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Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center Daily News Digest, Sept. 30, 2020

Posted on Sep 30, 2020 in COVID-19 News Releases

Office of the Governor:
Every Penny in CARES Act Funding to be Spent
100% of the CARES Act funding Hawai‘i received from the federal government will be spent. That was one of the announcements from Governor David Ige at a news briefing this afternoon.

In April, the State of Hawaiʻi received $863 million in direct payment from the federal government’s Coronavirus Relief Fund. The governor said 98% of that funding has been set aside to assist with COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, specifically to support the three priority areas of the governor’s Hawaiʻi Pandemic Plan, which are to:

During the briefing Governor Ige and other participants outlined numerous existing and upcoming programs targeted at the three priorities. “We understand the urgency for this funding. We are working together to find the best uses possible so we can get this money into the pockets of those who need it most,” said Gov. Ige.

“I want to make it clear that we do not plan to return any of the Cornovirus Relief Funds. We are going use every penny. Any funds unspent at the end of the year will be placed into the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and used to help repay a $1 billion loan that was made to pay unemployment benefits to local residents,” Governor Ige added.

Gov. Ige highlighted a couple of key funding distributions:

  • To date $51 million, of $61 million for Personal Protective Equipment has been used.
  • $4.9 million is being used to staff a 200-person unemployment call center (more details below under DLIR)
  • $75 million will be used for a restaurant card that will help unemployed residents while also giving our local restaurants a much-needed boost.

CARES-Act Funding Data Available Online 
Jill Tokuda, the Special Advisor to the Hawai‘i Data Collaborative, spoke at the briefing about the group’s dashboard that provides insight on all the federal dollars Hawai‘i has received. It also includes information about who is eligible to receive assistance due to  the impacts of COVID-19.

Tokuda explained, “The Hawai‘i Data Collaborative is a partnership with the State Office of Federal Awards Management, the House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness, and DBEDT. It tracks and monitors federal funds awarded to the state and is constantly updated.” Click on the COVID-19 tab at the top:

Department of Health: 
Two Additional Deaths and 121 New COVID-19 Cases Today  
Two (2) more O‘ahu residents have passed away due to coronavirus. One is a man, in the 20 to 29-year-old age group, who had underlying conditions and had been in the hospital. The other death is a woman, in the 70 to 79-year-old age category, with underlying health conditions and passed away in the hospital. Hawai‘i’s COVID-19 death toll now stands at 136.

Hawai‘i COVID-19 Counts as of 12:00 noon, Sept. 30, 2020

Island of Diagnosis New Cases Reported since


(including new cases)

O‘ahu 92 11,197
Hawai‘i 27 730
Maui 1 372
Kaua‘i 0 59
Moloka‘i 0 19
Lānaʻi 0 0
HI residents diagnosed outside of HI 1 33
Total Cases 121 12,410++ 
Deaths    2 136

Hospitalization count as of 9/29/20 at 3:51 pm: 13-Hawai‘i, 0-Maui, 127-O‘ahu, 0-Kaua‘i 

++As the result of updated information, one case from O‘ahu was removed from the counts, one case was 

re-categorized from O‘ahu to out-of-state, and one case was re-categorized from O‘ahu to Hawai‘i. 

Hawai‘i Case Counts and Percent Positive Tests* 

  Daily Case Count, 7-day average  % Positive, 7-day average 
Statewide 109 3.1%
O‘ahu 102 4.3%
Hawai‘i 6 1.12
Kaua’i 0 0.4%
Maui 1 0.2%

*Metrics reflect information updated as of noon the previous day. Case counts are calculated based on date of report. 

Percent positivity is calculated based on date of lab result.

Laboratory* Testing Data

There were 2,049 additional COVID-19 tests reported via electronic laboratory. 

Total Number of Individuals Tested by Clinical and State Laboratories      Positive  Negative 
298,463**  12,410  286,024 

*Electronic Laboratory Reporting **29 test results were inconclusive. 

For more tables, charts and visualizations visit the DOH Disease Outbreak Control Division: 

Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism:
Restaurant Card Program Announced to Help Workers and Business
At the governor’s news briefing Sherry Menor-McNamara, President & CEO of the Chamber of Commerce in Hawai‘i and Denise Hayashi Yamaguchi, the Executive Director of the Hawai‘i Agricultural Foundation provided details on yet another CARES Act supported initiative.

The new Restaurant Card Program is a private-public partnership that will provide pre-paid $500 cards to qualified Hawaiʻi unemployment insurance negatively impacted by COVID-19. The cards can be used at any Hawai‘i restaurant.

Menor-McNamara commented, “Since March, it’s estimated that about 60% of Hawai‘i’s businesses have fully or partially closed. This is a win-win because it provides people who’ve qualified  a little extra cash and also helps local small businesses that are struggling.”

More details on the program will be available in the coming days.

  • $500 dining cards for people who have qualified for unemployment insurance
  • Program runs from Oct. 20-Dec. 15
  • Eligible individuals will receive a pre-loaded, non-transferable card in the mail

Hayashi Yamaguchi said, “We hope this will bring a little good news to struggling individuals just in time for the holidays.” The program is being overseen by DBEDT, which is providing this information today so restaurants and the supply chain can be better prepared. More details on the program are forthcoming.


Department of Labor and Industrial Relations:
Governor Introduces New DLIR Head Who Details New Call Center
At today’s news briefing Gov. Ige introduced Anne E. Perreira-Eustaquio as the new director of DLIR. She said, “I’m glad to be in this new role, to talk about how CARES Act funding is being put to good use, and to highlight some of our progress.”

  • 96% of initial unemployment claims have been successfully filed online 
  • New 200-person call center has trained operators to answer all types of claimant questions 
  • All current local and statewide unemployment phone numbers will automatically route to the call center 

Department of Public Safety:
Mass Testing Underway at Facilities Statewide  
Staff testing at the Halawa Correctional Facility continues this week with the help of the Hawaiʻi National Guard. There were no new positive cases among the 32 additional HCF staff test results received Wednesday.

PSD’s Health Care Division is working with DOH to conduct mass testing for COVID-19 at all correctional facilities statewide. The order of the facilities next in line for inmate testing is still being worked out. PSD and the DOH are continuing mass testing of OCCC inmates to mitigate virus spread in the incarcerated population. Of the 54 inmate results received, 15 were positive and 39 were negative. There are currently no inmates hospitalized. The total number of inmates who have recovered increased to 308. The two OCCC staff results received were both negative. To view more on PSD’s planning and response efforts to COVID-19:

Helpful Resources 

  • City & County of Honolulu
    Honolulu COVID-19 webpage:

    Interisland passengers arriving on O‘ahu are not subject to the mandatory quarantine.
    To report violators:808-723-3900 or [email protected]  

Hawai‘i COVID-19 Joint Information Center
(808) 636-8194
[email protected] 

Dan Dennison
Lead Public Information Officer
Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center
[email protected]

Senior Communications Manager
Hawaii Dept. of Land & Natural Resources
Communications Office
[email protected]
(808) 587-0396