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


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


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)