Hawai‘i took an important step forward in reopening its economy when Governor David Ige announced the plan to end the mandatory 14-day quarantine for out-of-state travelers on August 1, 2020 if they test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of arrival. In addition to pre-arrival testing, the state also plans to implement thermal screening at airports.

While this is hopeful news for many businesses that rely on tourism, it also opens the state to more COVID-19 cases. In addition to wearing a mask, washing your hands, and social distancing, contact tracing will play a critical role in preventing the spread of the virus. It is thanks to the hard work of contact tracers that several clusters were quickly identified and contained in recent weeks. The public’s cooperation is key to contact tracing’s success, but unfortunately scammers have taken advantage of the situation and are posing as contact tracers. We encourage you to learn how to identify potential scams to keep your information safe and to help legitimate contact tracers keep the community safe.

For next week’s Public Health Action Webinar, we’re excited to be featuring students who are working to create a more just society! Register for this youth-led webinar on Wednesday, July 8 at 1 PM to hear from four young leaders on the role they see youth playing in shaping Hawaiʻi’s future. You can also watch last week’s webinar on food access and how Hawaiʻi’s food sustainability work has pivoted in response to COVID-19.

STATE UPDATES
Travel Updates
On August 1, 2020, the State of Hawai‘i will be lifting the mandatory quarantine for out-of-state travelers that participate in a pre-travel testing program. Travelers that can show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival will be able to avoid a 14-day quarantine. Additional details about the program will be released in the coming weeks.

CARES Funds Budget
Last Friday, the State Legislature passed their spending plan for the remaining $636 million CARES funds. While the bill (SB 126) still needs to be approved by the Governor, the budget includes:

Safety Net Programs for Residents

  • Additional $100 weekly benefit will be provided to unemployment recipients from August to December.
  • Rental assistance of up to 50% or $500 per month for households earning up to 100% of the Area Median Income from August to December.
  • Food assistance for families.

Economic Recovery 

  • Hawai‘i Works program to connect unemployed with businesses seeking additional support, as well as training opportunities for unemployed through CTAHR and University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges.
  • Grants to support childcare facilities open with reduced capacity and will implement additional health and safety protocols.
  • Offer 1:1 college counseling and free online learning classes for every public school seniors.
  • Relief and promotion program for Hawaiʻi’s fishing industry.

Preventing the Spread

  • Support for the local supply chain for manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning products.
  • Subsidize the purchase of PPE for childcare, elderly care, hospitals, schools, small businesses, non-profits, etc.
  • Implement thermal screening and security protocols at airports, such as traveler testing rooms and new swab and testing facilities.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION WEBINAR, 7/8

Register here

SCAM ALERT: CONTACT TRACING

Although it is critical that the public cooperates with contact tracing efforts, the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs warns people to be wary of potential scams and that legitimate callers will never ask for financial information or social security numbers.

PUBLIC HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK

Planning a barbecue or get-together with friends and family this Fourth of July weekend? The CDC has shared some tips on how to reduce the risk of COVID-19 at gatherings. In essence, it all depends on the number of people, how closely you interact, and amount of time you spend together. Currently, county ordinances limit events to 50 people for indoor gatherings and 100 people for outdoor gatherings, and further limit groups within the gathering to 10 people. Additional steps you can take to set-up your event for success would be to host your event outdoors or in well-ventilated areas, continue to wear face masks, adjust your layout to encourage distancing, make hand washing easily accessible, and minimize shared food items by either offering single-serve items or having designated people serve food (i.e. cafeteria-style).

MAUI COUNTY RESOURCE: KAMA‘AINA FIRST WEBSITE
The County of Maui Office of Economic Development launched its Kama‘aina First website, which offers an opportunity for Maui County businesses to share their kama‘aina deals at no cost and encourages Hawai‘i residents to take advantage of great discounts and specials on staycations, meals, activities, services, products and more. To date, there are over 440 offers listed and this number continues to grow.

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.