HVNP Increases Community Access to Mauna Loa Road & Other Sites

Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is increasing community access. The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

On Wednesday, May 20, 2020, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park reopened access to:  

• Mauna Loa Road to Kīpukapuaulu for vehicles, bicyclists and hikers, including Tree Molds. The picnic area will remain closed. 
• Mauna Loa Road past Kīpukapuaulu is open for hikers and bicyclists to Mauna Loa Overlook at 6,662 feet, but is closed to vehicles. 
• Footprints Trail from Highway 11 to the Ka‘ū Desert Trail and Mauna Iki Trail junction, including the Footprints shelter (1.9 miles one way). 
• Escape Road, for bicycling, horseback riding and hiking to the Mauna Ulu junction.

With public health in mind, all other areas in the park remain closed at this time. Commercial and special use permits continue to be suspended. 

“We have completed thorough risk assessments for the continued safety of our staff and the public, and while we are excited to increase access in areas of the park that allow for social distancing in an outdoor, open-air environment, we are urging each person to be safe to keep us all safe,” said Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Acting Superintendent Rhonda Loh. “If people cannot adhere to the latest health guidelines for their protection and ours, the park may have to close these areas again.” 

The health and safety of park users, our employees, volunteers, and partners continue to be paramount. At Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance, and will be regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for all.  

While these areas are accessible for the public to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. Park users should follow local area health orders from the Governor of Hawai‘i, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities. 

The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19, and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.  

Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on the park website www.nps.gov/hawaiivolcanoes and social media channels. Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus

CANCELLED: Waikoloa Beach Resort 4th of July Fireworks Show

The Waikoloa Beach Resort is cancelling it’s 2020 4th of July fireworks show.

Waikoloa Beach Resort has cancelled this year’s fireworks display.

The following was posted in regards to the closure:

“As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and under state and county guidelines on large gatherings, it is with great sadness that we announce the cancellation of this year’s 2020 Waikoloa Beach Resort 4th of July Extravaganza fireworks show.

The decision to cancel came as a difficult one; however, our community’s health and safety is our top priority. We look forward to the future and revitalization of our island home, our spirits, and the community.”

Share Your COVID-19 Experience With the Center for Oral History

The Center for Oral History (COH) in the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s College of Social Sciences invites our community to be a part of history by documenting experiences in the time of COVID-19 with them.

Hawaiʻi Life in the Time of COVID-19” project is designed for residents to reflect upon and share the pandemic’s impact – acknowledging major events, honoring courageous acts and selfless sacrifices, and helping to understand social and economic trends as they unfold.

Hawai‘i residents may participate in one of two ways:

Submissions will be accepted for at least a year, and will be shared on the project’s website on a rolling basis.

“This project is an opportunity for our community members to memorialize and reflect upon, share and memorialize their experiences and envision a better future for our islands,” said Davianna Pōmaikaʻi McGregor, COH Director and ethnic studies professor in the College of Social Sciences. “This approach is based on the rapid response oral history method used after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, and the 2017 and 2018 women’s marches.”

COH will compile project responses into an archive for researchers and policymakers. Key themes from the submissions will also be identified by the COH team.

COH, housed in the Ethnic Studies Department, collects, documents, preserves and highlights the recollections of Native Hawaiians and the multi-ethnic people of Hawaiʻi. It produces oral histories and interpretive historical materials about lifeways, key historic events, social movements and Hawaiʻi’s role in the globalizing world, for the widest possible use. Email cohes@hawaii.edu for more information.

Rep. Gabbard to Host Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall Today

Today, Wednesday, May 6th at 4 p.m. (Hawaii Time), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) will be hosting another tele-town hall meeting to update Hawai‘i residents about COVID-19 impacts and resources available.

She will be joined by Sherry Menor-McNamara, the Chamber of Commerce of Hawai‘i’s President and CEO, to discuss the impact on businesses and resources available to assist them, as well as Darin Leong, an employment law attorney, who has worked with Hawai‘i community leaders to raise awareness about relief programs available to employers and employees.

This will be the eighth of a weekly coronavirus-related live telephone town hall series Rep. Gabbard has hosted.

You can sign up on Rep. Gabbard’s website to receive a phone call to join the event. Or, you can listen online at gabbard.house.gov/live.

823 People Arrived in Hawaii Yesterday

Yesterday, 823 people arrived in Hawaii including 188 visitors and 315 residents. During this same time last year, nearly 30,000 passengers arrived in Hawaii daily, including residents and visitors.

The state’s mandatory 14-day self-quarantine started on March 26th for all passengers arriving in Hawaii from out of state. The quarantine order was expanded on April 1st to include interisland travelers.

This table shows the number of people who arrived by air from out of state yesterday and does not include interisland travel.

Hawaiian Electric Sees Drop in Demand During Pandemic

Hawaiian Electric has seen a significant reduction in use of electricity as tourism activities cease, businesses close and thousands of residents stay home to slow the spread of COVID-19.

For Oahu, the average system peak demand (the point of highest energy use) for the week of March 22 was 7 percent less than in previous weeks. On Maui, the decrease was 14 percent and on Hawaii Island, it was 7 percent.

Gov. David Ige issued a stay-at-home order on March 23 and soon after imposed a quarantine on visitors, essentially shutting down arrivals.

The reduction in weekday, daytime peak demand on Maui and Oahu was especially pronounced as schools, offices, government buildings, hotels and businesses closed. Peak daytime demand fell 21 percent on Maui and 16 percent on Oahu after March 22. Maui saw record lows for daytime generation on sunny days when private rooftop solar systems were supplying the most energy.

“Such fast and pronounced changes in demand are something we haven’t seen before and they’re a measure of how quickly business activity and individual behavior were affected by the pandemic,” said Jim Kelly, vice president of corporate relations at Hawaiian Electric. “Hawaii reflects the trends that utilities everywhere are seeing as economies adjust to the impacts of COVID-19.”

Kelly said adequate supply of electricity isn’t something customers should worry about for the duration of the emergency. “Especially with consumption down, we have plenty of generation resources available,” he said.

On Oahu, the reduction in demand means about 200,000 fewer gallons of oil per day are being used to generate electricity.

Data released this week by the University of Chicago found consumption of electricity in the U.S. is down 5 percent from December 2019. In areas hard hit like New York City, consumption has fallen 14 percent since February and in Southern California, it’s down about 10 percent.

Related to the reduction in electricity demand is a huge drop in particulate emissions worldwide.

The University of Chicago researchers say particulates from power generation are down 72 percent since December, including a nearly 200 percent reduction in China. Details can be found at https://epic.uchicago.edu/area-of-focus/covid-19/.

Hawaiian Electric remains operational for generation, emergency repairs and utility maintenance and construction. Other activities – including customer service information and payment processing, customer installations and rooftop solar application processing—remain available online, by phone or mail.

Service disconnections have been suspended through May 17. Customers who are having difficulty paying their bill due to the coronavirus pandemic are encouraged to contact the company to make a payment arrangement.

The quickest way to start the process is to fill out and submit a Payment Arrangement Request Form at https://www.hawaiianelectric.com/customerserviceoptions.

Service Restrictions at All Solid Waste Transfer Stations Effective Monday, April 13

Greenwaste collection is discontinued at Kealakehe, Keʻei, Pāhoa, Keaʻau, Volcano and Waimea Transfer Stations.

Scrap metal and white goods collection is discontinued at Hilo, Keaʻau, Pāhoa, Volcano, Waiʻōhinu, Pāhala, Keauhou, Kealakehe, Puakō, Waimea, Hāwī, Honokaʻa and Laupāhoehoe Transfer Stations.

Greenwaste Collection services will be discontinued at all transfer stations beginning Monday, April 13, 2020, and will remain closed until April 30, 2020, or further notice. Greenwaste collection is still offered at:  

Hilo: East Hawaiʻi Organics Facility at the South Hilo Sanitary Landfill; 
7:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. daily (7 days a week) 

Waikoloa: West Hawaiʻi Organics Facility at the West Hawaiʻi Sanitary Landfill (aka Puʻuanahulu); 7:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Mondays thru Saturday 

Scrap Metal and White Goods Collection services will be discontinued at all transfer stations beginning Monday, April 13, 2020, and will remain closed until April 30, 2020, or further notice.  Residents are encouraged to hold on to these materials until collection services resume. 

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and understanding as we tackle the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Please visit our website at www.hawaiizerowaste.org for future closure information and locations, or call our Solid Waste Division Office at 961-8270.

NHCH Offering More COVID-19 Screenings

Drive-up screening for COVID-19 at Queen’s North Hawai’i Community Hospital (QNHCH) will change to a three-times-week schedule, effective Monday, April 6. Screening is offered 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the main hospital campus in Waimea.

Physician’s orders are not required but individuals must have symptoms and complete a screening. Patients are asked to bring photo ID and insurance information, and to stay in their vehicle; screening and testing takes only a few minutes and is done while the patient stays in the vehicle.

Leaving one’s home to seek medical care is an essential and allowable activity under the State’s Stay-at-Home order.

For more information, visit coronavirus.gov or hawaiicovid19.com or call the Queen’s COVID-19 Information Line at 691-2619.

Proposed Big Island Clean Energy Projects to be Discussed

ENGIE Hawai‘i will be hosting a televised town hall meeting on Nā Leo TV on April 30, 6 to 7 p.m. to discuss two proposed solar and energy storage projects in the Puakō and Waikoloa area. These proposed solar and energy storage projects will reduce the use of fossil fuel, bring stability to electricity prices, and protect Hawaiʻi Island’s environment for future generations.

Screen shot of website

ENGIE Hawai‘i is one of several companies who proposed clean energy projects to Hawaiian Electric as part of an effort to bring more clean, affordable energy to customers. Hawaiian Electric is expected to select projects this May to be built over the next two years.

This televised town hall meeting, which will have no studio audience, is being held in lieu of an in-person meeting in compliance with social distancing guidelines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The interactive town hall will take questions from viewers via phone and email. 

Interested residents can tune in to ENGIE Hawaiʻi’s town hall meeting on April 30, 6 to 7 p.m. on Nā Leo TV, on cable or online at naleo.tv. The broadcast will also be archived on ENGIEHawaii.com.

More information about the proposed Puakō and Waikoloa projects, plus proposed battery storage projects on Maui and Oʻahu, can be found at ENGIEHawaii.com. Residents are also invited to sign up for the email list at ENGIEHawaii.com, send questions to info@ENGIEHawaii.com, or call (808) 315-5531.

Water Shutoffs & Late Payment Fees Suspended

Effective immediately, the Department of Water Supply (DWS), County of Hawaii is suspending service disconnections and waiving late payment fees through April 30, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, scammers may try to defraud DWS’ customers during this pandemic by threatening to shutoff service unless a payment is made. Again, DWS will not be disconnecting services during this period. If you receive one of these demands please hang-up and contact DWS’ Customer Service, at (808) 961-8060.  

In addition, in order to comply with the Governor’s “stay at home” order, DWS is extending the suspension of in-person payment collections and customer service inquiries through April 30, 2020. During this period, DWS will accept only telephone, online, auto-payment, mail, or payments left in a secured DWS payment dropbox. To pay a bill online, please visit www.hawaiidws.org, click on the “Pay Online” tab and follow the self-service portal. Customers wishing to pay by telephone should call toll-free 844-216-1994 anytime. There are no fees for these services. If there are any questions, please contact one of our Customer Service offices below.

              Customer Service Contacts:

              Hilo:                    (808) 961-8060

              Waimea:            (808) 887-3030

              Kona:                  (808) 322-0600

              Email:                  dws@hawaiidws.org

DWS is committed to provide essential, safe, and reliable water service to our customers, businesses, and communities. During this unprecedented and challenging time, DWS has modified employee work schedules and increased hygiene practices to keep its workers safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please stay healthy and do your part to prevent the spread of this virus!

Municipal Golf Course in Hilo Closed Until Further Notice

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation announced on Tuesday that amid the COVID-19 pandemic the Hilo Municipal Golf Course will be closed until further notice, effective on April 1.

Golf Course staff will continue to work throughout this closure period maintaining and improving the golf course for when it reopens for play.

“The purpose for this closure is manifold, but primarily addresses public and personnel safety issues that have surfaced while we accommodated the continued play of golf over the first six days of Governor Ige’s Stay-At-Home order,” said Roxcie Waltjen, Director of Parks and Recreation.

“We will continually assess the appropriate date for reopening of the facility along with any modified policies that must be implemented in order to do so safely and responsibly for all those impacted” Waltjen said.

Additionally, the golf pro shop and driving range at the course will be closed until further notice effective April 1. The restaurant at the course was closed indefinitely on March 25.

For further information, contact the Hilo Municipal Golf Course starters office at (808) 959-7711.

2020 Census Field Operations Suspended Until April 15

Based on continuing assessments of guidance from federal, state and local health authorities, the U.S. Census Bureau is suspending 2020 Census field operations for two additional weeks to April 15, 2020.

The Census Bureau is taking this step to help protect the health and safety of the American public, Census Bureau employees, and everyone who will go through the hiring process for temporary census taker positions.

The Census Bureau continues to evaluate all 2020 Census field operations, and will communicate any further updates as soon as possible.

The 2020 Census is open for self-response online at 2020Census.gov, over the phone by calling the number provided in your invitation, and by paper through the mail.

Information on Merrie Monarch Refunds

With the 2020 Merrie Monarch being cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic happening now, refunds for the tickets are now being offered to people who had purchased the tickets.

Hālau Kekuaokalā‘au‘ala‘iliahi Hula: He Inoa Kēia No Kapiʻolani Nā Kumu Hula: Haunani & ʻIliahi Paredes Moku: Wailuku, Maui. PC: Merrie Monarch

The following was posted on the Merrie Monarch website:

“We extend our aloha to all of you and your ʻohana during these unprecedecnted times. Mahalo for your patience and understanding, allowing us time to assess the various decisions we are faced with in lieu of our having cancelled the 2020 Merrie Monarch Festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of these critical decsions included thinking through a fair process for refunding the cost of tickets purchased for the three nights of competition.

To those of you who already contacted our office to let us know that you would like to donate your ticket money to the Festival, mahalo for this generous offer. We have decided to pass on this gesture of aloha and donate these monies to the twenty-two hālau that were invited to participate this year. They will undoubtedly appreciate the kōkua to offset the expenses that were incurred in preparing for this year’s competition. We will be doing the same for anyone esle who would like to kākoʻo the hālau in this manner.

We are intimately aware however that these are financially challenging times and for those of you who would prefer a refund, we completely understand.

To help us process these refunds and donations, please kōkua mai by doing the following:

    1. Whether you are requesting a refund or donating, please return the original tickets issued to you to the address listed below. 
      • NOTE: We will only honor refunds for original tickets. No copies or pictures will be accepted.
    2. If you would like a refund, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your tickets.
      • NOTE: To ensure that we have time to process all refunds before we get too far into preparations for the 2021 festival (which we are optimistically planning on), we ask that you submit your refund request no later than June 30, 2020.

If you have questions, please call our office at 808-935-9168 and leave a message. While we have closed our office for the time being, we are checking messages weekly and one of our volunteers will contact you as soon as we are able.

Again, mahalo nui loa for your understanding and your continued love of hula and Hawaiian culture. We wish you and your ‘ohana strength and health to persist through these challenging times.”

Me ke aloha,

Luana Kawelu, President

Merrie Monarch Festival

Mailing address:

Merrie Monarch Festival

865 Pi‘ilani Street

Hilo, Hawai‘i  96720

Partial Road Closure in HVNP

Hawaiian Electric will soon start a six-month project to upgrade transmission poles and equipment in the area of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (HVNP).

Work will be done in phases starting April 1, 2020. Crews will replace 189 utility poles and install new equipment along Hawaii Belt Road, or Highway 11, between mile markers 30 and 40. One lane will be closed from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

“During this challenging time, we know the community is counting on us to keep the lights on. Continuing to provide safe and reliable power is our priority,” said Kristen Okinaka, spokeswoman for Hawaiian Electric’s operations on Hawaii Island. “Our crews and contractors will practice social distancing on the job and there should be no interaction with the public. It’s part of the critical work that continues, especially in advance of hurricane season, including tree trimming, replacement of equipment, and system resilience work that is difficult to reschedule.”

Once the line construction is completed, the replaced poles will be removed via helicopter. Work is expected to be done by Sept. 30, 2020, weather permitting.

For questions or concerns, please call 969-6666

Hawaiian Electric to Estimate Energy Usage

Hawaiian Electric continues to adjust its operations to reduce the potential spread of coronavirus, including postponing less urgent repair and maintenance work, and closing walk-in customer payment centers at least through April.

None of the operational changes being made will interrupt electric service to customers.

To ensure electric service is not disrupted, Hawaiian Electric is postponing projects and work that would require customer outages, unless it is deemed critical for safety or reliability. Our crews and contractors will continue to perform essential work that involves little interaction with the public, including tree trimming (to reduce potential outages), replacement of equipment, and system resilience work that is difficult to reschedule.

Emergency work, including outage restoration and repairs to ensure public safety such as replacing damaged poles, remains a priority.

Although Hawaiian Electric employees are considered “essential workers,” the company is trying to reduce the numbers in the field to protect the health and safety of employees and the public. Here are some other measures being taken:

  • Until further notice, the company is reducing the number of meter readers sent out across its five-island service territory.

    Bills for residential and some small- to medium-size commercial customers will be estimated based on the previous month’s usage. Meter readers will continue to read meters for large commercial customers.

    Once meter reading resumes, the bills will “true up” and customers will be billed accordingly for the actual usage. Customers will pay for only the electricity used.
  • Service disconnections are suspended through May 17, an extension from April 17. If you receive a notice from Hawaiian Electric before May 17 that threatens to disconnect service, it’s a scam and should be ignored.

    Customers facing financial hardship are urged to contact Customer Service so payment options and schedules can be arranged to help keep payments manageable. While customers will still be responsible for paying their electric bills, payment schedules and other options can help ease the financial challenges for those most affected by the COVID-19 situation.

    The quickest way to start the process is to fill out and submit a Payment Arrangement Request Form at https://www.hawaiianelectric.com/customerserviceoptions.
  • Walk-in customer payment centers will remain closed at least through April 30 rather than reopen on March 30 as originally planned.

Hawaiian Electric encourages customers who are having difficulty paying their bills due to the coronavirus pandemic to contact customer service representatives.

To make payment arrangements or for more information, visit the online customer care center at www.hawaiianelectric.com or call:

Call for Proposals: 2020 Urban & Community Forestry Grants

Kaulunani Urban And Community Forestry Program opens call for their small Grants Program supporting up to $40,000 for urban and community forestry projects.

Explore online map of Hawaii’s Urban Trees: https://pg-cloud.com/hawaii/

Could funding from a community grant help your tree project get off the ground?

Whether you are planning a tree planting project, hosting a workshop or training, coordinating a restoration event, or creating outreach materials – there is support available! The DLNR’s Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Program announces a call for grant applications that support urban and community forestry projects statewide.

The Kaulunani Grant Program has awarded hundreds of grants to nonprofit organizations, schools, community groups, parks, museums, and arboretums across the state of Hawai‘i for a diverse range of urban and community forestry projects. Over the years, Kaulunani grant recipients have impacted nearly every urban area in Hawai‘i. This state and federally funded grant program has enabled the planting of countless trees, raised awareness of the importance of trees in dozens of communities, and has involved thousands of Hawai‘i residents in caring for the ‘āina.

The Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Program’s Grant Program offers several different levels of grants under which organizations and communities can apply:

● “Cool Your School” Grants: School grant requests between $500 and $3,000.

● ‘ILIMA Grants: Requests under $2,500.

● MĀMAKI Grants: Requests between $2,500 and $14,999.

● ‘ULU Grants: Grant Requests OVER $15,000, targeting specific special funding opportunities. ‘Ulu grants consider requests up to $300,000. The complete list of grant opportunities is available on the Kaulunani website. Requires pre-approval.

Applications are accepted on a quarterly basis with the following deadlines for 2020: May 1, August 1, and November 1. Applications received by May 1st will receive priority consideration for current year funds. The Kaulunani Advisory Council reviews proposals at the subsequent quarterly meeting following each deadline. Grants are made to projects that match or exceed the federal grant funds in cash and in-kind contributions. One grant request per applicant will be considered. Grants are awarded to projects that respond to a need identified in DLNR’s Forest Action Plan, Urban Forestry Chapter, which can be found on Kaulunani’s website: www.Kaulunani.org.

Upcoming informational webinar: Do you have an idea for a project? Join us during our upcoming webinar to learn how to enhance your proposal. We will teach you how to write a successful application and we will help fine tune your project to fit with the Kaulunani grant requirements. This informational session is a great opportunity to ask questions and get feedback for your ideas. Our staff are available to actively work with you through the application process.

Grant Information Webinar – Date: Friday, April 3rd, 12:00-1:15 pm

Zoom Meeting Link: https://zoom.us/j/416522240?pwd=eUIwME02TEJaZ0cwZDRubGoxTDdidz09

Meeting ID: 416 522 240 RSVP by April 3rd at 10 am to Jolie Dollar at jdollar@smarttreespacific.org to receive Zoom Meeting password.

For more information about the Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Program, please contact Heather McMillen, DOFAW Urban & Community Forester, at heather.l.mcmillen@hawaii.gov.

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. 

Information on Statewide Stay-at-Home Order

Effective March 25, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. through April 30, 2020, everyone in the State of Hawai‘i is required to stay at home or in their place of residence. This supplement to Governor David Ige’s emergency proclamation was announced on March 23, 2020.  Read the supplemental proclamation here

Under the proclamation, individuals may leave their home or place of residence only for essential activities, to engage in essential businesses and operations, and only if their work cannot be conducted through remote technology from home. 

Permitted Activities Outside the Home or Place of Residence

Under the order, the following activities are permitted outside the home: 

  • Travel for health and safety.
  • Travel to engage in, receive or obtain goods or services from the essential businesses or operations identified in the order.
  • Travel to engage in minimum basic operations of non-essential businesses, as well as the minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees of the business being able to continue to work remotely from their residences.
  • Travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities or other high risk persons
  • Travel from a person’s home or place of residence to the nearest airport or other facility for departure from the State.
  • Travel required by law enforcement or court order, including to transport children pursuant to a custody agreement.
  • Outdoor exercise activities so long as social distancing requirements are maintained.
  • Walking pets on a leash.

Read the full details here.

Prohibited Activities Outside the Home or Place of Residence

  • Pursuant to current guidance from the CDC, any gathering of more than 10 people is prohibited unless exempted by this Third Supplementary Proclamation.
  • All other places of public gathering will be closed to the public.

Read the full details here.

Essential businesses defined in the proclamation include: 

  • All businesses or operations identified as federal critical infrastructure sectors or designated by the Director of HIEMA.
  • Healthcare services and facilities.
  • Stores that sell groceries and medicine.
  • Food, beverage, cannabis production and agriculture.
  • Educational institutions.
  • Organizations that provide charitable and social services.
  • Media.
  • Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation.
  • Financial institutions.
  • Hardware and supply stores.
  • Critical trades, including building and construction.
  • Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery and pick-up services.
  • Laundry services.
  • Restaurants for consumption off-premises.
  • Supplies to work from home.
  • Transportation.
  • Home-based care and services. 
  • Residential facilities and shelters. 
  • Professional services. 
  • Child care services for employees exempted by this Order. 
  • Manufacture, distribution and supply chain for critical products and industries. 
  • Critical labor union functions.
  • Hotels and motels.
  • Funeral services.
  • Government functions.  

Read the full details here.

Social Distancing Requirements

All essential businesses and operations identified herein and persons engaged in permitted activities identified herein, shall exercise the following social distancing requirements to the fullest extent possible:

  • Six-foot distances between individuals
  • Hand sanitizer and sanitizing products
  • Separate operating hours for high risk populations
  • Online and remote access

Read the full details here.

Individuals Experiencing Homelessness

Persons experiencing homelessness are exempt from section I of the proclamation but must comply with the social distancing requirements to the fullest extent possible and are strongly urged to obtain shelter.

Read the full details here.

Criminal Penalties

Any person who intentionally or knowingly violates the order, if convicted, can be fined up to $5,000, or imprisoned up to one year, or both.

Read the full details here.

FHB Reducing Number of Banking Locations

First Hawaiian Bank sent the following e-mail to it’s customers on Wednesday, March 25, 2020:

We recognize that you, our customers, are counting on us for the financial support and stability that is such an important part of managing the impacts of COVID-19. As we closely monitor this pandemic, we are taking the necessary steps to help protect the safety and well-being of our customers and employees. 

In support of the “stay-at-home, work-from-home” measures implemented by the State of Hawaii, and to reduce the person-to-person contact between our customers and employees:

On March 26, 2020 we will be reducing the number of locations that offer full-service banking and regular business hours.

Through this transition, ATMs, access to safe deposit boxes and night depository services will continue to be available at all of our branch locations in Hawaii, Guam and Saipan. 

In conjunction with this change, at our full-service branch locations, we will be reserving the first hour of service to assist seniors and those who are at the highest risk.

This decision was made so we could protect the health and well-being of our customers and employees while providing a safe environment to serve your financial needs.

We also continue to encourage all customers to take advantage of FHB Online and FHB Mobile Banking* to access your account from the safety and convenience of your home. Learn how at www.fhb.com/digital.

We are committed to assisting you as we navigate the hardships caused by this pandemic. Please check our website regularly for updates and a list of full-service branches that are ready to serve you at www.fhb.com/covid19.

3 Pacific Fleet Sailors Test Positive for COVID-19

PEARL HARBOR – A Sailor assigned to a San Diego, California-based squadron, a Sailor assigned to an Everett, Washington-based ship, and a Sailor assigned to a Pearl Harbor, Hawaii-based shore command tested positive for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). 

All three Sailors are currently isolated at their residences, restricted in movement, and receiving appropriate supportive care in accordance with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Guidelines. 

Personnel who were immediately identified as having close contact with these Sailors have been notified, placed in a restriction of movement status at their residences and are being monitored.

U.S. Pacific Fleet commanders and commanding officers are committed to taking every measure possible to protect the health of our force. We remain in close coordination with state and federal authorities, and public health authorities to ensure the well-being of our personnel and local population.

For questions, contact U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs at 808-471-3769.