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Posted on Mar 2, 2021 in COVID-19, COVID-19 News Releases, Latest Department News, Newsroom

Governor’s Office:

HB 1278/Act 1 Reduces Employer Unemployment Contributions

At an afternoon news conference Governor David Ige signed House Bill 1278 which relates to the Unemployment Insurance Contribution Schedule for businesses and non-profit organizations.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund had a half billion- dollar reserve. By last June, it was drained, and the state began borrowing from the federal government. “To help our business community, I have directed the state to pay for any interest owning on this loan,  which amounts to approximately $30 million annually,” Gov. Ige said. He added that the federal government may forgive some of the interest payments, but not all, and not for the life of the loan.

HB 1278 is recognition that small businesses, in particular, need additional relief in order to recover and bring employment back to pre-pandemic levels. The measure allows businesses to pay unemployment taxes, on average, less than half of what they would have otherwise paid in 2021.

  • Average Schedule H taxes on employers would have been $1,800 per employee per year in 2021
  • Average tax reduced to $850, saving the employer $950 for each employee

Legislative sponsors of HB 1278, Director Anne Perreira-Eustaquio of the Dept. of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR), and a small restaurant owner, joined the governor to talk about the positive impact the bill will have on businesses statewide.

Gov. Ige concluded, “I thank the Legislature for fast-tracking the measure so DLIR can implement the changes quickly. If they had not acted, employers would have been hit with very high unemployment contributions when they could least afford it. This is another instance of the legislative and executive branches coming together to help contain the economic fallout from COVID-19.” See the full news release here:

First Hawai‘i COVID-19 Case Reported One-Year Ago

Governor Ige also marked this week as one year since the first case of COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi.

He made these points:

  • The travel quarantine and work-from-home measures we took helped protect our health
  • Most people have helped by wearing a mask, watching their distance, and staying home when they’re sick
  • Hawaiʻi continues to have the lowest case rate and the lowest death rate in the country over the course of the pandemic

Department of Health:

Daily and Weekly Preliminary Vaccine Administration Updates

The charts below will be included in the Daily News Digest, Monday-Friday.

35 New COVID-19 Cases

DOH reports 35 new cases of coronavirus. This report includes cases up until Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Full data is posted on the State COVID-19 dashboard and on the DOH Disease Outbreak & Control Division website daily:

Hawai‘i COVID-19 Counts as of 11:59 p.m. Feb. 28, 2021

Island of Diagnosis New Cases Reported since


(including new cases)

O‘ahu 18 21,984
Hawai‘i 3 2,248
Maui 13 2,231
Kaua‘i -1 182
Moloka‘i 0 27
Lānaʻi 0 108
HI residents diagnosed outside of HI 2 843
Total Cases 35 27,623++
Deaths    0 439

Hospitalizations as of 8:30 a.m. on 3/1/21 – Hawai‘i-1, Maui 11, O‘ahu-20, Kauaʻi-0

++As a result of updated information, one case on Kaua‘i was recategorized to Maui.

Restaurant Fined for COVID-Related Food Safety Placard & Permit Violations

The DOH Food Safety Branch has issued a Notice of Violation and Order (NOVO) to Doner Shack located at 79 South Pauahi St. in Honolulu. The company is ordered to pay a fine of $4,000 for removing the red placard posted at their establishment by a health inspector and for operating without a permit on three occasions.

In response to a public complaint, received on Jan. 20, health inspections were conducted at Doner Shack on Jan. 25 and 27. During both inspections, the establishment’s manager was observed working without a face mask among customers. After the first violation, a written warning notice was issued, and after the second violation, a red “closed” placard was issued to protect public health.

On Jan. 27, after a health inspector posted the red “closed” placard at Doner Shack, the owner removed the placard and refused to close, violating Hawai‘i Administrative Rules.

“Properly wearing face masks is essential to preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our food establishments,” said Peter Oshiro, Food Safety Branch chief. “It is so critical at this time for all businesses and customers to pay close attention to mask wearing requirements as this will help to bring an end to the pandemic.”

Read the entire news release:

For more information on the department’s restaurant placarding program go to

Department of Public Safety:

Statewide Inmate Testing Continues

COVID-19 testing is continuously being conducted statewide at all facilities. There were 10 inmate recoveries reported at the Maui Community Correctional Center decreasing the active positive inmate count to 29. The O‘ahu Community Correctional Center reported 18 negative inmate results.

For more information on PSD’s planning and response efforts to COVID-19:

Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority:

11,865 Passengers Arrive on Monday

Yesterday, a total of 11,865 people arrived in Hawai‘i from out of state. A total 6,809 people indicated they came to Hawai‘i for vacation. There were also 1,468 returning residents. The trans-Pacific passenger arrival data is derived from data provided by the Safe Travels digital system.

To view more:

Helpful Resources

Trusted Testing and Travel Partners:

The state of Hawai‘i only accepts Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) from a certified Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) lab test results from Trusted Testing and Travel Partners. For the full list of domestic trans-Pacific, inter-county, international and airline partners or information on how to become a Trusted Testing Partner, go to:

Safe Travels Hawai‘i Program:
Program overview:


Email: [email protected]

Call Center Number: 1-800-GO-HAWAII

COVID-19 Vaccine Status in Hawai‘i and FAQs:

Vaccine Call Center: 808-586-8332

COVID-19 Expanded Dashboard (Tables, Charts, and Visualizations):

Safe Travels Digital Platform:

Kaua‘i County:
Kaua‘i COVID-19 webpage:
To report violators:

Vaccine Information:

Maui County:
Maui County travel and COVID-19 information:

To report violators: (808) 244-6400 or [email protected]

Hawai‘i County:
Hawai‘i County COVID-19 webpage:

Critical infrastructure and medical travel request: 
To report violators: 808-935-3311

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

COVID-19 Vaccine Information:

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

Media Contact:

Hawai‘i COVID-19 Joint Information Center

(808) 636-8194 

[email protected]