After weeks of very low cases, we have seen a recent spike in COVID-19 cases over the last few days . Some of this is to be expected as the state slowly reopens, but is also an important reminder that the virus is still present and we cannot become complacent. The CDC recently updated their guidelines to help individuals determine if and how they can resume some activities safely. While there is always some risk, at its core, the messaging is clear: to prevent COVID-19, you must wear a mask, wash your hands, keep your distance, and stay home when you’re sick.

These measures are here to stay and will be especially crucial as travel restrictions begin to ease. Tomorrow, June 16, interisland travel will no longer be subject to a 14-day quarantine. This is an important first step and test for the state as it contemplates when and how to eventually allow mainland and international travel.

Our Public Health Action Webinars are now running on a bi-weekly schedule! Register for our next webinar on Wednesday, June 24, which will focus on food access and food security as a direct response to COVID-19. Our speakers will also address challenges and gaps around food sustainability and resilience for our state. You can also watch last week’s webinar on the partnership between the City and County of Honolulu and Aloha United Way to address the growing needs of its residents.

FEDERAL UPDATES
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been updated to create more flexibility for recipients by:

  • Extending the period that small businesses can use their loan to 24 weeks.
  • Increasing the amount that can be used on rent, utilities, and overhead costs to 40%.
  • Reducing the payroll ratio requirement to 60%.
  • Allowing businesses to receive loan forgiveness even if they had trouble rehiring employees or if they have not been able to return to a full operating status.
  • Eliminating 2-year loan repayment restrictions for future borrowers.
  • Allowing payroll tax deferment for PPP recipients.

STATE UPDATES
Tomorrow, June 16, marks the end of the mandatory 14-day quarantine for interisland travel. Instead, travelers must complete a mandatory traveler health form and undergo a temperature check each time they travel. Travelers are advised to arrive at the airport early to allow enough time for the additional screening measures.

Trans-Pacific travelers will still be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine. More information can be found on the Department of Health’s website.

You can now apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits online! SNAP provides crucial food and nutritional support to qualifying low-income and needy households. Visit the Department of Human Services’ website for more information on eligibility and the SNAP program.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION WEBINAR, 6/24

Register here

HIPHI YOUTH COUNCIL MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: NOELLE NAKAOKA

Learn how Noelle is working with Charipay, a donation platform that connects users to causes and charities, to provide personal protective equipment to Hawaii’s frontline workers.

PUBLIC HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK

It is heartbreaking that many of our beloved businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic/shutdown. Some ways that we can do to support local businesses safely include shopping online, ordering takeout, or utilizing pick-up and delivery services. You can also help businesses in non-monetary ways by sharing your favorites on social media and leaving positive reviews on websites like Yelp or Google! Be Vocal. Support Local. is a campaign to #savehawaiisbusinesses. Follow them on Instagram @be_vocal_hawaii to find out more.

KAPI‘OLANI COMMUNITY COLLEGE: RAPID HEALTH EDUCATION PROGRAMS
This summer, Kapi‘olani Community College is offering Rapid Health Education Programs (RHEPs), short-term health education training programs designed to fast-track students into the job-market. This training effort is supported by apprenticeship grant dollars and aims to fill high-demand, vacant jobs in hospitals, clinics and pharmacies. The courses offered this summer, which are largely online, are: medical assistant, nurse assistant, pharmacy technician, phlebotomy technician, optometry assistant, community health worker and professional update and advancement for dental assistants. View the flyer for more information.

WEBINAR SERIES: STRONGER TOGETHER!
Hawai’i Young Healthcare Professionals is facilitating a series of virtual discussions to bring together colleagues across the health, healthcare, and social services industries as we all work to overcome our current social and health challenges—we are stronger together. Register for some of the upcoming webinars below:

DO YOU HAVE RESOURCES OR INFORMATION ON COVID-19 TO SHARE?
If you have any resources or updates we should include in our next weekly email or website, feel free to contact us at covidresponse@hiphi.org.