Hawaii - COVID-19 Covered

Hawaii

Total Cases: 37,067 (June 15)
Tests Administered: 28,699 (March 5)
Fatalities: 506 (June 15)
Testing:
  • Information on COVID-19 testing in Hawaii can be found here. 

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • Governor Ige issued an executive order declaring the list of essential services includes: healthcare services and facilities; stores that sell groceries and medicine; food, beverage, cannabis production and agriculture; educational institutions; organizations that provide charitable and social services; media; gas stations and businesses needed for transportation; financial institutions; hardware and supply stores; critical trades; mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery, and pick-up services; laundry services; restaurants for consumption off-premises; supplies to work from home; supplies for essential businesses and operations; transportation; home-based care and services; residential facilities and shelters; professional services; child care services for certain employees; manufacture, distribution, and supply chain for critical products and industries; critical labor union functions; hotels and motels; funeral services; and government functions. (March 23)

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • Governor Ige and the Hawaii Department of Labor & Industrial Relations announced the job search requirement that was suspended during the pandemic would be reinstated on May 30. (May 20) 
  • The Hawaii Department of Health announced it would enforce physical distancing requirements for food establishments across the state. Businesses that fail to comply will be forced to close. (July 10) 
  • Governor Ige signed an executive order allowing out of state physicians to dispense prescriptions without registering with Hawaii officials, and permitting the Department of Human Services to relax childcare guidelines, establish an employment and training fund, relax unemployment qualifications, and expand telehealth and online notary services. (March 29) 
  • Hawaii launched the Reducing Unemployment Disruption & Driving Economic Regeneration (RUDDER) program to train unemployed individuals for government positions and reduce unemployment. (March 23) 

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Governor Ige extended the statewide eviction moratorium for an additional two months. (June 9) 
  • The Hawaii Department of Human Services and the Hawaii State Department of Education announced there would be a third round of Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program benefits allocated to children who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, or attend a Community Eligibility Provision school during the COVID-19 pandemic. (April 9) 
  • The Hawaii Public Housing Authority opened its Section 8 housing vouchers waitlist to low-income families on Oahu who already had a place to live and a landlord willing to participate. (October 30) 
  • Hawaii instituted a restaurant cash card program to provide financial support to the unemployedResidents would receive $500 in pre-loaded debit cards to spend at local restaurants. (October 2) 
  • Governor Ige announced a $100 million rent relief and housing assistance program for unemployed or partially unemployed workers. (September 9) 
  • Governor Ige made several modifications to the state legislature’s proposed budget, including changes to unemployment benefits and housing/rental assistance. (July 31) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor Ige signed a bill into law that would set the employer contribution tax rate at a lower level with Schedule D for 2021 and 2022. (March 3) 
  • Hawaii launched the Hawaii Business Pivot Grant program, which would provide small businesses with reimbursement grants to cover expenses incurred from implementing changes to their operations, products, and services due to the pandemic. (October 21) 
  • The Department of Human Services announced that $15 million in CARES Act funds would be available to support licensed childcare programs. (October 5) 
  • Hawaii launched a program to help workers displaced by COVID-19 that would match workers with companies in emerging industries and sectors such as conservation, renewable energy, agriculture, creative arts, aerospace, entrepreneurship, and STEM fields. (September 21) 
  • The Honolulu City Council approved a resolution that would provide rent relief to businesses through a grant program for landlords. (September 11) 
  • Honolulu Mayor Caldwell announced $2.6 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to help the fishing industry. (July 8) 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • Governor Ige announced the end of all restrictions for inter-county travel beginning June 15. (June 7) 
  • Governor Ige lifted the statewide outdoor mask mandate. (May 26) 
  • Governor Ige announced that the statewide mask mandate would remain in place. (May 17) 
  • Governor Ige signed a proclamation that would allow inter-county travelers vaccinated in Hawaii to bypass the pre-travel testing and/or quarantine requirement starting May 11. (May 10) 
  • Governor Ige approved Kauai’s request to move into Tier 3 reopening metrics. (May 7) 
  • Governor Ige announced that fully vaccinated travelers who received their vaccine in Hawaii would be permitted to travel inter-county (Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii) without having to take a pre-travel test or quarantining for 10 days. (April 22) 
  • The Hawaii Department of Health announced that individuals 60 years of age and older would be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine beginning March 29. (March 29) 
  • Oahu announced it would move to Tier 3 reopening metrics, which would allow bars to reopen under the same conditions as restaurants, end capacity limits on funerals, and permit businesses to serve alcohol until midnight. (March 12) 
  • Governor Ige approved Kaua‘i to rejoin the Safe Travels pre-travel testing program for Trans-Pacific travel, effective April 5. (March 8) 
  • Governor Ige approved Oahu to move to Tier 3 reopening metrics, which allowed residents to dine in groups of up to ten, have funeral services of up to 25, and attend group fitness classes indoors with up to ten individuals. (February 24) 
  • Governor Ige approved Oahu’s amended emergency order, which implemented Tier 2 restrictions. (February 12) 
  • Governor Ige approved Kauai’s request to implement a pre- and post-travel testing program for visitors who stay in “resort bubble” hotels. (January 4) 
  • Governor Ige signed an emergency proclamation that reduced the state’s mandatory self-quarantine period for travelers entering the state and traveling between counties from 14 to 10 days. (December 18) 
  • Governor Ige released updated COVID-19 vaccine plans. (December 11) 
  • Governor Ige approved Kaua‘i Mayor Derek Kawakami’s request to place a temporary moratorium on Kaua‘i’s participation in the state’s pre-travel testing program. Effective December 2 at 12:01AM, all transpacific and intercounty travelers arriving in Kaua‘i would be subject to a 14-day quarantine, regardless of testing. (November 27) 
  • Governor Ige signed a 16th COVID-19 emergency proclamation requiring all transpacific travelers to have a negative test result from a trusted travel partner before their departure for the State of Hawai‘i, in order to bypass the 14-day quarantine. (November 23) 
  • Governor Ige issued an emergency proclamation that extended and clarified the statewide mask mandate. (November 18) 
  • Governor Ige approved Honolulu Mayor Caldwell’s order that moved Oahu into the second stage of reopening, under which gyms, personal care services, and other activities would be able to resume. (October 23) 
  • Governor Ige approved Honolulu Mayor Caldwell’s decision to remove the current stay-at-home order and transition to a fourtier “COVID-19 Recovery Framework.” (September 23) 
  • Honolulu Mayor Caldwell extended Honolulu’s stay-at-home order with changes to allow for limited outdoor activities. (September 9) 
  • Governor Ige signed an emergency proclamation that mandates the use of masks and extends the eviction moratorium. (August 21) 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • The Hawaii State Department of Education released athletics guidelines for high schools that meet certain criteria: the school must deliver either an in-person or blended learning model of instruction, and athletic activity must align with where their respective island falls within DOH’s learning model matrix, based on daily average cases and positivity rate. (March 8) 
  • The Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) will resume providing free meals for students at 203 schools beginning October 12 through December 18. (October 14) 
  • The Hawaii Board of Education approved a set of directives, including enforcing 6 feet of physical distancing on campus, proper mask-wearing at school, and ensuring classroom ventilation to the greatest extent possible. (October 2)  
  • The Department of Health released new guidance on school reopeningsThe guidance uses metrics to determine when schools should utilize remote learning, traditional classroom instruction, or a hybrid option. (September 18) 

State Higher Education:

  • A list of Hawaii colleges and universities that planned to reopen in the fall can be found here. 
  • The University of Hawaii System added the COVID-19 vaccination to its student health clearance requirements for the Fall 2021 semester. (May 17) 

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