Wed. 4/29/20: COVID-19 Daily Update


Today’s Facebook Live Town Hall was a great discussion on reopening tourism in Hawaii: what changes are needed in our hotels and community post-COVID-19? Watch the recording here.

Our next Facebook Live is this Friday, May 1, featuring Local 5 bartender Jason Maxwell, who’ll be showing us how to make his favorite quarantine cocktails. Watch it on our Facebook page:


Hawaii gas, Hawaiian Electric extend utility cancelation moratoriums – Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Gas and Hawaiian Electric will not shut off people’s service due to non-payment until June.

Also, from the article: “Hawaiian Electric also noted that households in need of utility payment assistance — that meet the 60% state median gross annual income limit, which is $30,767 for an individual — could be eligible for up to $1,000 of Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program Covid-19 disaster energy crisis intervention assistance.”

More fixes to Hawaii unemployment system coming soon – Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Claim recertifications are expected to move to a better 24-hour online portal by Thursday or Friday. People have been having problems logging in, and this should help fix that. Currently claim certifications are being processed by a mainframe computer from the 1980s that also serves other state agencies.

Gig workers and other “independent contractors” who can’t get unemployment will be able to start applying for a special pandemic unemployment assistance, hopefully starting Friday.

Currently there are about 30 volunteers at the Convention Center helping people by phone with minor unemployment filing errors. By Monday, the state expects to increase that number to 120 volunteers.

By May 8, the state expects to have also expanded capabilities to deal with more difficult claim issues by putting some workstations for those at the Convention Center.

The Corporate Right Is Giving Us Two Choices: Go Back to Work, or Starve – The Intercept

This article talks about the strategies that the 1% are trying to use right now to get richer at the expense of working people. Basically:

  • The richest 1% need workers, because our work creates all of their wealth.
  • Because they need us, they are going to pressure workers to go back to work even if it’s unsafe, even knowing people will die. They will do this by trying to starve us out and by using the government to create rules that help them.
  • The 1% are afraid that workers will realize their true power and take back control over our government and our lives.

Trump says he won’t extend social distancing guidelines – Associated Press

The administration won’t renew its guidelines on social distancing. Despite the reasons Trump gave for doing this—which are mostly lies—the real reason is because they want everyone back to work, because workers generate all of the wealth for the rich.

As Amazon, Walmart, and Others Profit Amid Coronavirus Crisis, Their Essential Workers Plan Unprecedented Strike – The Intercept

Excerpt: “Workers from Amazon, Instacart, Whole Foods, Walmart, Target, and FedEx are slated to walk out on work [on Friday May 1], citing what they say is their employers’ record profits at the expense of workers’ health and safety during the coronavirus pandemic.”

Trump leverages the coronavirus pandemic to advance anti-immigrant policies –

Excerpt: “President Donald Trump threatened to withhold federal aid in the next round of coronavirus relief from states that do not change sanctuary city policies as he continues to leverage a public health crisis to advance his anti-immigrant agenda.”

Coronavirus antibody tests will start Thursday in Hawaii – Honolulu Star-Advertiser

To be clear: nobody knows whether having coronavirus antibodies means you are immune and can’t get re-infected. There are a lot of other diseases where once you get sick and recover, you can’t get re-infected. Hopefully COVID-19 will turn out to be one of those. But right now, we don’t know.

COVID Cases Today

World: Cases: 3.19M (+90k).  Deaths: 227k (+10k)
USA: Cases: 1.03M (+30k).  Deaths: 60.8k (+2.5k).  Total Tested: 6.0M (+200k)
Hawaii: Cases:  613 (+4).  Deaths: 16 (+0).  Hospitalized: 69 (+0). Recovered: 516 (+11)