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Statewide COVID-19 Update (03/29)

PUBLIC HEALTH & COVID-19

Next week, April 4-10, join us in celebrating National Public Health Week (NPHW)! This year’s NPHW theme is “Public Health is Where You Are.” Where you are, physically, mentally, and societally, has an impact on your health. There is a connection between your personal health, the health of your community and of the land. COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of ensuring equitable access to financial security, food security, housing, and access to mental, behavioral and physical health services in order to create safer, healthier and more inclusive communities.

On Monday, April 4, we will announce details on HIPHI’s Keiki Art Showcase and a family activity to celebrate NPHW on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! Not on social media? We will post more details on our website and can mail you more information about the Keiki Art Showcase and HIPHI’s ‘ohana activity. If you would like to receive more information via mail, please email Alana Thomas at alana@hiphi.org by Monday, April 4 at 4:30 p.m.

UPCOMING LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

How To Talk To Parents About COVID-19 Information & Vaccinations

With COVID-19 restrictions lifting across the state and parent-teacher conferences around the corner, it’s the perfect time to learn how to effectively have conversations around COVID-19 and keiki vaccinations. This free webinar is open to all! Join us on Wednesday, March 30 at 3 p.m. as we learn from Dr. Rupali Limaye, Deputy Director of International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Register today at https://loom.ly/gMjcepU.

Cultivating Hawaii’s Public Health Workforce

In honor of National Public Health Week (April 4-10), the Hawai‘i Public Health Association is hosting a panel discussion: Cultivating Hawaii’s Public Health Workforce on Thursday, April 7 from 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Join the conversation and listen to community speakers on the future of public health in Hawai‘i. Register at www.hawaiipublichealth.org.

COVID-19 PHA Webinar: Improving Community Health During the Pandemic and Beyond

Save the date! Wednesday, April 6 at 1 p.m. will be our next COVID-19 Public Health Action Webinar: Improving Community Health During the Pandemic and Beyond. Public health is where you are; it’s responding to community needs. From keiki to kūpuna, community efforts have been essential in overcoming barriers presented by the pandemic. We will learn best practices for executing pandemic specific services, lessons learned about COVID-19 communication and coordination and how to address community needs and equity issues. Register in advance by clicking here.

2022 Lead For Hawai’i Fellowship

Lead for Hawaiʻi (LFHI) is a place-based fellowship focused on leadership development and capacity building. LFHI recruits, trains, and retains Hawaii’s most dynamic young leaders to address critical needs in their hometown, and activate the leadership we need to revitalize our communities. LFHI is currently recruiting for four Fellows to serve in local government and community organizations within Hawaiʻi county. Deadline to apply for the program is Friday, April 15 so don’t delay in viewing the 2022 LFHI fellowship positions!

FEDERAL UPDATES

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Upcoming Meeting to Discuss Boosters and Variants 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee(VRBPAC) will meet Wednesday, April 6 at 2:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. HST to discuss considerations for future COVID-19 vaccine booster doses and to address current and emerging variants. The FDA will livestream and post the recording of the VRBPAC meeting on the agency’s YouTube channel.

 

Biden-Harris Administration is launching a new nationwide Test to Treat initiative 

While vaccination continues to provide the best protection against COVID-19, two oral antiviral pills—Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck’s molnupiravir—can help prevent severe illness and hospitalization when taken soon after contracting COVID-19. The Test to Treat initiative makes COVID-19 antiviral pills free and accessible. How does the program work? You must test positive for COVID-19 and be eligible for treatment to receive an appropriate prescription from a qualified healthcare provider, and have their prescription filled all in one location. To learn more about the program, click here.

 

New CDC Quarantine and Isolation Calculator

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created a new tool to help determine how long you need to isolate, quarantine, or take other steps to prevent spreading COVID-19. Use the CDC Quarantine and Isolation Calculator if you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, tested positive for COVID-19 or have come into close contact with someone with COVID-19.

COUNTY UPDATES

Maui County

The Maui Police Department’s new Mobile Medical Educational Unit (MMEU) will be at the Paia municipal parking lot on Monday’s from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. The MMEU program assists houseless community members with non-critical medical issues such as wound care, health check-ups, mental health services, food stamps, financial services, and COVID-19 preventative awareness measures. For more information, contact Maui Police Department’s CORE (critical outreach and response through education) team by emailing CORE@mpd.net or calling (808) 866-6160.

Kaua‘i County

A second round of free COVID-19 home test kits will be available to Kaua‘i residents from March 29 to April 1. There will be a limit of five tests per individual/household, on a first-come, first-served basis. The distribution schedule will be as follows:

Tuesday, March 29:

  • Hanalei Neighborhood Center – 9 a.m. to noon
  • Kīlauea Neighborhood Center – 1 to 4 p.m.

Wednesday, March 30:

  • Hanapēpē Neighborhood Center – 9 a.m. to noon
  • Kalāheo Neighborhood Center – 1 to 4 p.m.

Thursday, March 31:

  • Anahola Clubhouse – 9 a.m. to noon
  • Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Complex in Kapa‘a – 1 to 4 p.m.

Friday, April 1:

  • Kōloa Neighborhood Center – 9 a.m. to noon
  • Līhu‘e Neighborhood Center – 1 to 4 p.m.

STATEWIDE RESOURCES

Updated COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines for Hawai‘i Department of Education Schools (HIDOE)

Interim Superintendent Hayashi released a parent/guardian letter regarding the latest COVID-19 guidance for HIDOE. Outdoor masking at public school campuses and HIDOE facilities is optional; there is still an indoor mask requirement for students, faculty and staff. Individual close contact identification, notification and quarantine of in-school exposures is no longer required. All positive cases are recorded on HIDOE’s online COVID-19 case count dashboard.

 

Adventist Health Castle’s Hiring Event: March 30 

There has been a need to hire public health workers to respond to the pandemic. Adventist Health Castle is having a hiring event on the front lawn on Wednesday, March 30 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. If you have any questions, please contact Bree Koumparakis at koumpabh@ah.org. Learn more by clicking here.

 

Recommended Interventions Relevant for COVID-19 Pandemic

Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) released recommendations and findings for addressing various public health issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts. Some of the intervention approaches apply specific healthcare models; the lessons learned from these models may be applicable in the COVID-19 pandemic to help provide care for specific populations. View the CPSTF’s findings and recommendations here.

 

Insight and Inspiration: Conversations for Public Health Leaders in the Era of COVID-19

“Insight and Inspiration” are conversations by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials(ASTHO) and nationally recognized thought leaders, authors, and strategic thinkers to advance public health leadership amid the COVID-19 response. Sessions are open to public health professionals at the local, state, or federal levels looking to ground themselves and their leadership in the midst of our national public health response. Learn more at www.astho.org/education/insight-and-inspiration/.

 

Helpful Guidelines for Communicating Data

Data has been essential to tracking COVID-19 and creating an equitable response. The Do No Harm guide offers a set of guidelines for data communicators to make mindful choices about colors, shapes, words, and representations in data analyses and visualizations. How people perceive the results, how change might be implemented, and how that change will impact different people and communities can all be influenced by how data is communicated.

PUBLIC HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK 

It may be tempting to try to block out COVID-19 data as many are fatigued by the pandemic but it’s important to stay informed. The Hawai‘i Department of Health has moved to weekly COVID-19 data reporting. On Thursdays, be on the lookout for our COVID-19 weekly updatethat will be posted on Facebook, Instagramand Twitter. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rates the state’s COVID-19 community level as “low,” it’s important to remember that the pandemic is not over yet. New variants can cause cases and hospitalizations to spike, so while there may not be an emergency proclamation in place going forward, you should still take measures to protect yourself and your loved ones. New variants can cause cases and hospitalizations to spike, so while there may not be an emergency proclamation in place going forward, you should still take measures to protect yourself and your loved ones. Find information on COVID-19 vaccines and tests at www.hawaiicovid19.com; for updated CDC COVID-19 community levels, click here.
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