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Wednesday, September 9, 2020
September 9, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 6:21 PM :: 703 Views

HGEA Retaliation:  Hawaii Dept Of Health Whistle-blower Forced Out with Bogus Firearm Threat

Kokua Council files action with the Hawaii Supreme Court to compel the Department of Health to increase the number of contact tracers in Hawaii

Caldwell Extends Lockdown with Amendments--What's Open

Ige Announces Rent Relief Program

Senators: Allow Travel Between Sister Isles with COVID Test

Thought Control: UH Manoa 'Truth' Commission gets National Spotlight

Spy News: State’s Safe Travels app already needs upgrades a week after roll-out (location tracking coming soon)  

KHON: … The app requires everyone traveling to Hawaii from the mainland and from Oahu to the neighbor islands to register online and allows multiple state and county agencies to access information. But changes are already being implemented, pushing the cost of the app to over the $1 million mark.

In the eight days since the apps launch, more than 27,000 people have booked into the system according to Hawaii Enterprise Technology Services Chief Information Officer Doug Murdock….

“We have one concern where people aren’t able to do their daily check-in. We have about 10,000 people in quarantine right now. About 600 have’t been able to do their daily check in,” Murdock explained.

There are also problems validating phone numbers and addresses. Murdock said both issues are being fixed.

The app is meant to expedite the travel screening process, collect vital health and travel information, help state and counties monitor those in quarantine, address violations and protect the public in real time. All of that involves a great deal of communication and coordination between multiple agencies….

“We’re building a more robust dashboard because an important element of this is to provide data to the counties so they can do law enforcement. Our focus right now is on analyzing errors in the data and problem areas and getting the dashboards correct so counties can do their job,” Murdock explained

He said they’re also creating a calling system that will make automated outbound calls and allow daily check-ins via phone.

Upgrades to the dashboard will cost roughly $100,000, and the chatbot and call in capabilities will cost another $300,000. When added to the initial $638,000 it cost to build the application, it brings the total cost to more than $1 million.

According to Murdock, that doesn’t include the help desk in the application which costs another $500,000 for the first four months….

Murdock said though it is possible to add location tracking to the application, the attorney general has advised them not to add it yet. Location tracking is one of the things Governor David Ige said the app would be capable of doing….

read … State’s Safe Travels app already needs upgrades a week after roll-out

COVID Pau project -- $1M for ‘a large social media and personal story component’ (Na’alehu Anthony and Amy Kalihi again)

SA: … A group of local businesses and nonprofit organizations are providing Hawaii residents with real-time data to stop the spread of COVID-19 so that the economy reopens sooner and if it must close that only parts of it must shut down.

Today, they launched COVID Pau, a new website featuring local COVID-19 health data, information and videos of the pandemic’s effect on local families.

The initiative, which is a part of House Speaker Scott Saiki’s House Select Committee on COVID-19, is “aimed at fulfilling the unmet need for public health data our community can use to control the spread of COVID-19.”

A press conference was livestreamed on Facebook today at 9 a.m. to discuss the new project. Featured guest speakers included Saiki, Hawaii Pacific Health President and CEO Ray Vara and Hawaii COVID Collaborative Director Nāʻālehu Anthony….

We are privately funded up to $1 million to launch this campaign…

Vara said members of the collaborative and their private-sector partners put up the money for the initiative….

Anthony described the effort as “a call to action to say that we want to create change in our community through really good information, through analysis of that information, and through sharing of resources.”

They’ll be a large social media and personal story component to COVID Pau to help the data sharing hit home. “This is really about storytelling and how it is we write the last chapter for our people,” Anthony said….

(Of course you can rest assured that Anthony is not funneling money for media production to his girlfriend.  He would never do anything like that.)

read … VIDEO: COVID Pau project launches with goal of ‘fulfilling unmet need for public health data’ or social media or something

Not Wanting To Wait For The State, Marshallese Take On Own Contact Tracing

HPR: …Pacific Islanders in Hawaii are being disproportionately hit by the pandemic. They're 4 percent of the population and more than 30 percent of the state’s COVID-19 cases. The state has struggled to bring that number down, prompting at least one Pacific Islander community to take matters into their own hands.

Over the past six months, Hawaii’s Marshallese community has set up grassroots rapid response teams on all major islands. They’ve organized food and mask drives—and now are about to train community volunteers to do contact tracing.

"We wanted to be part of the solution," said Hilo Dr. Wilfred Alik heads the all-volunteer Marshall Islands COVID-19 Task Force.

"Really the focus of the task force is on the education piece. The more information people have, the better decisions they can make. And that information has to be where they can understand, it’s in their language, and culturally competent and sensitive.

The soon-to-be trained contact tracers would also provide information on wrap-around services  like health care and rental assistance; as well as follow-up support to explain COVID-19 test  results or how to properly quarantine -- all of it in the Marshallese language.

 Task force member Kelly Bolken hosts the Marshallese hour every Wednesdays on local radio  station KDNI in Honolulu.

He tries to pack as much information on COVID-19 into the show as he can because it’s in his native tongue and he knows his community is listening.

That is actually the biggest challenge in the community. A lot of our people don’t understand English….

read … Not Wanting To Wait For The State, Marshallese Take On Own Contact Tracing

Team from the state to review COVID response at veterans home in Hilo as Virus Spreads to Other Big Island Nursing Homes

HTH: … A state team will be assembled today to conduct a review of the COVID-19 outbreak response at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home, and the virus was reported in two more Big Island long-term care facilities.

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said the county has been requesting a review of the situation and confirmed Tuesday it would take place….

The situation at the veterans home “is just not acceptable,” he said.

(Because the first COVID positive patients were not removed from the facility,) a total of 59 Yukio Okutsu residents and 20 staff members have now tested positive for COVID-19 in the two weeks since two employees initially tested positive in late August….

Cases also were reported Tuesday at two more Hilo facilities.

An employee of Life Care Center of Hilo tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Sept. 6 and an employee at Hale Anuenue Restorative Care Center tested positive for COVID-19 on Aug. 31.

Both facilities are operated by Life Care Centers of America.

In a statement provided Tuesday, Life Care Center of Hilo Executive Director Mark Mann said all 210 associates were tested for COVID-19 and every resident was being tested Tuesday.

The results of those tests are currently pending and no residents are currently exhibiting symptoms.

In a follow-up email, Mann said about 150 staff results had so far come back negative….

read … Team from the state to review COVID response at veterans home in Hilo

9th coronavirus fatality reported at Hilo veterans home

HNN: … A ninth resident at a Hilo care home struggling to respond to a coronavirus outbreak has died after testing positive for COVID-19, officials said.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson said a total of 59 residents and 20 employees at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home have tested positive for the virus. 3 residents have been hospitalized. 74 veterans and their spouses live at the facility.  (Only 15 residents still COVID-negative.)

A spokeswoman for Avalon Healthcare Group which manages the veterans home says Hi-EMA is coordinating an outside review of the facility which will start soon. On Wednesday, Premier Medical Group will launch three rounds of testing for residents, staff and their close family members.

“The facility has its pandemic plan in place and is prepared to expand its COVID unit following all CDC guidelines,” said Allison Griffiths of Avalon Healthcare Group.

Ashlee Mahi-Miyasaki says her 72-year-old father, Darnell Mahi, a Vietnam veteran, was part of first wave of positive cases at the facility last month. He spent 2 days in the ICU at Hilo Medical Center and is now cleared of the infection, but is still battling stage 3 colon cancer and trying to catch up with family….

read … 9th coronavirus fatality reported at Hilo veterans home

Kalihi Has The Worst COVID-19 Outbreak In Hawaii. Here’s How The Community Is Responding

CB: … State data shows the 96819 zip code reported 1,396 total cases thus far, the highest of any zip code in the state. Nearly two-thirds were identified in the last 28 days.

That’s 261 cases per 10,000 people, more than twice the islandwide rate. And it’s worsening — in August, about 30% of Kokua Kalihi Valley patients who got tested for coronavirus received positive test results….

read … Kalihi Has The Worst COVID-19 Outbreak In Hawaii. Here’s How The Community Is Responding

Disturbance at Hilo’s correctional center contained after fire, barricades

HNN: … A Department of Public Safety spokesperson said the incident began around 3:45 p.m. and was contained by 5:30 p.m.

Hawaii County police say it all started after an affray within the facility that led to a riot and a fire.

“The police department was called by HCCC for assistance in securing their perimeter," said Lt. Todd Pataray with the Hawaii County Police Department.

DPS said responding personnel “used non-lethal means to subdue inmates, gain compliance and bring order back to the housing unit by 5:30 p.m.”

Trisha Gives said she could hear screams from inside the jail.

“The inmates were screaming, yelling, cursing, cussing. Mostly they were screaming, ‘Help! Get me out! They treat us like dogs!’” said Gives.

(Translation: Even though we don’t have COVID in this facility, we expect to be rewarded with a release right now.)

DPS previously added the incident involved inmates in the A-wing of the Wainuenue housing module. They allegedly set a fire within the building and barricaded doors.

Video sent to Hawaii News Now showed smoke pouring out of the facility with inmates and staff standing outside.

“There are 25 inmates in that housing wing who will all be questioned to determine what prompted the unrest and who was directly involved. Inmates found culpable will be criminally and administratively charged,” officials said.

Crews from the Hawaii Fire Department were dispatched to the scene along with added police and State Sheriffs who were called to assist. An EMS team also responded.

Minor injuries among inmates from the initial fight were reported by county police. Multiple corrections officers also suffered smoke inhalation and respiratory issues from the fire…. 

HNN: DPS: Hilo jail disturbance erupted as a protest to a shakedown contraband search

HTH: Officials: Inmates barricade themselves, set fire and riot at HCCC

KHON: ‘Public safety has things that need to be corrected,’ a lawmaker says as a riot occurs at HCCC 

CB: Prisoners housed in Waianuenue are sentenced felons (laughing at you because they are only) serving short sentences of less than two years.

read … Disturbance at Hilo’s correctional center contained after fire, barricades

In-flight emergency exposes alarming problem with key alert systems at Honolulu’s airport

HNN: … When an aircraft has an emergency, seconds make a difference.

But Hawaii News Now has learned the system that simultaneously alerts first responders of an emergency at Honolulu’s airport has not worked in months and another alert system is not functioning properly.

That situation led to a delay in notifying responders following an in-flight emergency Saturday….

The primary crash network allows everyone on the federal level to be notified at one time, including the FAA tower, Hickam tower and airfield, the Joint Dispatch Center and Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting.

Because the system has been down, each agency has to be called one by one — using a landline….

The secondary crash network is a separate system to notify all state level responders: Airport medical staff, the Sheriffs Division, and the airport duty manager, to name a few.

But the secondary network was not functioning Saturday during the Atlas Air emergency.

Sources say it took multiple attempts before it worked….

read … In-flight emergency exposes alarming problem with key alert systems at Honolulu’s airport

Vacation rental bills up for first reading Friday

MN: … Two bills that would put a pause on new vacation rental permits on Lanai and prevent long-term rentals from becoming vacation properties in some districts are up for first reading before the Maui County Council on Friday.

The first measure calls for prohibiting the issuance of bed-and-breakfast and short-term rental home permits on Lanai until caps can be established (hell freezes over.)  Right now, there are no limits for transient accommodation permits in the district….

Another bill that’s also up for first reading Friday would prevent long-term rental and owner-occupied properties from converting to transient vacation rental use in the apartment, light industrial and heavy industrial districts….

read … Vacation rental bills up for first reading Friday

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