Wed. 5/6/20: COVID-19 Daily Update


Our Local 5 Resources Page continues to be updated regularly. We added the Hawaii Foodbank’s Emergency Food Assistance page.

We also added information on federal and state rent moratoriums, which includes information for public housing tenants and other renters. Thanks to the Medical-Legal Partnership for Children in Hawaii for providing this great resource.


Today’s Facebook Live Town Hall continued our discussion on reopening Hawaii tourism, with guests from other labor unions that also represent airline & airport workers: Jamie Estrada (Machinists Union, Local Lodge 1979), Kevin Batey (United Airlines Association of Flight Attendants, Council 14), and Lisa Marie Akau (American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1234, representing TSA employees at the airport).

Local 5 represents airline catering workers who work for United Airlines and Gate Gourmet, as well as HMS Host food service workers at Honolulu, Kahului, and Lihue airports.

If you missed the live discussion, you can watch the recording here.

Don’t miss our next Facebook Live session this Friday, May 8 at 5:00pm! Watch here:


How An Antiquated IT System Failed Thousands Of Hawaii’s Unemployed – Honolulu Civil Beat. 

Part of the reason so many people are having trouble with their unemployment claims is because the state is using a 40-year-old system to process the claims.

Second coronavirus wave: How bad will it be as lockdowns ease? – Associated Press. 

Excerpt: “A century ago, the Spanish flu epidemic’s second wave was far deadlier than its first, in part because authorities allowed mass gatherings from Philadelphia to San Francisco.”

Excerpt: “New confirmed daily infections in the U.S. exceed 20,000, and deaths per day are well over 1,000, according to the Johns Hopkins tally. And public health officials warn that the failure to lower the infection rate could lead to many more deaths—perhaps tens of thousands—as people venture out and businesses reopen.”

The article notes that outside of New York City (where infection rates are falling significantly), the infection rate for the rest of the country is actually still rising.

Health experts say it’s too soon for Hawaii to reopen – Honolulu Star-Advertiser. 

Excerpt: “‘Opening malls is brain-dead. That’s just inviting crowds. That’s just foolish. One thing we know about the virus is it loves crowds. The last thing we want to do is bring people together,’ said Dr. Tim Brown, an infectious-disease modeler and senior fellow at the East-West Center.”

Honolulu To Allow Delayed Property Tax Payments – Honolulu Civil Beat. 

Homeowners, who normally have to pay property tax in February and August, will be able to split their August payment into four chunks this year, to be paid over the course of four months from August through November. They don’t have to do anything special to take advantage of this; they should receive “coupons” in the August bill. There are no penalties or interest.

We Don’t Have to Live in a Society of Massive Inequality and Unnecessary Death – Jacobin. 

Excerpt: “Whether Republican or Democrat, the American ruling class prioritizes the stock market and corporate profits over human safety and dignity. Businesses’ right to make money has always superseded our right to live. Even in “normal” circumstances, workers are used and abused. Millions of us have to work until we die, with no pension or retirement. Nearly 75 percent of us will die in debt. And in the pandemic, things are even more dire: showing up to your low-wage job can get you killed.”

The U.S. Response to Covid-19 Has Lavished Wealth on the Rich – In These Times. 

Excerpt: “According to a recent report from the Institute for Policy Studies, America’s billionaires saw their wealth shoot up by $282 billion in just 23 days as the country was sheltering in lockdown. Overall, U.S. billionaire wealth grew by nearly 10% at the same time over 20 million people filed for unemployment, and by April 10 had passed $3.2 trillion—topping last year’s level.”

COVID Cases Today

World: Cases: 3.75M (+99k). Deaths: 264(+7k)
USA: Cases: 1.23M (+30k). Deaths: 73.4k (+2.4k). Total Tested: 7.7M (+200k)
Hawaii: Cases: 626 (+1). Deaths: 17 (+0). Hospitalized: 73 (+0). Recovered: 551(+0)