News & Announcements
October 27 Resource Roundup Highlights
Posted Tuesday, October 27, 2020 3:05 pm
COVID-19 LOCAL GOVERNMENT NEWS
- State Travel Updates:
- Strategic Surveillance Testing: Lieutenant Governor Green announced the Safe Travels Testing Evaluation Program (or strategic surveillance testing program) began on October 19. The program will evaluate the percentage of arriving passengers who test positive four days post-arrival to Hawaii. 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 expected to pilot for 60 days and is being run state-wide, except for Maui County which is conducting its own second-test program.
- Now Nine Trusted Testing Partners for Inter-County Travel: The State has added Diagnostic Laboratory Services to the list of eight other trusted testing partners for inter-county travel.
- Email Created to Answer Travelers' Questions: The state has created an email account to help answer travelers' questions on the Safe Travels Hawaii program: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- State Vaccination Distribution Framework: Governor Ige gave an update on the vaccination distribution plan framework the state has been developing, prioritizing the State's population into four groups. Learn more.
- Unemployment Updates: The DLIR recently announced:
- Today, the DLIR launched Federal-State Extended benefits ("EB") to Hawaii workers who exhausted their 26 weeks of state unemployment and 13 weeks of federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). An eligible claimant may now receive up to 52 weeks of benefits with the additional 13 weeks of EB (the weekly benefit amount is the same as the individual received for regular state unemployment insurance). This chart explains how to apply for EB.
- The DLIR added 100 trained adjudicators to process claims, including the investigation and resolution of unemployment eligibility issues. The adjudicators will call both claimants and employers from an 808 number. Claimants and employers not answering calls have been problematic as some phone network services identify the calls as spam or telemarketers.
- Recently revised FAQs regarding unemployment insurance and other labor issues are available here.
- The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September was 15.1% compared to the revised rate of 13.0% in August. Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.9% in September, down from 8.4% in August.
- Have a Safe Halloween: The Hawaii Department of Health offers tips and graphics to share with employees on how to have a safe and fun Halloween during the pandemic, such as celebrating with your household members at home, avoiding door-to-door trick-or-treating, and remembering that Halloween costume masks won't protect you or others from COVID-19. Also see this guidance from the C&C of Honolulu and these tips from the CDC.
- Mayor Caldwell issued an Eighth Proclamation extending the emergency period through November 30 and Emergency Order 2020-29, which moved the City & County of Honolulu to Tier 2 under Honolulu's COVID-19 Reopening Framework. Note the following changes:
- Face coverings are no longer required outdoors in public spaces if you are with members of the same household and are at least six feet from individuals outside your household (Order 5).
- Where groups are allowed, businesses must limit groups to five and ensure groups stay at least six feet apart (Exhibit A).
- Certain businesses must collect and maintain "Sign-in Data" for contact tracing purposes (Exhibit A).
- Restrictions on many businesses have been eased and additional businesses are allowed to open, as set forth in Reopening Strategy Guidance - Tier 2 and the Guidance Memorandum.
- Oahu residents can now replace a state identification card and renew certain driver licenses without an in-person visit if they meet certain requirements. More information is available here.
- Hawaii County: Mayor Kim issued Amendment #2 and Extension to Mayor's COVID-19 Emergency Rule No. 12, which:
- Adopted two options for interisland travelers to Hawaii County to opt out of the 14-day quarantine. They can either take the test no earlier than 72 hours prior to departure, or they can get a post-arrival test from a trusted partner. The traveler must remain in quarantine until the negative test is reported and verified. Travelers must register and upload their test results to their Safe Travels Hawaii account and must have the test result with them upon arrival for airport screeners to review.
- States that persons who travel outside of Hawaii Island for medical purposes will not be subject to quarantine upon their return if they submit an exemption request and provide their flight itinerary and licensed physician letter or certification with the date(s) of appointments that are medically necessary. If the medical traveler requires a travel companion, this person must be named in the doctor's letter or certification.
- Kauai: On October 23, Mayor Kawakami issued a Fifth Supplementary Emergency Proclamation, extending the emergency period for another 60 days.
- Mayor Victorino announced the launch of a $1 million Small Business Mortgage & Rent Relief direct payment program, which will provide payments of up to $12,500 or $25,000, depending on the number of employees and business revenue in 2019. Funds will be awarded until they are exhausted, so apply now!
- On October 26, Governor Ige approved Mayor Victorino's Public Health Emergency Rules, Amended October 23, 2020. Of note:
- The following face coverings are "Unpermitted": (1) Masks with exposed external valves; (2) Neck gaiters; (3) Bandanas; and (4) Face shields without a permitted mask underneath (Rule 5(a)).
- Minor updates were made to travel provisions (Rule 12).
- Stay-at-home order issued for the island of Lanai (Rule 12(g)).
- Revisions were made to Exhibit "A" (Rules for Designated Businesses and Operations) pertaining to golf courses, food courts, close-contact personal services, and movie theaters.
- Additional details are available about the voluntary post-arrival COVID-19 testing program for returning residents and visitors. Travelers must have taken a pre-departure test to be eligible for the free post-arrival test. Travelers should take the second test 72 hours or later after they arrive into Maui County. Travelers must pre-register for the post-arrival test at www.MinitMed.com.
COVID-19 FEDERAL GOVERNMENT NEWS
- CDC Clarifies "Close Contact" Definition: The CDC clarified that a close contact includes being within 6 feet of someone for 15 cumulative minutes or more within a 24-hour period. In other words, if you spend three minutes with someone once per hour over a five-hour period, you are a close contact of that person. Likewise, taking a 10-minute break between two 14-minute meetings would also make you a close contact.
RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
- Training remote workforce on HIPAA compliance at home is essential: Employees working remotely can pose HIPAA compliance issues. What happens if someone from home sees files or materials with PHI? Did the employer send the employees equipment or are they using their own equipment? Read more from Wolters Kluwer CCH.