Governor Discusses Maui Cluster of COVID-19 Positive Cases

April 8, 2020, 2:55 PM HST · Updated April 8, 4:26 PM
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COVID-19 News Conference Speakers: • Senator Ron Kouchi, Hawai'i State Senate President• State Representative Scott K. Saiki, Hawaii House of Representatives – Majority Speaker • Alan Oshima• Lieutenant Governor Josh Green• Dr. Bruce Anderson, Director, Hawaii State Department of Health

Posted by Governor David Ige on Wednesday, April 8, 2020

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Governor David Ige shared his condolences as the state reported its sixth COVID-19 related death. The person who passed was identified as a Maui resident. This is the second COVID-19 related death of a Maui County resident.

State Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson said the Maui death involved an unattended death and was confirmed by the medical examiner. Dr. Anderson also said the 15 cluster cases on Maui are not new, contrary to earlier information provided by the Joint Information Center. He said the cases were found over time and were accounted for in earlier totals.

Gov. Ige also discussed the cluster of positive results found in employees at Maui Health. “This is a reminder that the virus does not discriminate,” said Gov. David Ige.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green said the state will now be contact testing all symptomatic and asymptomatic people who were in close contact with those who tested positive month the cluster group.

“We have the capacity to hunt this virus down,” said Lt. Gov. Green.

Second COVID-19 Death on Maui Under Investigation

Investigators from the State Health Dept. are in the process of gathering details about the second Maui resident to pass away from COVID-19.  This is an adult male over 65-years-old and is another stark reminder of the human toll this disease is exacting here in Hawai‘i. My personal condolences to the friends and family of the man who passed. This brings the total number of deaths from coronavirus statewide to six. 

Maui Hospital Confirms 15 Employees Test Positive for COVID-19

Maui Memorial Medical Center has confirmed 15 of its workers have tested positive for COVID-19. The employees were immediately sent home to self-isolate and plans are being worked on to move these employees to a quarantine site away from their families. Additionally, other hospital workers will be tested for COVID-19. Gov. Ige commented, “This is a reminder to everyone that the virus doesn’t discriminate and everyone is vulnerable – including those who are taking care of the community.” Maui Mayor Mike Victorino also released a statement saying, “I want to mahalo everyone who is on the front lines of this pandemic. These are difficult times for all of us and we are taking immediate action to assist our healthcare workers. Maui County will be redirecting any available personal protective equipment to the hospital for its staff.” Everyone is reminded once again to follow the stay-at-home order, to abide by physical distancing measures and to wear a mask to protect others when needing to be around them. N95 masks and other medical grade masks should be reserved for healthcare professionals and other first responders.

Former HECO President Appointed as Economic Recovery and Resiliency Navigator

Gov. David Ige has appointed a well-known business leader to head-up Hawai‘i’s efforts in developing a plan for economic and community stabilization, recovery and resiliency. Alan Oshima, former President and CEO of Hawaiian Electric Co., has been appointed to the newly-created role of Economic Recovery and Resiliency Navigator. Oshima will lead a collaborative effort of government and business interests, non-profit organizations, and the community in developing and implementing the Hawai‘i Economic and Community Recovery Resiliency Plan. Oshima is currently the senior executive advisor for HECO. He started that position in February, after spending five years as HECO’s president and chief executive. Commenting on the new position, Gov. Ige said, “This is an important step to address the state’s immediate needs while working on a path to economic recovery.”

Lt. Governor’s Office:

Update on Testing Policy

Hawai‘i will now be “contact testing,” which is the testing of close, intimate contacts of individuals who test positive for COVID-19. Close contacts and tests will be determined and ordered by the Hawai‘i Department of Health and/or licensed healthcare providers and conducted by the Hawai‘i State Lab and/or private labs. Identified close contacts of individuals who test positive will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days. Because some close contacts who are asymptomatic may test negative, additional testing for those individuals will be evaluated and ordered on a case-by-case basis. Contact testing will continue to be prioritized among critical infrastructure workers like healthcare providers, police, firefighters, EMS and others. Members of the general public who are asymptomatic and not deemed close contacts will not be tested at this time.

Statewide Hospital Capacity Update as of April 8, 2020

Lieutenant Governor Green, State COVID-19 Healthcare Liaison, provided an update today during the 2:30 p.m. daily news briefing:

Department of Health:

Second Death on Maui and 25 New COVID-19 Cases Statewide

The death of a Maui man, who was 65-years-old or older is being investigated as the state’s sixth death from COVID-19, and Maui’s second. Today’s count of new cases includes 25 additional adults, 14 of whom are Hawai‘i residents.  Five (5) are non-Hawai‘i residents and place of residence for six (6) others is unknown.

* Deaths reported after 12:00 midnight are included in the following days official report.

++ Includes two positive case on Molokai. 

** Refers to positive cases that have an unknown county of diagnosis at the time of this report. As more information becomes available for these cases, they are assigned to the proper County of Diagnosis. A negative number indicates the number of previously unknown cases that have now been assigned to a county.

 

Updated Multi-Language Physical Distancing Posters Available

Revised posters reminding everyone to practice physical distancing are now available online for anyone to use. The posters are written in English, Hawaiian, and Japanese, and are free to download. Everyone is encouraged to print the posters out and hang them for others to see to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Download the posters here:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/f3crddhm1dvx1e0/AADYxpbepZ5d_dpKPWFopOJHa?dl=0

 

Department of Defense:

Hawai‘i National Guard (HING) Confirms First Positive COVID-19 Cases

Two Hawai’i National Guardsmen have tested positive for COVID-19. The Guardsmen were not part of the Guard activation or in the Joint Task Force supporting various missions around the state during the pandemic. The first case involves an Airman with the Hawai‘i Air National Guard – who works a full-time civilian job. The second involves a Hawai‘i Army National Guard member, who works full-time in the HING, but started tele-working in March. Both members are in good condition and are being monitored by their medical providers. In response to the cases, Hawai‘i National Guard Deputy Adjutant General Col. Stephen Logan said, “The Hawai‘i National Guard is a big ‘ohana and it hurt us when two of our own tested positive during this unprecedented time. We will support these two Guardsmen and their families during this time of need.”

 

Department of Transportation:

Six COVID-19 Cases Confirmed on The Pride of America

Six crew members on board the Pride of America cruise ship have tested positive for COVID-19. Two of the people have been taken to the hospital for treatment. The other cases have been isolated on the ship. There are approximately 500 crew members on board. Precautionary measures have been taken including separating crew members to follow social distancing guidelines. Healthy crew members will be allowed to leave the ship to immediately depart to their home state. Those who leave Hawai’i will be required to wear masks while traveling, and quarantine at home for 14-days once landing at their final destination. The Pride of America has not had any passengers on board since March 14, 2020, when cruise ships temporarily suspended operations. Pride of America is the only cruise ship with a home port in Hawai’i.

 

Department of Land & Natural Resources

State Conservation Officers Cite 34 People For COVID-19 Rules Violations

Over the past few weeks, on O‘ahu, Kaua‘i, and Hawai‘i Island, officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) have cited 34 people for violations of State Parks rules, self-quarantine and and the governor’s stay-at-home orders, associated with the COVID-19 crisis.

Hawai‘i Island DOCARE Officers cited a 28-year-old Kailua-Kona woman, for Entering a Closed Area within Hāpuna Beach State Recreation Area which had been closed by the DLNR Division of State Parks.  A 31-year-old Russian was cited for violating terms of the State’s self- quarantine order, after being observed operating a small dinghy in an erratic manner at Waiākea Public Fishing Area in Hilo. A subsequent investigation revealed he had arrived in the Port of Hilo aboard a sailing vessel and had already been given the self-quarantine order by the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation-Harbors Division. On Kaua‘i, DOCARE Officers have cited ten people for violating State Park closures at Kalalau, Polihale, Kōkeʻe, ʻŌpaekaʻa Falls and Wailua River State Parks. DOCARE Enforcement Chief Jason Redulla noted, “In addition to these violations, aimed at keeping everyone safe during this crisis, DOCARE Officers conducting law enforcement operations recently at the long-closed Sacred Falls State Park cited ten (10) individuals. Not only were they violating stay-at-home orders and closed-area laws, they were putting their lives and the lives of emergency first-responders at risk. The park is closed for good reason.”  Eight people lost their lives and dozens of others were injured in a May 1999 landslide. Redulla noted that many of the citations happened on a day when all of O‘ahu was under a flash flood watch.  At Diamond Head State Monument on O‘ahu a dozen people have been issued citations for entering the park while closed.

 

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs:

Banking and Financial Resources Available For COVID-19

The DCCA is encouraging the public to contact their financial institutions and government agencies if they need financial assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes individuals and small businesses. Nearly $2.2 trillion is being released as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help during this time. Of that money – $349 billion will be made available for small business loans – and can be used to pay employees, cover healthcare benefits, loan and repayments, and utilities. Starting Apr. 10, independent contractors and self-employed individuals will also be able to apply.

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