New Online Form to Request Virtual Appointments with County Departments

The County of Hawai‘i announces that a new Appointment Request form is online, and is taking requests for virtual appointments with County Departments.  At this time of COVID-19 emergency, no face-to-face appointments are being taken.

The link to request appointments is:  https://www.hawaiicounty.gov/appointments

The County Departments/Divisions that are taking virtual appointment requests are:

  1. Finance – Real Property Tax Division
  2. Finance – Vehicle Registration and Licensing Division
  3. Finance – All Other 
  4. Parks and Recreation
  5. Planning Department
  6. Public Works – Administration
  7. Public Works – Building Division
  8. Public Works – Engineering Division

COVID-19 Drive-Through Testing in Kona on Saturday, March 28

Ali’i Health, with the support of Premier Medical Group and the County of Hawai`i COVID-19 Task Force, will be conducting a drive-through screening and testing clinic.  The one-day clinic will be held at the Old Kona Airport Park on Saturday, March 28, 2020, from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.

This clinic is open to the public; however, individuals must first undergo a screening to determine if they meet the criteria to be tested.  Clinic physicians on site will make the determination regarding testing.  The screening criteria will be based on guidance of the CDC and the State’s COVID-19 Response Task Force.

To bypass the screening queue, patients can go to Pathways Telehealth by calling (808) 747-8321 option 5 to be screened and expedite testing. 

People who visit the screening clinic will be asked to show photo ID.  Additionally, people are requested to bring any health insurance cards they have, although insurance is not required. 

For further information, call Civil Defense at (808) 935-0031.

COVID-19 Drive-Through Testing in Hilo on Sunday, March 29

Premier Medical Group and Bay Clinic, with the support of the County of Hawai`i COVID-19 Task Force, will offer a drive-through screening and testing clinic. The one- day clinic for COVID-19 will be held at Hilo’s Ho`olulu Complex on Sunday, March 29, 2020 from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.

This clinic is open to the public; however, individuals must first undergo a screening to determine if they meet the criteria to be tested. Clinic physicians on site will make the determination regarding testing. 

The screening criteria will be based on guidance of the CDC and the State’s COVID-19 Response Task Force.

People who visit the screening clinic will be asked to show photo ID. Additionally, people are requested to bring any health insurance cards they have, although insurance is not required. 

For further information, call Civil Defense at 935-0031.

COVID-19: First Hawaii Arrest for Violation of Order & Prohibited Acts

Hawaii Island Police report that 43-year-old Carissa Glende of Kailua-Kona was arrested for Violation of Order (586-11 HRS) after she went to a residence at the 82-6000 block of Anoi Place in Captain Cook, and threw a rock at a window and started an argument with occupants of the home, which violated a court order.  

Additionally, since she was not at her current place of residence during the Governor’s Emergency Proclamation, she was also arrested for Prohibited Acts (Emergency Management) under Section 127A-29 Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes.

She was subsequently charged for both offenses and bail has been set at $4000.00. She is presently at the Kona Police Station Cellblock, awaiting the next court appearance.

Hawaii Island Humane Society’s Shelters Close

Hawaii Island Humane Society’s top priority is keeping people safe while continuing to provide the utmost care for shelter animals during this COVID-19 crisis. There is no evidence that companion animals have been infected or could spread the coronavirus (COVID-19) according to the World Health Organization.

COVID-19 Action Plan Update

Beginning on Wednesday, March 25, Hawaii Island Humane Society’s three shelters in Keaau, Waimea and Kona will close to the public and volunteers. Hawaii Island Humane Society (HIHS) shelter staff will continue to ensure that pets are fed and kennels are clean. 

HIHS will provide the following essential services during this time:          

• Intakes: If you find a lost or stray animal, please call one of the Hawaii Island Humane Society shelters to schedule an appointment to bring the pet in. While the shelters will remain open for intakes, please be prepared to wait as staff is reducing public interactions. 

• Animal Control: Animal control officers will continue to answer high priority and emergency calls. Those calls include injured or sick stray animals, cruelty and neglect complaints, bite complaints, and dangerous and aggressive dog complaints. Officers will respond to other calls as time and safety allow. HIHS’s capacity to respond to calls may be diminished during this time. 

• Lost Pets: Call to make an appointment at your nearest shelter. You will need to file a lost pet report and provide proof of ownership (photo, veterinary records). 

• Owner Surrendered Pets: Pet owners who are not facing an immediate crisis are encouraged to hold their pets for up to four weeks and surrender at a later day. Pet owners who need to immediately surrender pets can do so by appointment only. 

• Owner Requested Euthanasia: Owners requesting euthanasia services are encouraged to contact and schedule an appointment with the shelter in your area. 

• Adoptions and Fostering Programs: Adoptions and fostering are on hold at this time while we develop a plan to promote positive outcomes for our animals. Please check hihs.org or follow us on social media for updates.

All dog parks are closed.

Hawaii Island Humane Society will not be issuing spay and neuter coupons this month. Community spay and neuter programs including the Angel Day 2020 Spay & Neuter for Pit Bull Mixes at the Keaau Shelter slated for April 1 and 2 is also cancelled. All programs including microchipping, humane education classes, group visits, events, field trips for shelter dogs and new volunteer introductions are postponed until further notice. 

Dog license renewals by mail only. Renewal cards and payment should be made to Hawaii Island Humane Society, 78-6767 Mamalahoa Highway, Holualoa, HI 96725. Checks should be made payable to the Hawaii Island Humane Society. 

Please do not come to the shelters unless you require one of our essential services. The individual shelters can be contacted for appointments by calling the Keaau Shelter 808-966-5458, Kona Shelter 808-329-1175 and Waimea Shelter 808-885-4558. 

Follow us on social media or check out hihs.org for more information. 

HCFCU Adjusting Some Financial Services

Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union (HCFCU) announced today it is adjusting some of its financial services to adhere to the state’s Stay-at-Home Order and health recommendations. Financial institutions are deemed an essential service and HCFCU will remain open with the following adjustments effective Thursday, March 26:

APPOINTMENTS ONLY – In-branch services will be by appointment only at all locations. Appointments will be taken by phone for all HCFCU branches during normal business hours. These appointments can be scheduled for cash withdrawals, online banking enrollment, money orders, cashier checks and safety deposit boxes.  To make an appointment, call 930-7700.

KUPUNA HOURS – HCFCU is initiating special hours for seniors and those most at risk.

  • At its Kaloko Branch, between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.
  • At all other branches, between 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.

E-BANKING – HCFCU members are encouraged to use online or mobile banking when possible.

TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF SHARED BRANCHING– To ensure HCFCU can accommodate its members’ needs, shared branching services or transactions will be temporarily suspended.

REGULAR DRIVE-UP SERVICE HOURS – HCFCU members are encouraged to use its drive-up services to make a single transaction.
Hilo Branch Drive-Up Hours
Mon. – Thu.: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Fri.: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Kailua Branch Drive-Up Hours
Mon. – Thu.: 7:30am – 5pm; Fri.: 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Kaloko Branch Drive-Up Hours
Mon. – Fri.: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
For information about HCFCU, visit https://www.hicommfcu.com.

Mayor Kim Issues Supplemental Emergency Proclamation

Mayor Harry Kim issued a Supplementary Emergency Proclamation on Tuesday, March, 24, 2020, regarding the suspension of Board and Commission meetings and hearings, as well as the extension of County permits deadlines. 

The Supplementary Proclamation just issued invokes Section 127A-13(b)(1) Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes, as amended.

The following shall be suspended during this state of emergency:

(1) Meetings and Hearings.
Meetings or hearings, including contested case hearings, conducted by boards and commissions established under the Charter or the Hawaiʻi County Code are suspended, provided that meetings or hearings may be conducted to the extent the Governor of the State of Hawaiʻi has suspended the requirements of Chapters 91 (administrative procedures) and 92 (public agency meetings and records), HRS, and sufficient capability exists to conduct such meetings or hearings by telephone or video conference as determined by the County department providing administrative assistance to the board or commission.

(2) Permit Deadlines and Automatic Approvals.

Any deadline or automatic approval imposed by the Hawaiʻi County Code or an administrative rule of any County department, officer, board, committees, and/or commissions is hereby continued to the latter of the following: 60 days after the date of this Second Supplementary Emergency Proclamation, dated March 24, 2020, as may be extended; or 60 days from the date of the current deadline or automatic approval date. 

This suspension does not extend the time to perform any permit condition of an existing permit that has already been approved. 

The Supplemental Proclamation will continue for 60 days, to May 22, 2020, or until further action by the Mayor’s Office.

2020 Hawaii IRONMAN Qualifier Rescheduled

The 2020 IRONMAN Hawai‘i qualifier triathlon has been rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

IRONMAN Athletes in 2018

According to a release:

“With the health and safety of our community being an utmost priority, and based on the direction and recommendations of public health agencies and local authorities in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 Hawai`i triathlon, originally scheduled for May 30, 2020 has been postponed to August 15, 2020. This will be a qualifier for the 2020 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i and 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship taking place in Taupō, New Zealand. All registered athletes of the 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 Hawai`i triathlon will be receiving an email with further information. If you have additional questions or do not receive the email with further information, please contact hawaii70.3@ironman.com.”

Drive-Through, Pop-Up COVID-19 Testing Coming to Kona

A pop-up testing clinic for COVID-19 will be set up at the Old Kona Airport Park on Monday, March 23.  The County of Hawai`i COVID-19 Task Force has teamed up with Premier Medical Group and HOPE Services to offer the clinic, with the support of The Ironman World Championship and Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation.

The one-day clinic will be held from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.  This clinic is open to the public; however, individuals must first undergo a screening to determine if they meet the criteria to be tested. Clinic physicians on site will make the determination regarding testing. The screening criteria will be based on guidance of the CDC and the State’s COVID-19 Response Task Force.

“The fact is, we need to screen to know where the disease is. That’s the key,” said Dr. Scott Miscovich, president and founder of Premier Medical Group Hawai‘i.

Dry cough and fever are the most common symptoms of COVID-19, but the disease is also known to cause other upper respiratory symptoms, and in some cases, none at all. Other factors that will determine eligibility for testing include travel history, frequency of exposure to visitors from outside Hawai`i, and frequency of exposure to vulnerable or high-risk populations.

People who visit the screening clinic will be asked to show photo ID.  Additionally, people are requested to bring any health insurance cards they have, although insurance is not required. 

Miscovich, who serves as senior advisor to Lieutenant Governor Josh Green, said that the hope is to provide enough COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites as needed.  The goal is to hold pop-up clinics in rural areas of the island to provide the critical support that is needed.

The belief among State leaders, including Lt. Governor Josh Green, is that increased screenings will slow the spread in Hawai‘i.  “To beat this, the key is to screen, screen, screen,” Miscovich said.

HVNP Closed to Visitors Until Further Notice

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, in response to the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and actions outlined by the Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, is announcing additional modifications to operations to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

As of Sunday, March 22, 2020, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will close to all park visitors until further notice. The park will offer no services except those that support visitor or resource protection. 

At Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, the following services and operations will be suspended on Sunday, March 22, 2020 in order to comply with the State of Hawai‘i action until further notice: 

  • All public areas, including trails, roads, campgrounds, the backcountry, and public restrooms are closed to visitors. 
  • All commercial tours and special use permits are suspended. 
  • The Kahuku Unit is closed. 

The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) is working with federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor COVID-19. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website, www.nps.gov/hawaiivolcanoes, and social media channels.  
The NPS encourages people to take advantage of the many digital tools already available to explore Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, including our social media channels, Facebook,Instagram and Twitter, and U.S. Geological Survey webcams: https://www.nps.gov/havo/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm.
In addition, our education team has created curriculum resources for families at home with children in kindergarten through high school that highlight the geology, biology and Hawaiian culture that define the park: https://www.nps.gov/havo/learn/education/curriculummaterials.htm.
Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus

Catering & Food Trucks to Deliver Free Meals to Kūpuna

Mayor Caldwell, along with Aloha Beer owner Steve Sombrero announced today a coalition of Catering and food truck operators will deliver free meals to Hawaiʻi’s kūpuna during this COVID-19 period. This coalition is self-funded but is looking for grants from local foundations and donors to support this project.

The Coalition has created a website called “Malama Meals COVID-19 Community Meal Program” with the goals of supporting kūpuna, who are encouraged to stay out of the public for the next 15 days. This program will provide meals to seniors who live in senior centers along with keiki who depend on school meal programs.

Department of Community Services Director, Pamela Witty-Oakland, shared, “our Elderly Affairs team is excited to launch this partnership, which will supplement our existing meal delivery program to home-bound seniors and expand that network to help our kūpuna at senior housing across the island get nutritious meals that will allow them to stay in their homes as we all try to help flatten the curve.”  Some of the projects receiving daily meals will include:

  • Whitmore Circle Apartments
  • Kumuwai, the City’s newest project which provided permanent housing to previously homeless seniors
  • Mānoa Gardens
  • Nā Lei Hulu Kūpuna
  • Franciscan Vistas ʻEwa Beach
  • West Loch Elderly Village
  • Additional sites still being confirmed

The City & County of Honolulu, Department of Community Services, also serves as the Area Agency on Aging.  Our County Executive on Aging, Derrick Ariyoshi, and his team have been working hard with our network of senior care providers to ensure that in-home and meal services to the thousands of seniors we serve will continue uninterrupted.  Catholic Charities of Hawaiʻi has also been a key partner in reaching out to the senior housing to be served through this program.

Coalition Partners currently include Owner of Aloha Beer Steve Sombrero, Debra Espino of Applebee’s, IHOP and Olive Garden Restaurants, Ahmad Ramadan of Da Spot, Gilbert Sakaguchi of Blue Water Shrimp, and Dan Port of Aloha Venues. In coordination with public service and non-profit community organizations, Malama Meals mission is to provide food security to individuals and communities in need or at risk to contain COVID-19.

Those in need can also request meals online at Malama Meals website, www.malamameals.org.

Administrative Leave Offered to County Workers

In a memo from Mayor Kim to Hawaii County Department and Agency Heads sent on Friday, March 20, 2020, Mayor Kim authorizes Administrative Leave due to closures of Schools or Child Care Facilities because of the current COVID-19 emergency.

Administrative leave of up to 14 calendars days was authorized.

Hawaiʻi Island Delegation Letter to Mayor Kim

A Hawaii Island delegation of elected officials have sent the following letter to Hawaii Mayor Kim requesting immediate action in response to the public health concerns regarding the Corona virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on Friday, March 20, 2020:

Dear Mayor Kim,

To protect the residents of the County of Hawaiʻi and the long-term stability of our island economy, we implore you to immediately order the shut-down of non-essential county government operations and the sheltering-in-place of all people throughout the County of Hawai‘i.

As Mayor of the County of Hawai’i, we strongly urge you to take the following immediate actions through an Emergency Proclamation and Emergency Rule(s):

  • Institute an immediate countywide shut down for the next fifteen (15) days.
  • Order all people in the County of Hawai‘i to shelter-in-place for the next 15 days and coordinate with the Joint Incident Center under the command of the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency Director/Adjutant General Kenneth Hara to immediately use his authority under the March 16, 2020, Emergency Supplementary Proclamation by Governor Ige to take all necessary steps and required means to ensure that the supply chain for basic necessities — such as food, medicine, water, communications, gasoline, cargo and public safety throughout the County of Hawaiʻi — is secure.
  • Request Director/Adjutant General Hara to secure and requisition any needed hospital and medical supplies that are necessary to assist with the coming need to treat individuals due to COVID-19, at all available Hawaiʻi Island medical facilities.
  • In coordination with Governor Ige, order the quarantine of all travelers arriving from outside Hawaiʻi at the Hilo and Kona International Airports for a minimum of 15 days.
  • Prohibit all non-essential inter-island and out-of-state travel from Hawaiʻi Island.
  • In coordination with Governor Ige, require the immediate closure of all public and private schools, daycare centers, preschools, the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, Hawaiʻi Community College and Hawaiʻi Community College Pālamanui.
  • Require the immediate closure of all County facilities and workspaces, and send home all non-essential County of Hawaiʻi personnel for the duration of the shut down.
  • Limit County of Hawai‘i work to only essential personnel, provided they are equipped with the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and adhere to spatial distancing guidelines and preventive measures as recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Hawaiʻi Department of Health.

As Mayor, you are the only person who has the direct authority to institute these actions. As state legislators, we passed and continue to support the delegated authority provided to the counties under Hawai`i Revised Statutes (HRS) Chapter 127, which grants you, as Mayor, the power to act in emergency situations such as the unprecedented one we face today. The entire Hawaiʻi Island delegation is speaking with one collective voice, and we implore you to take immediate action for the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of the County of Hawai‘i.

Sincerely,

Senator Kaiali‘i Kahele, Senator Russell E. Ruderman, Senator Dru Mamo Kanuha, and Senator Lorraine R. Inouye

Representative Mark M. Nakashima, Representative Chris Todd, Representative Richard H.K. Onishi. Representative Joy A. San Buenaventura, Representative Richard P. Creagan, Representative Nicole E. Lowen, and Representative David A. Tarnas

HVNP Modifying Operations

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park remains open, but is modifying operations to implement the latest guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and local and state authorities to promote social distancing. 


Temporary closures until further notice include: 

  • All events and guided programs, including hikes, walks and talks, are canceled. 
  • Kīlauea Visitor Center and the outdoor lānai are closed, but restrooms are open. 
  • The Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association store is closed; online shopping is open. 
  • Mauna Loa Summit Cabin and Red Hill Cabin are closed. 
  • Volcano House hotel, restaurants and the Nāmakanipaio Campground are closed. 
  • Kilauea Military Camp is open with reduced services for authorized patrons. Check website for details. 
  • Volcano Art Center Gallery is closed. 

What’s open: 

  • All previously open trails and overlooks are open for healthy outdoor recreational opportunities.
  • The Kahuku Unit is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
  • Most of the backcountry is open for hiking and camping. Backcountry permits are being processed by phone, 808-985-6178. Retrieve the permit in person through a slot in the backcountry office door. 

Commercial tours are limited to 10 people or less and guides must enforce social distancing procedures. All entrance fees, including commercial tour fees, are temporarily suspended until further notice. 
Visit the park website for the latest information, www.nps.gov/hawaiivolcanoes

Although a community talk-story event scheduled for Thursday, March 19 to discuss potential future uses of Kīlauea volcano’s Great Crack area was postponed, the public is encouraged to submit comments via email to havo_planning@nps.gov, or in writing to Superintendent, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, P.O. Box 52, Hawaii National Park, HI 96718. 

The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) is working with the federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website and social media channels.  

The NPS urges visitors to do their part when visiting a park and to follow CDC guidance to prevent the spread of infectious diseases by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick.  

For high-risk populations, such as the elderly and people with underlying conditions, we ask that they take extra caution and follow CDC guidance for those at higher risk of serious illness.  

Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus

Counties Roll Out Plans to Mitigate the Spread of COVID-19

Following the State of Hawai‘i’s plan for “15-Days to Slow the Spread” of COVID-19, Hawai‘i’s mayors have recently implemented county plans that are geared to their island residents. Department of Health supports everyone’s efforts to keep the community safe and healthy.

“We can be more effective in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 if everyone takes these aggressive actions seriously,” said Bruce Anderson, director of the Hawai‘i Department of Health. “The response to the Governor and County directives has been positive so far and there are many, such as food establishments, which have identified alternative ways to serve the public with drive-through and take-out service to maintain their operations.”  

  • The City and County of Honolulu has mandated the closure of restaurants, parks and nightclubs for indoor service beginning 8:30 a.m. on Friday, March 20. Restaurant take-out, curb-side pick-up and delivery will be allowed. 
     
  • The County of Kaua‘i issued an islandwide nighttime curfew beginning Friday, March 20. The curfew will be in effect from 9 p.m. through 5 a.m. daily until further notice. Individuals must remain in their residence during these specified hours, with a few exceptions. 
     
  • The County of Maui announced rules that will be in effect beginning 7:45 a.m. on Friday, March 20, limiting the gathering of groups of people and curtailing vehicular transportation except for essential activities or operation of essential business or government functions. Restaurants and cafes that serve food within the premises are required to close; however, take-out and delivery service may continue.
  • Hawai‘i County issued guidance that restaurants, bars and places of worship may make their own decisions to open or close, and consider ways to minimize risk to customers and employees.

Please visit the county websites for more information.

Be Considerate When Purchasing Food and Supplies 
The DOH reminds the public to be judicious when shopping for food and essential goods so that kūpuna and others in need are able to purchase necessary items. The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) Harbors Division continues to manage Hawai‘i’s commercial ports–the lifeline for Hawai‘i’s communities for food, medical supplies, clothing, household goods and more. There have been no interruptions to the supply chain as a result of COVID-19.

Definition of Community Spread 
Community spread is defined as cases that cannot be traced back to a traveler and have absolutely no travel related or involved connection with travel. As of noon today, March 19, all cases who tested positive in Hawaiʻi are travel related or involved with visitors on a daily basis.

Who should be tested for COVID-19?

Most people who are sick do not need to be tested. There is no specific medicine to treat COVID-19, so whether you test positive or negative, management of your illness will be the same.

Individuals who are not sick should not be tested even if they have been exposed to COVID-19.


Individuals who are sick with respiratory illness (e.g., fever and cough or shortness of breath)  AND who are at a higher risk for severe respiratory infections (e.g., older people, those with chronic medical conditions including immunosuppression) should call their usual source of healthcare to discuss whether they should be tested for COVID-19 and/or other infections such as influenza.

  • A provider’s referral is required to receive testing. 
  • If you do not have a provider, call an urgent care center or community clinic in your area.

Anyone having difficulty breathing should seek medical care immediately. If possible, call your healthcare provider first so they are prepared to receive you.

Other people with mild illness should help protect our most vulnerable and conserve our precious supplies by practicing social distancing measures, monitoring their illness, and calling their healthcare provider if their symptoms worsen or persist. 

State Launches New, Dedicated COVID-19 Website 
The State of Hawai‘i unveiled a new website for the public to access the latest information on COVID-19 in Hawai‘i. The website, hawaiicovid19.com, is an inter-agency collaborative effort to keep the community safe and healthy. It provides timely information and resources on the coronavirus, including guidance on how to prevent and mitigate community spread, common symptoms of COVID-19, and frequently asked questions.

Social Distancing 
COVID-19 recommendations are changing the rules on how much physical distance individuals should keep from each other. Cancelling events that do not allow attendees to be at least six feet apart—the equivalent of two arms length—and avoiding unnecessary physical meeting with others are proven strategies to mitigate the spread of the virus. The effectiveness of these initiatives largely depends on the cooperation and compliance from the public.

“One of the best ways to show aloha for each other at this critical time is to refrain from being in large gatherings and to keep a safe, healthy distance from each other,” said Health Director Bruce Anderson. “You may be healthy, but others around you may not be as fortunate. By practicing social distancing, you’re limiting the potential for exposure to any illness in your household and protecting everyone in our community. We all need to consider the health and wellbeing of others, especially seniors, those with preexisting health conditions and others whose health may be compromised.”

Anderson noted that technology enables us to have social distance without sacrificing emotional connection. “When feasible, we should use tools available for virtual meetings by phone, tablet or computer as a way to maintain contact with loved ones, especially kupuna in care homes given Gov. Ige’s directive to refrain from visiting nursing homes, retirement or long-term care facilities at this time.”

Ten New Positive Cases on O‘ahu and Maui 
As of March 19, 2020, noon, there is a total of 26 confirmed or presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Hawai‘i. New positive results were announced today for eight individuals on O‘ahu and two individuals on Maui. All cases who tested positive in Hawaiʻi are travel related.

The Department of Health will be confirming case numbers daily at noon. The situation is fluid with constant changes. Any additional case information received after noon will be reported the following day.

COVID-19 Summary of Numbers as of March 19, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. HST

(updated as new information becomes available)

Number of Total Positive Case(s)* Statewide                         26

Honolulu                                                                               18

Maui County                                                                         5

Kaua‘i                                                                                   2

Hawai‘i Island                                                                        1

*Includes confirmed and presumptive cases.

Confirmed: Meets CDC criteria and positive test result received from a certified laboratory such as the DOH State Laboratories Division.

Presumptive Positive: Positive test results from a private laboratory requiring confirmation by a state public health laboratory.

Sentinel Surveillance Testing Results

The DOH has received 124 negative results from test samples selected from sites statewide with the goal of identifying possible community transmission of COVID-19. There were 62 negative test results received last week and 62 negative test results received this week.

2-1-1 Call Center for Information on COVID-19

The Aloha United Way call center is open daily between 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. For information or questions about COVID-19:

Grounded Sailing Vessel Removed From Rocks off Hilo

The grounded, 63-foot fishing vessel Midway Island, was successfully moved from the rocks to Pier 2 within Hilo Harbor, Tuesday.

The grounded, 63-foot fishing vessel, Midway Island, being successfully removed from Hilo Harbor, March 17, 2020. The State of Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources will assume the lead as the coordinating agency to work with the owner of the Midway Island. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo/Released)

Wednesday, Coast Guard contractors worked to stabilize the vessel, deploy preventative adsorbent boom around the vessel, and mitigate any remaining petroleum. The vessel is now stabilized and preventatively boomed at Pier 2 in Hilo Harbor.

“We are lucky to have strong partnerships with the industry, State, and the local community,” said Chief Warrant Officer Russ Strathern, marine safety specialist, Sector Honolulu. “This complex incident involved a lot of coordination, communication, and patience, as we leveraged multiple strategies to mitigate the environmental threat. I am thankful for our response ohana.”

(U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo/Released)

The State of Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources will assume the lead as the coordinating agency to work with the owner of the Midway Island for vessel disposition and to conduct a cleanup of the grounding site as the pollution threat has been removed. The State will assess environmental damages and facilitate the future steps of mitigating impacts and vessel disposition.

Reportedly, 1,585 gallons of petroleum products, including marine diesel, lube, and hydraulic oil, and oily waste, were safely removed along with the batteries and household cleaners prior to refloating and towing operations began.

(U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo/Released)

The U.S.-flagged vessel grounded Feb. 3, and the Coast Guard continuously worked with the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources and other partners to safely move the boat and mitigate pollution aboard. The environmental impact was minimal, and there is no evidence of pollution discharge as a result of the grounding. 

Midway Island was transiting from Los Angeles to Hawaii at the time of the grounding. The cause remains under investigation.

NHCH Announces Relocated COVID-19 Testing

Drive-up testing at Queen’s North Hawai’i Community Hospital (QNHCH) will be relocated to a more convenient location starting Thursday, March 19, and testing will be expanded to 6 days a week – Monday through Saturday, 10 am – 2 pm.

The new location is at the QNHCH Primary Care Clinic, 65-1267 Kawaihae Rd., located next to Longs Drugs in Waimea. Physician’s orders are not required. Patients are asked to bring ID and insurance information, and to stay in their vehicle; testing takes only a few minutes and is done while the patient stays in the vehicle.

For more information, visit coronavirus.gov or the State of Hawaii Department of Health new website hawaiicovid19.com or call the Queen’s COVID-19 Information Line at 691-2619.

DWS on County Watter Supply

County Water Remains Safe; In-Person Water Payments Suspended

HAWAI‘I ISLAND – In response to growing public concern over the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Water Supply (DWS), County of Hawai‘i wants to reassure customers their water remains safe to drink and inform the public of safety measures intended to slow the spread of the virus.

DWS stresses its unwavering commitment to providing an adequate supply of safe, reliable and affordable water to more than 100,000 people daily. The water DWS provides continues to undergo regular and rigorous testing that shows it exceeds state and federal drinking water requirements. The island’s supply of potable water is not vulnerable to contamination by COVID-19, also known as coronavirus.

DWS prioritizes health and safety, which is why it will suspend all in-person payment collections and customer service inquiries for 30 calendar days starting Friday, March 20. During this period, DWS will accept only telephone, online, auto-payment and payments sent through the mail. All customer service inquiries will be handled by phone or email. The public’s understanding is very much appreciated.

The remote payment options are free and secure.

To pay a DWS water bill online, please visit www.hawaiidws.org, click on the “Pay Your Bill Online” tab on the home page and follow the easy-to-use self-service portal. Don’t forget to input the full nine-digit ZIP code. Please make certain to visit the official DWS website, which has a homepage featuring a waterfall, to avoid mistakenly making payment through unauthorized copycat sites that charge fees.

Customers wishing to pay by telephone should call toll-free 844-216-1994 anytime. There are no fees for phone payments. Online credit and debit card payments are limited to $500 per transaction. The transaction limit is $10,000 for those making an e-check payment.

DWS customers can opt to have payment deducted from their checking account by enrolling in the automatic bill payment option. DWS does not charge fees for automatic payments.

These “social distancing” methods reflect the latest recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with the advice of local and national leaders. They are intended to help protect customers, DWS employees and Hawai‘i Island communities from COVID-19 infection.

To learn more about the Department of Water Supply’s easy payment options, please call Customer Service at 961-8060 in Hilo, 887-3030 in Waimea, 322-0600 in Kona or 929-9111 in Ka‘ū. Operating hours vary, but all offices are open from 7:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, excluding holidays. See www.hawaiidws.org for specific times.

Hawaii DOH COVID-19 Daily Update

March 17, 2020:

There is a current shortage of hand sanitizers and toilet paper in Hawai‘i in part because of the public’s over-reaction to COVID-19. The Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) wants to avoid having the same shortage of COVID-19 test resources by making sure the public understands how to properly utilize the newly established screening sites.

Test kit

If people who are well or experiencing mild flu-like symptoms go to the screening sites, there potentially may be insufficient testing supplies for those who critically need the tests, including older adults and those with existing health conditions.

The public should heed the following steps:

  • First, contact your healthcare provider in advance to determine if you need to have an in-person visit with your provider.
  • Your provider will determine over the phone whether you meet the criteria for COVID-19 testing.
  • If your provider directs you to come in for a screening, bring a photo ID and insurance card.
  • Your provider will take a swab for testing.
  • The specimen will be sent to a private or state lab for the results. During this time, you are expected to self-quarantine at home until the test results are available, which could be up to 3 to 4 days.
  • If you are healthy or experiencing mild to moderate flu-like symptoms, DOH urges you to stay at home and avoid an unnecessary visit to a screening site. The screening sites are only for those who are severely ill with COVID-19 symptoms.

Postpone or Cancel In-Person Events

The Hawai‘i Department of Health recommends postponing or canceling in-person events involving 50 or more people for the next eight weeks. Consider using technology to hold virtual meetings or other means when feasible. It is important to note these are recommendations to encourage best practices for social distancing; not mandates. Businesses and organizations have the option to hold group events and meetings at their own discretion, keeping in mind that attendees should be two-arms-length or six feet apart when possible. Seniors and those with underlying health conditions who are at a greater risk for COVID-19 or respiratory illnesses should avoid attending public gatherings altogether.

Cruise Ship Being Rerouted

The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) Harbors Division and the U.S. Coast Guard are continuing coordination with Holland America Line’s Maasdam cruise ship, which is on its way to Hawai‘i. Initially, the Maasdam had a port call for Hilo, however that reservation has been canceled. HDOT is currently working to direct the ship to Honolulu Harbor so that disembarking passengers will have various flight options for departure out of Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL). To date, there have been no positive cases of COVID-19 associated with the ship. It is important to note that the Maasdam will have been at sea longer than the 14-day incubation period prior to arriving in the Hawaiian Islands. Prior to port, all ships are required to call in advance with information on any symptomatic passengers. If there are concerns about passengers who are ill, the ship will be held out

of port.

2-1-1 Call Center for Information on COVID-19

The Aloha United Way call center is open daily between 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.

For information or questions about COVID-19:

Four New Cases of COVID-19 Identified on O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island

As of 2:00 p.m. on March 17, 2020 there is a total of 14 confirmed or presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Hawai‘i. Four new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were identified: Two on O‘ahu, one on Hawai‘i Island and one on Maui. DOH is gathering more information on these cases.

COVID-19 Summary of Numbers as of March 17, 2020 at 2:00 pm (updated as new information becomes available)

Number of Confirmed or Presumptive Positive Case(s)* 14

Number of Persons Under Investigation (current, testing pending) 12

Number of Negative Test Results 93

Number of Person Self-Monitoring with DOH supervision 9

The 9 individuals who are self-monitoring with public health supervision are all on O‘ahu. These numbers fluctuate often as travelers arrive, depart, or begin and end their self-monitoring with supervision by DOH.

Confirmed: Meets CDC criteria and positive test result received from a certified laboratory such as the DOH State Laboratories Division.

*The CDC has advised states that respiratory samples positive for SARS-CoV2 in a state and public-health laboratory will be considered “positive” with no need for further testing.

Presumptive Positive: Positive test results from a private laboratory requiring confirmation by a state public health laboratory.

Persons Under Investigation (PUI): Meets CDC criteria for investigation and testing pending.

Monitoring: Individuals voluntarily remain at home and refrain from work, school, gathering places, and public transit. They communicate daily with Department of Health staff.

Hawaii Police Department Promotions Announced

Police Chief Paul Ferreira has announced three promotions, two employees from the rank of Lieutenant to Captain, and one employee from Captain to Major.

Thomas Shopay, a 20-year veteran, has been promoted to Captain and assigned to the Area II Criminal Investigation Division (Kona). He formerly commanded the Area II Criminal Investigation Section and has previously worked on the Special Response Team, Area II Vice Section (Kona), and Kona Patrol District.

Regino Saludares, a 22-year veteran, has been promoted to Captain assigned to the Hāmākua Patrol District. He formerly commanded the CALEA (Accreditation) section, and he has previously worked in the Area I Criminal Investigation Division (Hilo) and South Hilo Patrol District.

Kenneth Quiocho, a 27-year veteran, has been promoted to Major assigned to the Area I Field Operations Division (Hilo). He formerly commanded the South Hilo Patrol District, and previously worked in the Puna Patrol District, Kaʻū Patrol District, CALEA (Accreditation), South Kohala Patrol District, Area I VICE Section (Hilo), and Hāmākua Patrol District.

These promotions are effective today (March 16, 2020).