Sun. 4/5/20: COVID-19 Daily Update

NEW RESOURCE: HARDSHIP LETTER TEMPLATE TO LANDLORDS OR LENDERS

We added a letter template to our Resources Page that you could send to your landlord or lenders if you are experiencing financial hardship. Click here to download the letter template.

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

Here’s the latest breakdown of Hawaii’s coronavirus cases by patient ages (Hawaii News Now April 5, 2020)

You can see some of the statistics at the link, generally elderly require more hospitalization though younger adults 20 and up make up a significant portion of confirmed cases.

Kaiser Permanente Offers Free Coronavirus Treatment Through May (Big Island Now, April 5, 2020)

Out-of-pocket costs for health treatment related to the coronavirus are now free to all Kaiser Permanente members. It applies to to all inpatient and outpatient services from April 1 to May 30.

Local 5 represents 2,000 Kaiser Permanente workers who are continuing to provide excellent patient care amid this pandemic.

Gov. Ige, lawmakers face grim budget scenario with tough choices ahead (Star Advertiser, April 5, 2020)

Article discusses some projected losses in tax revenues by percentages and dollars and talks about various legislative bills that will be de-prioritized now, as well as new actions that need to be taken to address the economic fallout of the COVID crisis. It talks about the minimum wage increase being threatened (which may be a good thing if it was only going to be $13/hour four years from now). Scheduled raises for public workers are a huge cost item that will have to be dealt with, and there are talks about using furloughs like in the 2008 Recession.

What does it take to convert a hotel bedroom into a COVID-19 care room? (NBC, April 5, 2020)

The article summarizes the logistics and best practices of converting hotel rooms into patient care facilities. It goes over furniture and cleaning best practices as well as preferred renovations (like removing carpet) and creating a negative air pressure rooms.

Hotel to Healthcare Concept (H2HC) (US Army Corp of Engineers)

There are two very good documents from the Army about converting hotel rooms/floors into patient care facilities. You can view the written Concept of Operations here and diagrams of physical floor plan layouts here.

COVID Cases Today

World: Cases: Cases: 1.3M (+100k).  Deaths: 69k (+4k).  Recovered: 263K (+17k)

USA: Cases: 337k (+26k).  Deaths: 9.6k (+1.2k).  Recovered: 17.5k (+2.8k)

Hawaii: Cases:  371 (+20).  Deaths:  4 (0).  Hospitalized: 21 (+2). Recovered: 85 (+3)

Sat. 4/4/20: COVID-19 Daily Update

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

Hawaii Democrats push back primary, switch to all-mail ballots (KITV, April 4, 2020)

Hawaii’s Democratic Presidential Primary was supposed to be held today, but has been changed to mail-in ballots due to COVID-19. Democratic party members will receive mail in ballots for the Democratic Primary Election that must be returned by May 22. Results will be announced on May 23.

Need a fabric mask? Some tips on how to get one (KHON, April 4, 2020)

With the CDC recommending everyone wear at least a cloth mask while out in public, KHON provides a link to some places to get or buy cloth masks. You can learn to make your own mask using video tutorials here.

CORONAVIRUS HASN’T STOPPED JARED KUSHNER’S REAL ESTATE EMPIRE FROM HOUNDING TENANTS WITH DEBT COLLECTION, EVICTION LAWSUITS (The Intercept, April 4, 2020)

Trump’s son-in-law’s family real estate companies continue to evict, collect debt, and file lawsuits in the midst of the COVID crisis fallout.

Daily drive-thru testing continues (KITV, April 4, 2020)

Hawaii Pacific Health hospitals are now offering drive-thru testing seven days a week.

All four hospitals in the Hawaii Pacific Health system are continuing to host daily drive-thru testing. It runs from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. The hospitals are Straub, Pali Momi, Wilcox Medical Centers and Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children. You must have a doctor’s note to get tested.

Security company seeks up to 300 new employees (Pacific Business News, April 3, 2020)

Securitas is looking for more security guards. Go to securitasjobs.com for more info.

The coronavirus shutdown is revealing America’s troubling obsession with work (Business Insider, March 31, 2020)

Based on data from OECD countries, even if the US stayed shutdown for two months, the average US worker would work about the same number of hours as the average German worker. That is about ten and a half 40-hour workweeks more than a German worker per year. A typical American worker also worked about six weeks more per year than the average French or UK worker.

See how your community is moving around differently due to COVID-19 (Google.com)

Here’s a fun and interesting way Google is using your physical GPS data to show how human movement has changed in COVID crisis.  You can view different geographies and see how traffic has changed to place categories like “work”, “grocery”, “parks”, etc.

COVID Cases Today

World: Cases: Cases: 1.2M (+100k).  Deaths: 65k (+6k).  Recovered: 246K (+20k)

USA: Cases: 311k (+33k).  Deaths: 8.4k (+1.3k).  Recovered: 14.7k (+5k)

Hawaii: Cases:  351 (+32).  Deaths:  4 (+1).  Hospitalized: 19 (+1). Recovered: 82 (+4)

Fri. 4/3/20 COVID-19 Daily Update

We created a new page on our website with resources, such as food and grocery assistance, rent and mortgage assistance, and more. Please visit this page often as we will be updating it regularly as more resources become available, including information from our Hotel Industry Credit Union and Local 5’s Hardship Fund.

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

COVID Cases Today

World: Cases: Cases: 1.1M (+100k).  Deaths: 58.9k (+5.9k).  Recovered: 226K (+15k)

USA: Cases: 278k (+33k).  Deaths: 7,152 (+1.1k).  Recovered: 9.8k (+0.8k)

Hawaii: Cases:  319 (+34).  Deaths:  3 (+1).  Hospitalized: 18 (+3). Recovered: 78 (+6)

CDC Now Recommends Americans Consider Wearing Cloth Face Coverings In Public (NPR, April 3, 2020)

CDC now recommends that people wear cloth or fabric face coverings, which can be made at home, when entering public spaces. It is mainly to prevent those people who have the virus — and might not know it — from spreading the infection to others.  You can read CDC news release here.  But Donald Trump will not take that advice saying CDC recommendation is “voluntary” and that he will not wear a face mask in public.

Board of Ed Waives High School Graduation Requirements

The state Board of Education on Thursday approved the Hawaii Department of Education’s request to waive high school graduation credit requirements for seniors primed to graduate this year. Seniors in good standing through the third quarter will receive a high school diploma.

Governor Ige activates National Guard on Friday (KITV, April 3, 2020)

250 National Guard members are being called into service to help with emergency management.  Furthermore, the article says that 33 hotels in Hawai’i want to participate in the Hotels for Heroes program and the HTA says it is working with police departments, fire departments, and healthcare workers on the front lines.  The hotel stays will begin on Monday, April 6th and reservations are being taken now.   Also, visitors arriving with no place to stay are being turned away and sent back on airplanes (recent news report revealed that four homeless people flew into hawaii one day and one family came in with no hotel reservations). 

Coronavirus: More than 500 die in New York overnight with 100,000 reported cases (Independent April 3, 2020)

Thu. 4/2/20: COVID-19 Daily Updates

NEW RESOURCES PAGE

We created a new page on our website with resources, such as food and grocery assistance, rent and mortgage assistance, and more. Please visit this page often as we will be updating it regularly as more resources become available, including information from our Hotel Industry Credit Union and Local 5’s Hardship Fund.

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

Coronacare Hawai‘i (Corona Care Hawaii)

Corona Care Hawaii is a community organization set up to connect volunteers with people who need help due to the COVID crisis. You can volunteer to help your community or ask for help through the website.

More drive-thru COVID-19 testing to be offered in Waipahu and Kakaako this weekend (Star Advertiser, Apri 2, 2020)

On Saturday 4/4/20, drive-through testing will be held at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex on Waipio Point Access Road from 8am to 12pm.

On Sunday 4/5/20, drive through testing will be at Kakaako Waterfront Park at Ilalo and Cooke streets from 8am to 12pm.

Only people showing symptoms are asked to show up for screening and testing. For more information on testing, please call Premier Medical Group Hawaii at (808) 304-8816 or (808) 367-6020.

To prevent spread of virus, mayor asks all Oahu residents to wear a cloth mask in public (HawaiiNewsNow, April 2, 2020)

Mayor Kirk Caldwell is asking all Oahu residents to wear a cloth mask when they go into the community, including when they exercise or grocery shop. The mayor stressed that cloth masks are appropriate for residents, not the more specialized N95 masks that should be reserved for health care workers. The mayor encourages people to have 3 or 4 masks ready and washed daily and hung to dry. People can spread the virus for up to three days without showing symptoms. Make your own mask video tutorials are available here.

State reports second coronavirus-related death in Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow, April 2, 2020) 

The second death in Hawaii is a woman in her 50s on Oahu.

A coronavirus recession will mean more robots and fewer jobs (Vox, March 31, 2020)

This article says studies have shown that major recessions always lead to increased technology in the workplace, even though it sounds counter-intuitive because of up-front costs of tech implementation, recessions change the calculus so that tech implementation makes financial sense. After this major recession is over, we should expect major shifts in AI software and technology.

COVID Cases Today

World: Cases: 1.0M (+65k).  Deaths: 53k (+7k),  Recovered: 211k (+21k)

USA: Cases: 245k (+31k).  Deaths: 5,983 (+1.1k).  Recovered: 9k (+0.2k)

Hawaii: Cases: 285 (+27).  Deaths:  2 (+1).  Hospitalized: 15 (0). Recovered: 72 (+2)

Wed. 4/1/20 COVID-19 Daily Updates

UNITE HERE Local 5 members help open quarantine/triage site for homeless patients (with photos)

The quarantine site opened today with the help of Local 5 hotel workers who assisted with sanitation and set up of the facility. The site has 26 units, 102 quarantine beds, and will be able to do up to 200 COVID-19 screenings every day.

 

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

Hawaii officials answer questions for tenants and landlords in wake of the coronavirus crisis (Star Advertiser, April 1, 2020)

The Hawaii Dept. of Commerce and Consumer Affairs released a guide to questions about rental tenants in the wake of Gov Ige’s eviction ban in response to COVID-19 Crisis.  You can view the guide at the DCCA’s Office of Consumer Protection page here. 

As stay-at-home order continues, president approves Hawaii disaster declaration (Hawaii News Now, April 1, 2020)

Hawaii will now have access to more federal relief funds after officially being declared a federal disaster zone.

As hotels plead for ‘second’ stimulus, Honolulu stares down more than $2.9B in outstanding debt (Pacific Business News, April 1, 2020)

Hotel associations are saying the industry needs a separate financial bailout and special protection from lender and loan servicers because of cashflow loss.  The article points out that billions of dollars of hotel mortgages are in Collaterized Mortgage Backed Securities (CMBS), and that these CMBS mortgage debts are inflexible and hard to restructure as opposed to more traditional bank or lending sources.  Foreclosures and fire sales are expected.

Updates from the United States:

  • A 1,000-bed Navy ship, the Comfort, has arrived in New York City. The ship has 12 operating rooms, a medical laboratory and more than 1,000 officers. See the video here.
  • Federal judges block 3 states from enforcing abortion bans tied to the pandemic. Ohio, Iowa, Mississippi, Alabama and Oklahoma are among the other states that recently moved to suspend access. The judges on Monday lifted restrictions Texas, Ohio and Alabama imposed on abortion during the coronavirus pandemic in decisions that could have repercussions for several more Republican-led states that have deemed the procedure non-essential during the crisis. Read more here.
  • ArizonaVirginia, and Washington D.C.have now joined dozens of other states in issuing stay-at-home orders. You can see all the states that currently have stay-at-home orders and advisories

COVID Cases Today

World: Cases:  935k (+84k). Deaths:  46k(+4k). Recovered: 190k(+14k)

USA: Cases: 214k (+26k).  Deaths 4.8k (+937) . Recovered: 8.8k.

Hawaii: Cases: 258 (+34).  Deaths:  1 (0).  Hospitalized: 15 (+2). Recovered: 69 (+11)

Tue. 03/31/20: COVID-19 Daily Update

HELPFUL REMINDERS RE: FILING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT

Visit our website to read some helpful reminders regarding filing for unemployment.

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

Hawaii’s first coronavirus-related death was older Oahu man with multiple health issues (Hawaii News Now, March 31, 2020)

The man’s identity and official cause of death have not yet been released. We send our condolences to this man’s family and loved ones. May he rest in peace.

It’s easier for airlines to apply for $29 billion in bailouts from the US government than it is for people to apply for unemployment benefits (Business Insider, March 31, 2020)

The $29 billion offered to airlines for payroll support until September 30 has an absurdly simple five-page application form you can view here. Meanwhile, we have thousands of workers in Hawaii who are still struggling to file for unemployment.

Local 5 represents airline catering workers who work for United Airlines and Gate Gourmet. Like most hospitality workers, they are also experiencing temporary lay-offs and cut hours.

Honolulu’s mayor calls on president to stop all non-essential travel to Hawaii (Hawaii News Now, March 31, 2020)

According to the Mayor, only the President can stop all non-essential travel to Hawaii. Caldwell reports that some travelers are still coming to Hawaii, including 121 on Monday. This included a family of four who arrived with no hotel reservations.

Governor expands state’s mandatory quarantine to include inter-island travelers, too (HawaiiNewsNow, March 30, 2020)

The 14-day mandatory self-quarantine for air travelers in Hawaii has been expanded to include inter-island travel. It will go into effect Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 12:01am and extend through April 30, 2020.

Police statewide are starting to crack down on mandate (KHON March 31, 2020)

Police are starting to crack down, especially on beachgoers. You can go the beach to do individual exercise like surfing, swimming or paddling, but you cannot stay still on the beach.

The Honolulu Police Chief reported 1,500 warnings, 180 citations, and 9 arrests associated with stay at home order violations. The HTA is calling the 800 tourists on quarantine twice a day; if nobody answers, they will notify the HI Emergency Management Agency. Click for a list of do’s and don’ts for the islands: Kauai, Maui, Honolulu, Big Island.

DOE adds new schools to list of ‘grab and go’ meal locations (KHON, March 31, 2020)

The following schools are being added on a staggered basis:

  • Starting March 30, Central Oahu: Kaala Elementary School, Kipapa Elementary School; Maui District: Lokelani Intermediate School
  • Starting April 1:
    • Leeward Oahu: August Ahrens Elementary School, Barbers Point Elementary School, Ewa Beach Elementary School, Honowai Elementary School
    • Windward Oahu:  Hauula Elementary School
  • Starting April 6: Hawaii Island: Hilo Union Elementary School

You can view the full list of grab and go meal locations and details here.

Experts say Hawaii unemployment rate may hit 25% (Star Advertiser, March 30, 2020)

University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization (UHERO) predicts unemployment will bottom out around 25% in Hawaii. UHERO notes there is vast uncertainty in the projections because “there is no comparison for this.” UHERO predicts the unemployment rate will begin to drop back down later in the year after peaking in the second quarter.

Hawaii to get $1.2B in direct cash payments to residents as part of stimulus package (Hawaii New Now, March 30, 2020)

Here’s a breakdown on the funding slated for Hawaii:

  • $1.25 billion for state and county response efforts
  • $1.14 billion (estimated) in unemployment assistance
  • $1.24 billion (estimated) in direct cash payments to Hawaii residents
  • $130 million (estimated) for food stamps
  • $53 million to support local schools and colleges
  • $11 million for community health centers in Hawaii
  • $8 million in community development block grants

In Saturday’s daily update, we included an article by Politico which states that the stimulus package gives people who are unemployed an extra $600 per week for up to four months, on top of the state unemployment benefits. A group of GOP senators threatened to block a vote on this, but were luckily unsuccessful.

Individual Tax Relief (Senator Schatz, March 30, 2020)

A summary of benefit and links for individual tax relief measures, including:

  • Tax filing and payment delayed to July 15
  • Penalty-free withdrawals from retirement accounts
  • Loans from retirement plans
  • Temporary waiver of required distribution rules for retirement plans and accounts
  • Expansion of charitable tax deduction
  • Student loan payments by employers

COVID Cases Today

World: Cases:  858k (+73k). Deaths:  42k(+4.7k). Recovered: 178k(+13k)

USA: Cases: 189k (+25).  Deaths 3.9k (+860) . Recovered: 178k.

Hawaii: Cases: 224 (+20).  Deaths:  1 (+1).  Hospitalized: 13 (+1). Recovered: 58 (+3)