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Saturday, October 10, 2020
October 10, 2020 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:23 PM :: 1934 Views

27,000 Hawaii workers exhausted jobless benefits in September

How to stop the exodus

COVID Rules: Rejected, Kauai Tries Again

New Federal Lawsuit Seeks to Expand Voting Rights in U.S. Territories

COVID Count 73 new cases out of 3,084 tests

Miske’s Lawyer Megan Kau Not Elected Prosecutor Yet—Already Fixing Tickets

ILind: … Honolulu attorney and candidate for Honolulu prosecutor, Meghan Kau, bristles at the suggestion that an offer she made to assist people cited for violating COVID emergency rules is like “buying votes.”

(KNOW THEM BY WHAT THEY DENY!)

That was one of the criticisms aimed at Kau on the “My Kailua” Facebook page, where the administrator solicited readers to submit any citations received to be forwarded to Kau for her “assistance.”

I asked Kau what she was doing to assist people, and how she would respond to the critics. She was direct and straightforward in her responses.

Kau said she has provided “hundreds of people” with a form letter that a person who has been charged with violating emergency rules can submit to the court contesting the charges and asking that they be dismissed….

Aug 20, 2020: Megan Kau Hired by Miske – Will she be 3rd Prosecutor in a row to have a Miske Connection?

read … Megan Kau: “I help people. That’s what I do.”

Gov. Ige approves second COVID-19 test for out-of-state visitors to Hawaii County

KHON: … Gov. David Ige has approved Hawaii County’s request to administer a second COVID-19 test for out-of-state visitors starting on Oct. 15. The tests will be administered at Kona International Airport in addition to the pre-travel testing program that also is set to begin on Oct. 15….

Mayor Harry Kim says travelers will be tested upon arrival with a rapid test. The results of the test will be available within 30 minutes.

If the result comes back positive, the visitor will be quarantined until they can be administered a PCR test. PCR tests are considered to be the gold standard of COVID tests, according to Mayor Kim.

Those that receive a negative result will not be required to quarantine.

Kim says that all costs and logistics of the second test will be handled by the County of Hawaii….

SA: 2nd test tentatively approved for travelers to the Big Island

HTH: Kim reaches agreement with Ige on COVID testing for travelers

read … Gov. Ige approves second COVID-19 test for out-of-state visitors to Hawaii County

Report: Hilo veterans home employee stayed on the job for 3 days after COVID-19 exposure

HNN: … The coronavirus outbreak at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo may have begun with an employee who worked ― despite being linked to a large cluster.

That conclusion was included in a state Health Department report that seeks to understand what contributed to one of the deadliest outbreaks in the state.

The state Office of Health Care Assurance released its findings Friday following a month-long inspection of the home, where 71 residents and 35 employees have tested positive for the virus since August. Twenty-seven of those residents have died….

Shockingly, the report also revealed an employee of the facility contracted the virus from a 20-person cluster and went to work for three days before finding out he tested positive….

CB: State Inspection: Maintenance Crew Likely Spread COVID-19 At Veterans Home 

SA: Hawaii Department of Health rescinds citation given to operator of Hilo veterans home

read … Report: Hilo veterans home employee stayed on the job for 3 days after COVID-19 exposure

Life Care reports third death

HTH: … Life Care Center of Hilo on Friday reported a third COVID-related death at the facility, bringing the total number of Big Island deaths attributed to the virus to 37….

An outbreak at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home has claimed the lives of 27 residents; six deaths, unrelated to outbreaks at two long-term care facilities in Hilo, have occurred at Hilo Medical Center; and one death has been reported at Kona Community Hospital.

As of Friday, 14 more Life Care residents and one additional employee have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, bringing the case counts there to 46 and 11, respectively….

read … Life Care reports third death

Hundreds stranded more than 6 months after American Samoa sealed its borders

HNN: … American Samoa has not seen a single case of COVID-19.

That’s because the government sealed off its borders early on in the pandemic, worrying the virus would overwhelm its only hospital.

All non-essential commercial flights in and out of the US territory were suspended in late March.

That’s left those who were in American Samoa visiting family stranded there, unavailable to leave.

Epifania Rapozo, a Washington State resident, flew to American Samoa in February with her two children to visit family. They’ve been trying to find a way out for nearly seven months.

She said being stuck has been a nightmare and she’s appealing to political leaders for help.

“We are here. We are your people. We are crying out for help. I don’t know more what we can say or do,” she said. …

Nonprofit agencies in Honolulu are also asking Hawaii leaders for help, including to allow those stranded outside of American Samoa to go home.

There are an estimated 500 people with ties to American Samoa who are stranded across the country, with about 200 of them in Hawaii.

“We have more than 100 families that are stuck here in Hawaii and we’ve been trying to provide them assistance, food, as well as support,” said Elisapeta Alaimaleata, executive director and founder of Lefetuau Samoan Language Center in Honolulu….

read ….Hundreds stranded more than 6 months after American Samoa sealed its borders

COVID-19 is taking a heavy toll on residents' mental health, experts say

HNN: … “We are just nonstop busy,” said Kumi Macdonald, the head of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Hawaii. Macdonald said since the start of the pandemic call volume has doubled.

She says the initial surge came a week after the governor shut down the state.

“Once the Black Lives Matter and the riots happened, oh my gosh, it skyrocketed again,” said Macdonald. “And then again when that new stay-at-home, partial stay-at-home was enacted.” …

read … COVID-19 is taking a heavy toll on residents' mental health, experts say

Public schools begin second quarter Monday, guidelines still not finalized

KHON:  … Almost all students will start school where they ended their first quarter–distance learning from home….

“Right now, we understand that most of the schools have already decided their learning plans for the fall based on the previously released guidance and that they are taking a more conservative stance than what was received in the September 15th guidance–and that’s fine,” Kemble said.

She added that the DOH is in the process of revising the guidelines, and added that they will be more conservative than what was previously released….

(Translation: They are trying to concoct an excuse for HSTA members to stop reporting to work while continuing to get paid.  Just like last Spring.)

HPR: 'The Big Experiment': Alaska School District Returns To Classrooms

CB:  DOE Schools Could See Updated Health Guidance Next Week

SA: Hawaii’s public schools opt for different approaches this quarter

read … Public schools begin second quarter Monday, guidelines still not finalized

Hawaii Ed Board Chair Expects Acellus To ‘Drop Dead’ By End Of School Year

CB: … Acellus Learning Accelerator, the controversial distance learning platform relied upon by many Hawaii public schools during this period of remote learning, will likely be eliminated by the end of the school year, according to state Board of Education documents released Friday.

“Acellus will be discontinued. Schools may phase out the program by the end of the 2020-21 school year,” says a memo from BOE Chairwoman Catherine Payne to the rest of the board.

The memo adds that families who are currently relying on Acellus while their kids are out of the classroom be “allowed to switch to another learning option immediately.” …

read … Hawaii Ed Board Chair Expects Acellus To ‘Drop Dead’ By End Of School Year

Sex Harassment: Civil Rights Commission still Allows ‘Confidential Settlements’

TGI: … The Hawai‘i Civil Rights Commission in the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations announced two new laws that affect employers and strengthen Hawai‘i’s nondiscrimination laws.

Act 17 is a new law prohibiting employers from requiring an employee to enter into a nondisclosure agreement pertaining to sexual harassment or sexual assault as a condition of employment.

Confidential settlement agreements are not prohibited. Act 17 also prohibits employers from retaliating against an employee for disclosing or discussing sexual harassment or sexual assault….

Act 51 amended an existing law and limits the age of convictions that may be considered in employment decisions. The new law reduces the time period that convictions can be considered from 10 years, excluding periods of incarceration, to seven years for felony convictions and five years for misdemeanor convictions, excluding periods of incarceration….

Related: How Hawaii Civil Rights Commission Covers Up Sex Harassment Reports

PDF: The 2020 Legislature Passed Two Acts Extending Civil Rights in Hawaiʻi

read … New laws strengthen employees’ civil rights

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