Mon. 5/18: COVID-19 Daily Update


Oahu residents who are being economically impacted by COVID-19 can apply to the City & County of Honolulu’s new Hardship Relief Program. If you meet the criteria, you may receive up to $1,000 per household per month and up to $500 additional per month for childcare services. We placed this on our Local 5 Resources page. Click here for more information.


LIVE: Governor outlines plan for reopening economy, extends traveler quarantine through June 30 (Hawaii News Now, May 18, 2020)

The visitor 14-day quarantine will last until June 30th. The state has created a four-phase plan; we are in phase 2, with planned June re-openings of “medium risk” businesses like restaurants, gyms, hair salons, churches, museums, and theaters.

High-risk businesses like bars, clubs, and large venues do not have an expected reopening date. Caldwell stated he got permission from Ige to reopen Honolulu restaurants in Hawaii on June 5th.  Maui will reopen hair salons on May 25th.

All these reopenings will require infection control measures like social distancing and face masks. You can view Ige’s order and slideshow of the reopening plan by clicking here.

State setting aside $635M in federal stimulus funds for unemployment (Hawaii News Now, May 18, 2020)

A state house bill will take $635 million of the $1.25B billion federal stimulus funds allocated to Hawaii to be used to fund state unemployment claims. Employers will not be on the hook to replenish the depleted fund thorough payroll taxes. Other provisions of the bill direct federal money to the counties and funding for various state COVID responses. The state house will vote on the senate bill soon.

Hawaii Medicaid Applications Soar Amid Widespread Job Losses (Civil Beat, May 18, 2020)

Applications for the state’s Medicaid program jumped 40% with 21,000 applying since March.  There are 348,000 residents enrolled in the program as of May 11.

“People Will Die. People Do Die.” Wall Street Has Had Enough of the Lockdown (Vanity Fair, May 18, 2020)

If you want to read about how the “other side” views the life vs. money and health vs. reopening the economy debate, you can read this anecdotal article with some choice quotes (such as “This is not a 100% death rate. It’s a number of basis points,” or, “There’s got to be some kind of blanket indemnity” to protect employers from any liability for endangering or harming the public after reopening).

COVID Cases Today

World: Cases: 4.8M (+100k).  Deaths: 318k (+3k).
USA: Cases: 1.5M (+20k).  Deaths: 90.3k (+800).  Total Tested: 11.8M (+300k).
Hawaii: Cases:  640 (+0).  Deaths: 17 (+0).  Hospitalized: 82 (+0). Recovered: 5754 (+1).