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Statewide COVID-19 Update (03/15)

MOVING FORWARD IN UNITY

COVID-19 has taught us the power of unity. From mask and food distributions to community level vaccinations and testing opportunities, every step forward in the pandemic has been through diverse partnerships. We remain in unity by listening to our community, and letting that inform our decisions for our personal and communal health. As restrictions are anticipated to be lifted in the state, we are here to support you and your ‘ohana! If you have any resources, updates, or needs you’d like us to address in our next COVD-19 update, please contact us at covidresponse@hiphi.org.

FEDERAL UPDATE

Order More Free COVID-19 Self Test Kits 

Residential households in the U.S. can place a total of two separate orders for free COVID-19 self test kits (four tests per household). If an order was previously placed for your address, you can place a second order today! There are no shipping costs and you do not need to input a credit card number.

STATE UPDATES

End to Safe Travels Hawaiʻi program, Indoor Mask Mandate & Requirements for State/County Workers

When the current COVID-19 emergency proclamation expires on March 25 at 11:59 p.m., the following restrictions will be lifted:

  • Statewide indoor mask requirement;
  • Safe Travels Hawaiʻi program;
  • Requirement for state/county employees and visitors to state facilities to provide vaccination status or negative COVID test results.

A business may choose to require all patrons to wear masks and you still can test before or after travel as a safety precaution. Settings where masks are still recommended indoors include: schools, hospitals and health care facilities, long term care facilities, shelters, correctional facilities and other congregate living settings.

 

State Moves to Weekly COVID Data Reporting 

The Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) is transitioning from daily to weekly COVID-19 data reporting; the next update will be on March 16. Every Wednesday, case counts and vaccination updates will be published on the DOH COVID-19 dashboard. Learn more by clicking here.

 

Hawai‘i State Capitol Reopened to the Public

The Hawai‘i State Capitol reopened to the public on Monday, March 7. Visitors must wear a mask and provide a photo ID and proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours. The State Capitol is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

COUNTY UPDATES

Maui County

The Maui County Small Business Grant Program is open to all small businesses in the county. This grant is to help small businesses that lost revenue from the pandemic. A list of qualifications and a link to applycan be found on Maui Nui Strong.

City & County of Honolulu 

About 1,200 O‘ahu residents completed the Fiscal Recovery Funds (FRF) community engagement survey and ranked economic and workforce development, public health, and housing access as their top three overall priorities. Many respondents made the connection between public health, public safety, and vulnerable populations and many see homelessness as the intersection of these issues. View the full report to observe the recorded needs and priorities of communities across Oʻahu.

Hawai‘i County

Check out Community First’s Facebook page for this week’s COVID-19 vaccination and testing sites for Hawai‘i county.

Kaua‘i County

On Monday, March 14, Mayor David Kawakami delivered the 2022 State of the County Address. Mayor Kawakami highlighted the 2022 budget and the growth and resilience communities on Kaua‘i have embodied throughout the pandemic. The impacts of COVID-19 remained at the forefront of the county’s past two budget proposals, but for this the upcoming fiscal year, there is opportunity to invest in its infrastructure, community and in its associates.

STATEWIDE RESOURCES

Trusted COVID-19 Information 

Our Best Shot Hawai‘i is a resource that was created to provide fact-based, scientifically proven, unbiased information about COVID-19 and vaccines. The site was created and is maintained through a collective partnership between local doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, kumus, researchers, and more.

 

OHA’s Ka Wailele Emergency Financial Assistance Program

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) expanded the assistance available to Native Hawaiians through its Ka Wailele Emergency Financial Assistance Program. In addition to mortgage, rental and utility support, Ka Wailele will now offer relief for car repairs, funeral expenses, and out-of-pocket medical expenses. Maximum awards have also been increased. Apply online at www.KaWailele.org.

 

Pandemic’s Impact on Keiki’s Mental Health 

The pandemic has had an impact on keiki’s mental health due to factors like increased isolation, anxiety, and learning loss. Since the beginning of the pandemic, emergency room visits for eating disorders have doubled among teenage girls during the pandemic. To learn more about pediatric emergency department visits for mental health conditions click here.

 

Ten Communication Tactics to Combat Pandemic Messaging Fatigue

Researchers from the University of Arkansas recently surveyed 744 participants to measure the effectiveness of pandemic health messaging. According to the survey, about 21.9 percent of the participants said they were tired of hearing about the need to wear masks, 18 percent response rate indicated “message fatigue” about social distancing, 10.08 percent response rate about washing hands, and 3.76 percent about vaccines. Interested in learning tactics to help address COVID-19 messaging fatigue? Read the full article by clicking here.

PUBLIC HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK 

As the state lifts COVID-19 restrictions, we will still be living with COVID-19. It’s still important to stay informed with the latest information on variants, testing, safe practices and more! Do you have COVID-19 questions? Get the answers you need by calling the State of Hawai‘i Department of Health-Disease hotline at (808) 586-8332. Either the bot or a representative will answer your questions.

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