed a day and there has been a nationwide shortage of all blood types due to the pandemic. For more information or to schedule an appointment for a blood drive near you, visit www.bbh.org. O‘ahu locations as well as upcoming neighbor island blood drives can be viewed 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.