Lauren Loor is the Statewide Program Manager for Healthy Eating + Active Living (HEAL) Initiative.…
The sixth edition of HIPHI’s annual Legislative Recap is here!
The Recap includes a summary of recent federal actions on public health, an in-depth analysis of how Hawaii’s budget prioritized health in 2022, and an overview of this year’s major bills at the Hawai‘i State Legislature.
Here are two COVID-19 related items in the federal health policy section:
Still in a Public Health Emergency
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra renewed the federal declaration of a public health emergency, which has been in place since January 2020. Although the declaration is set to expire in July, many anticipate it will be extended an additional 90 days, until October.
Masking Rules Reversed
In April, Judge Kathryn Mizelle of the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Florida struck down the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) rule requiring masks in transportation hubs (such as airports) and on public transportation (such as airplanes, trains, etc.). In her opinion, Judge Mizelle ruled that CDC exceeded its authority in issuing the mandate, regardless of how serious the public health concerns may be. The U.S. appealed the ruling following an assessment from the CDC that masking was still necessary on public transportation. However, legal scholars speculate that the government may be moving at an intentionally slow pace to have the District Court’s ruling effectively erased through a legal doctrine relating to mootness, as the mask mandate expired in early May.
If you were on our mailing list last year, a copy is already on its way to you. Or, you can check it out on our website at hiphi.org/22recap.
COVID-19 Vaccination for Keiki 6 Months+
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 to include use in children down to 6 months of age.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated against COVID-19.
- The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is authorizing hospitals, pediatricians’ offices, and clinics to administer the vaccines as soon as they become available.
DOH is expecting delivery of 27,500 doses of the new keiki vaccines in the coming week. Updates and vaccination sites can be found on hawaiicovid19.com.
CDC No Longer Requires Negative COVID-19 Test from International Travelers
The CDC will no longer require air passengers traveling from a foreign country to the United States to show a negative COVID-19 viral test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board their flight. Learn more by clicking here.
What is MonkeyPox?
rom the pandemic, we’ve learned the best way to prevent and slow down transmission of an infectious disease is to be well informed. Monkeypox is a rare, but serious disease caused by the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox can make you sick, with symptoms like a rash, which may look like pimples, blisters, or sores, often with an earlier flu-like illness. If individuals have symptoms consistent with monkeypox or have an unusual rash or sores, avoid close contact with others. Contact your healthcare provider and let them know ahead of an appointment that you may have been exposed to monkeypox. Visit health.hawaii.gov/monkeypox for more information and updates.
All counties are in the high-risk COVID-19 Community Level. Recommended actions for high community levels:
- Wear a mask indoors in public and on public transportation.
- Avoid large gatherings.
- Stay up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines.
- Get tested if you have symptoms.
- If you are at high risk for severe illness, practice social distancing and good hygiene, avoid poorly ventilated locations, and monitor your health daily in addition to the above actions.
You may view the CDC COVID-19 Community Level tool by clicking here.
Starting June 27, the county’s free COVID-19 mobile testing van will no longer be available on weekends, and will shift to a Monday through Friday. While the days of service are changing, the mobile testing van will continue to serve all original locations. The mobile testing van will be available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the following days and locations:
- Mondays at Hanalei Neighborhood Center;
- Tuesdays at Kapa‘a Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Complex;
- Wednesdays at Kekaha Neighborhood Center;
- Thursdays at Kīlauea Neighborhood Center; and
- Fridays at Kalāheo Neighborhood Center.
There were more than 99,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States in the first year of the pandemic; an increase of nearly 30 percent from the year before. The 2022 Drug Summit resumes for in-person networking and continuing education of a broad range of topics: drug crimes, suicide warning signs and prevention, homelessness, underage drinking, chemical dependency and current drug trends, Narcan administration, and more.
- Date/time: Wednesday, June 29, from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- Location: Kaua‘i Beach Resort Jasmine Ballroom
- Price: Free; registration is limited to 150 participants. Lunch will be provided. Register today!
The deadline to register is Monday, June 27, at noon.
City & County of Honolulu
More than 12,000 local families have received assistance during the pandemic, and families who need assistance from the City’s Rental and Utility Relief Program (RURP) have until Thursday, June 30 at 4:30 p.m. to apply. Applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis and paid out based on the remaining funds available. For more information, visit oneoahu.org/renthelp.
Updated Keiki Heroes Resources
New and updated resources are now available on keikiheroes.org. Keiki can color while they learn more about COVID-19 vaccines through the updated comics. A new ‘ohana coloring sheet is available for download.
Studies on Long COVID Symptoms
People who have tested positive for COVID-19 reported persistent symptoms more than four weeks after contracting COVID-19; these symptoms are commonly referred to as post-COVID conditions, or long COVID. The CDC released new data that shows one in five adults aged 18 years and older have a health condition that might be related to their previous COVID-19 illness. View a sneak preview of a pdf below that highlights key information and answers questions on long COVID.
Strategies to Improve COVID-19 Vaccine Accessibility for Children with Disabilities
The CDC provides strategies to support COVID-19 vaccinations for children with disabilities and special healthcare needs. The COVID-19 Vaccine Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) can assist caregivers, family members, and service providers with guidance on COVID-19 vaccinations. Call 1-888-677-1199!
SUPPORT YOUR KŪPUNA
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted a connectivity crisis among kūpuna in Hawaiʻi. Access to a home internet connection and to a digital device is not a guarantee for all kūpuna. Furthermore, not all kūpuna have the know-how required to effectively navigate through the complexities of technology. The Kūpuna Digital Inclusion Workgroup (KDIW) was formed to provide key stakeholders a platform to coalesce, collaborate, and develop age-friendly digital inclusion projects in Hawaiʻi.
Check out the new page on our website to learn more, get involved, and share resources!