Mon. 6/29/20: COVID-19 update


We posted a new resource on our Local 5 webpage: Any persons receiving SNAP (Food Stamps/EBT) benefits are eligible to receive 50% of locally grown produce at participating grocery stores when they present DA BUX card.

Most current SNAP holders should have automatically received a Double Up Food Bucks card in the mail sent by DHS. If you have not, please contact Latonya Smith at (808)201-3937 x 14. Click here for the flyer.


Union expresses concern about hotel worker safety (KITV, June 28 2020)

Excerpt: “Unite Here Local 5 claims it has reached out to several major hotels asking to be part of the discussion about new safety policies regarding COIVD-19 but says only one agreed to discuss.”

Union organizes mass COVID-19 testing for hospitality workers, it calls on employers to follow suit (KHON 2, June 25, 2020)

Excerpt: “The union leaders of Unite Here Local Five said they are stepping-up where hotel employers are not, they are organizing mass COVID-19 testing for hospitality workers and their families this Saturday [June 27, 2020] in anticipation of tourism reopening.”

Interviews with Union Leaders: Gemma Weinstein, Union President, Unite Here Local 5 (Hawaii Business Magazine, June 29, 2020)

Excerpt from Local 5 President Gemma Weinstein’s interview with Hawaii Business Magazine: “In the process of reopening our hospitality industry, the state should be involved in enforcing the health and safety protocols and holding our employers accountable in keeping our state COVID-free. Workers shouldn’t have to choose between health and wealth. Workers can have these both only if government and employers will do the right thing. Test, Test, Test.”

Vacant Waikiki building slated to be a Marriott timeshare trades for $75M (Pacific business News, June 29, 2020)

A delayed news article on the ownership of the Nike town building slated to become a 110-unit Marriott timeshare.   Reports that Athos Capital Partners is the current owner.  No building permits have been filed yet, according to the article.

AirBnB: New rules in place to help regulate Kaua’i short-term rentals (KITV, June 29, 2020)

Under the Memorandum of Understanding, rental hosts without a valid Tax Map Key (TMK) will be removed from the AirBnB platform. Hosts will have to input a TMK number on the listing page to appear on the website. Kaua’i allows short-term rentals in designated areas. The new agreement is said to make it easier for the county to keep track of listings outside of those areas.

The plan for testing visitors is still murky, but bookings are already coming in (Hawaii News Now, June 29, 2020)

The article gives zero background on visitor bookings, except to say that “visitors are booking vacations to Hawaii in August.”

Unemployment office changes call center hours while new issues delay payments (Hawaii News Now, June 29, 2020)

Blocks of time will now be used to make outgoing calls from the UI office. No incoming calls are allowed during those times.

State Teachers Union, DOE Agree To Reopening Terms (Civil Beat, June 29, 2020)

Social distancing, hand washing, and face masks in the classrooms/schools among other rules are included in this agreement.

American joins United in plans to fill planes to capacity (ABC, News 6/28/20)

American and United will start filling their planes with no social distancing gaps in seating starting July 1st, as the U.S. has just reached record number of COVID cases. Other airlines will maintain their seating caps for some time longer. There will be some policies for flyers to avoid crowded flights if possible.

COVID Cases (since June 28, 2020)

World: Cases:  10.3M (+200k). Deaths: 505k (+4k).

USA: Cases: 2.59M (+90k).  Deaths: 126k (+300).

Hawaii: Cases:  900(+1).  Deaths: 18 (+0).  Hospitalized: 111 (+0). Recovered: 722 (+3)