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Posted on Oct 20, 2020 in COVID-19 News Releases, Latest Department News, Newsroom

Governor’s Office:

Pivot Grant Program Launching to Help Small Businesses During Pandemic   

Help is on the way for thousands of small Hawai‘i businesses. At a news briefing today, Gov. David Ige announced that the State of Hawai‘i is partnering with the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii to launch the Hawai‘i Business Pivot Grant program. The program will provide approximately 2,500 small businesses and non-profits with grants up to $10,000 to reimburse them for expenses incurred while making changes to their business models since the pandemic’s arrival in March 2020. The program’s objective is to help small to mid-size businesses who employ tens of thousands of Hawai‘i residents and are central to the state’s economy, financially cope during COVID-19.

In the briefing Gov. Ige said, “In recent months, businesses have had to show creativity and grit just to survive. In other words, they’ve had to ‘pivot’ from one way of working to something radically different. This has meant changes such as investing in e-commerce, reconfiguring spaces, and altering customer sales processes. Companies that are able to successfully pivot, will not only survive, but thrive. This grant helps take some of the pressure off businesses and helps them figure out how to pivot in this new environment.” Chamber of Commerce Hawaii President and CEO Sherry Menor-McNamara added, “We hope this grant will help ease the burden on companies who are making the shift, while inspiring others to rethink ways that they can add to their resilience of their business.”

In order for businesses to qualify for the grant program, the business must have less than 100 employees, operate in a physical commercial space in Hawai‘i, have suffered economic injury due to COVID-19, and have been in business prior to March 20, 2020. Expenses they can be reimbursed for include but aren’t limited to; web design and social media, improving automation or training, and implementing physical distancing measures. The grant application portal opens on Thursday, Oct. 22 and will remain open through Nov. 23, as long as funds are available. To view more:

Lieutenant Governor’s Office:

Strategic Surveillance Testing Begins  

The Safe Travels Testing Evaluation Program (or strategic surveillance testing program) began yesterday. The program will evaluate the percentage of arriving passengers who test positive four days post-arrival to Hawai‘i and is intended to add an additional layer of safety and evaluate the effectiveness of the Safe Travels Hawai‘i pre-travel testing program. Participants are randomly chosen and represent 10% of all arriving passengers. The second test is free and voluntary for selected individuals to participate. The program is being led by Dr. F. DeWolfe Miller, epidemiologist and professor at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM), with help from participating UH faculty. Pharmacies, healthcare facilities, and hotel properties have been identified as testing sites.

Letters of notification have already been emailed to selected individuals whose information is in the Safe Travels digital system. The letter includes a program overview and list of testing locations. The program is expected to pilot for 60 days and is being run state-wide, except for Maui County which is conducting its own second-test program. Maui County intends to share its results with Dr. Miller’s team. Dr. Miller and his team are conducting the study independently and will release data as appropriate.

Department of Health:

Two COVID-19 Deaths Reported 

Two (2) COVID-19 deaths were reported today by DOH involving O‘ahu residents. The first involved a man between 70-79 years old, who had an underlying condition and was hospitalized at the time of his death. The other involved a woman over the age of 80, who had an underlying condition, but died at home. Additionally, 91 new COVID-19 cases were reported today.

Hawai‘i COVID-19 Counts as of 12:00 noon, Oct. 20, 2020

Island of Diagnosis New Cases Reported since


(including new cases)

O‘ahu 61 12,552
Hawai‘i 24 1,083
Maui 2 394
Kaua‘i 0 60
Moloka‘i 0 19
Lānaʻi 0 0
HI residents diagnosed outside of HI 4 48
Total Cases 91 14,156++
Deaths    2 189

Hospitalization count as of 10/19/20 at 4:08 pm: 13-Hawai‘i, 2-Maui, 66-O‘ahu, 0-Kaua‘i 

++As a result of updated information, three cases from O‘ahu were removed from the counts.  

DOCD Map Changes From 28 Days to 14 Days

The maps presented on DOH’s Disease Outbreak Control Division’s (DOCD) website have transitioned from covering the past 28 days to covering the past 14 days. The 14-day window provides a more accurate display of recent disease activity, as many of the cases reported within this window are more likely to be potentially infectious and still be required to be in isolation. To view the maps:

Department of Public Safety:

Broad-Based Testing Continues at Correctional Facilities Statewide 

PSD’s Health Care Division is working with DOH, the Hawai‘i National Guard (HING) and community partners, to conduct mass testing for COVID-19 at all correctional facilities statewide. Inmate testing is underway at the Maui Community Correctional Center and the Kaua‘i Community Correctional Center. DOH testing of the O‘ahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC) inmates is ongoing. There were no new test results received today for OCCC staff or inmates. Additionally, 97% of inmates and 86% of staff who tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered. To view more on PSD’s planning and response to COVID-19:

Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority: 

HTA Continues Campaign to Educate Visitors 

“It’s more than where you go. It’s how you stay.” That’s the message behind a new video that’s being played to visitors before and after they arrive in Hawai‘i. It’s part of the Kuleana Campaign, which was launched last year through a partnership between HTA and the Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB).

The new video encourages travelers to wear a mask, wash their hands, keep six feet apart, and share aloha with fellow travelers and residents. The video has been sent to airline, hotel, and activity partners to share with their customers within email confirmations, inflight, in-room and on property as available. In addition, when visitors log in to their Facebook and Instagram accounts, the video will pop up on their feeds while they’re in Hawai‘i through geo-targeting technology. The Kuleana video was launched last week in coordination with Hawai‘i’s new pre-travel testing program, which started on October 15. It allows trans-Pacific travelers to bypass the state’s mandatory 14-day self-quarantine with a negative test result from a trusted testing and travel partner.

In a few weeks, HTA and HVCB will also launch the Mālama Hawai‘i Campaign in key West Coast source markets. It will encourage potential travelers to Mālama Hawai‘i – to take care of our earth, ourselves, and each other. The Mālama Hawai‘i video will let visitors know that while now is the time to explore and rejuvenate, it’s also a time to learn and to responsibly participate in unique experiences that give back to Hawai‘i. To view more:

5,858 Passengers Arrive on Monday 

Yesterday, a total of 5,858 people arrived in Hawai‘i from out of state. The bulk of the passengers, or 1,968 people, indicated they came to Hawai‘i for vacation. There were also 1,304 returning residents. The trans-pacific passenger arrival data is derived from data provided by the Safe Travels digital system.

To view more: 

Helpful Resources 

Safe Travels Hawai‘i Program
Program overview:


Call Center Number: 1-800-GO-HAWAII

COVID-19 Tables, Charts, and Visualizations

Trans-Pacific Passenger Arrivals Statistics 

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

Rest, Test, Enjoy! Voluntary post-arrival test:

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:
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]