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Ka‘ū News Briefs, Monday, May 4, 2020

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Hawaiʻi Farmers United encourages home gardeners to sign up for a food safety webinar next week. Find
out how to register for the limited space Zoom event, below. Photo from HFUU

WHILE HAWAIʻI COVID-19 CASES ARE DWINDLING, with no deaths on this island, deaths related to novel coronavirus nationwide could reach 134,000 in less than 12 weeks. The prediction, today, from University of Washington School of Medicine's Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation, is a stark increase from its earlier projection of 72,000 deaths by August. The "premature relaxation of social distancing" in many states is the reason for the change in the evaluation, said IHME's director, Dr. Christopher Murray. The model for the new prediction still depends on an increase in testing and contact tracing, and isolating victims throughout the country. It also depends on the assumption that summertime temperatures will tamper down the virus spread. It shows the cases per day declining slowly to August.
     A more dire prediction comes from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, which advises the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. It predicts that cases per day will increase. By June there will be 3,000 deaths per day, with 175,000 new cases per day nationwide. The recent peak nationwide was 37,000 cases per day.
     It appears that the State of Hawaiʻi, with only one new case today, is planning to reopen businesses and public interaction slowly, but maintain the 14-day quarantine for people coming from outside the state for months to come. The University of Hawaiʻi, which plans to open its campuses in late August, announced 14 days of quarantine for students from outside of Hawaiʻi. See story below.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

UNIVERSITY OF HAWAIʻI-HILO AND HAWAIʻI COMMUNITY COLLEGES PLAN TO OPEN  CAMPUSES ON AUG. 24 for Fall instruction. The announcement came today in a letter to students regarding opening all 10 UH campuses statewide. UH President David Lassiter wrote that online lectures can take the place of the big lecture hall gatherings, while interactive classes will be
conducted with distancing within classrooms. Students from outside the state will be quarantined at housing provided by the University for 14 days before classes begin.
     To enroll in UH-Hilo, see hilo.hawaii.edu
To enroll in Hawaiʻi Community College, see hawaii.hawaii.edu/apply.
     Chaminade University and Hawaiʻi Pacific University on Oʻahu also announced resumption of in-person classes.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

TOURISM COULD RESTART IN LATE JULY, and about half the unemployed workers in the state could be mostly employed by the end of the year, according to projections provided to the state
legislature. Carl S. Bonham, PHd., Executive Director of University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization, gave a presentation today to the state House of Representatives Committee on COVID-19. He said the overall state economy could reach about a 75 percent recovery by the end of the year. Tourism could be up to about 28 percent of its peak in September.
     The outlook depends on the state coming up with more testing and contact tracing in order to isolate anyone with COVID-19, to prevent a second wave of the virus.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

MANY BUSINESSES THROUGHOUT THE STATE COULD BE OPEN BY THE END OF THE MONTH, according to Gov David Ige. Low contact retail that can minimize contact between employees and customers will be first with other businesses phased in, said the governor during his press conference. Restaurants are more complicated, said the governor, who said he is working with the Hawaiʻi Restaurant Association to come up with distancing protocols and the expansion of delivery services.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

FOODBANK AND HAWAIʻI FARM BUREAU NEED REUSABLE FOOD BAGS for their Farm to Car and free food distribution programs. Nicole Pfeffer of Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture said, "Due to the impacts of COVID-19, orders for reusable bags will take a month to get here. Please let us know if you have any reusable bags you are willing to donate and where we can pick them up. The need is Statewide."
     Contact Pfeffer at nicole.y.pfeffer@hawaii.gov or (808) 973-9573 . See hdoa.hawaii.gov/add/md/.


ELECTIVE SURGERIES ARE AGAIN AVAILABLE at Hilo Medical Center, which performs many surgeries needed by patients of Kaʻū Hospital and its Kaʻū Rural Health Clinic. Without any COVID-19 patients checking in to either hospital during the pandemic, non-emergency surgeries are proceeding, according to the Hilo Medical Center newsletter.
     Though there is only a small number of COVID-19 cases remaining in the Hawaiian Islands, the hospital promises extra precautions in line with the pandemic and follow best practices to ensure high standards of safety.
     COVID-19 screening for surgeries includes testing, self-quarantine before procedures, social distancing, and self-monitoring. Patients will be tested for COVID-19. They will also be called and screened the day before surgery, and screened for symptoms when entering the hospital. Hilo Medical Center's no-visitor policy remains in place.
     In the newsletter, hospital staff sent out a mahalo to the community for helping flatten the curve, and to all those who donated personal protective equipment, refreshments, snacks, and "a whole lot of love and support!" Read the Hilo Medical Center newsletter.


To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

AGRICULTURAL BUSINESSES ARE URGED TO APPLY for Economic Injury Disaster Loans, says a message from Andrea Kawabata, a University of Hawaiʻi Agricultural Extension Agent who works with many Kaʻū Farmers. Today, May 4, the Small Business Administration began accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan applications on a limited basis, specifically to provide relief U.S. agricultural businesses. The SBA will process up to $10,000 of economic relief per business. The funds will not have to be repaid.
     Applications are accepted on a first-in, first-out basis, and Kawabata urges applicants to go to the online application portal as soon as possible. Applicants who have already submitted applications will not need to reapply and will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
     Submit an application here. Review a webinar on applying for the loan and reference a tutorial video that walks through the application process, step by step. Questions about this application or problems providing the required information? Contact the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or TTY: 1-800-877-8339, or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov.


To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

FOOD SAFETY IN HOME GARDENS WEBINAR is offered by the University of Hawaiʻi College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Farm Food Safety Team next Wednesday and Thursday, May 13 and 14, from  to  The webinar will provide an opportunity for home gardeners to learn about food safety.
     The webinar will cover: slug and snail management; handling produce in the kitchen; and Good Agricultural Practices in the Garden, such as personal hygiene, fertilizers, water, tools, and harvesting.

     Speakers will be Joshua Silva from Oʻahu, Kylie Tavares from Maui, and the CTAHR Farm Food Safety Team.
     Register for the May 13 webinar here. Register for the May 14 webinar here. Limited to the first 100 registrants, per webinar. Contact Tavares at kylielw@hawaii.edu with questions.


To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

IT'S BIO-LOGICAL "to build immunity via community, breathing deeply of nature's life giving bounty and staying active, outside, in the garden, under Hawaiʻi's glorious sky," says the latest news from Hawaiʻi Farmers Union United. The communication also says, "It is inspiring to see how local farmers and food hub operators are coming together to fortify food access while those stuck at home are rediscovering the simple joy and satisfaction of gardening and cooking." See more on the Hawaiʻi Farmers Union United here or see hfuuhi.org.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

Kaʻū is District 6 for representation on the County Council and takes up
more territory with the smallest population density of any of the
nine districts. Volunteers are sought for the Redistricting Commission.
CANDIDATES FOR VACANCIES ON HAWAIʻI COUNTY'S REDISTRICTING COMMISSION are sought. The district boundaries are for the purpose of confirming the geographical areas served by the Hawaiʻi County Council members. Hawaiʻi County must fill one vacancy for each of the nine districts by July 1, 2020, and up to when the redistricting plan is filed – no later than December 31, 2021. Travel expenses to and from meetings are reimbursed to the volunteer commissioners.
     The Redistricting Commission establishes the boundaries of the Council districts every 10 years. 
     The Mayor's Office will fill the vacancies. Application forms are available online at hawaiicounty.gov/office-of-the-mayor. For further information, contact Rose Bautista, Executive Assistant to the Mayor, at 961-8211 or at rose.bautista@hawaiicounty.gov.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

SEVERAL WASTE COLLECTIONS SERVICES ARE SUSPENDED through the end of May due to COVID-19 concerns, says a statement from County of Hawaiʻi's Solid Waste Division.
     Greenwaste collection is suspended in Volcano, Kealakehe, Keʻei, Pāhoa, Keaʻau, and Waimea Transfer Stations, but continues in Hiloat East Hawaiʻi Organics Facility from to , daily, and in Waikoloa at West Hawaiʻi Organics Facility from to , Monday thru Saturday.

     Scrap Metal and White Goods collections are suspended at Volcano, Waiʻōhinu, Pāhala, Hilo, Keaʻau, Pāhoa, Keʻei, Kealakehe, Puakō, Waimea, Hāwī, Honokaʻa, and Laupāhoehoe Transfer Stations. See hawaiizerowaste.org/recycle/scrap-metal/ for a list of other metal recyclers.

Through the end of May, metal and white goods disposal is suspended at Pahala and Volcano. Greenwaste
collection is suspended at Volcano. Photo by Julia Neal
     County Electronic Device Recycling collection programs are suspended. See hawaiizerowaste.org/recycle/e-waste/for other resources. County HI-5 Certified Redemption Centers are temporarily closed. See hawaiizerowaste.org/recycle/hi5/ for a list of location and hours for other HI-5 Certified Redemption Centers. County Reuse Centers are temporarily closed. See hawaiizerowaste.org/reuse-2/ for a list of other reuse centers.
     Residents are encouraged by the county to use the other service providers or hold onto their items until collection at transfer stations resume. "We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and understanding as we tackle the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic." See hawaiizerowaste.org website for locations and future closure information.


To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

No COVID-19 cases so far in the zip code areas of Volcano, 
Pāhala, and Ocean View. White indicates zero cases, light 
yellow indicates one to five cases. The 96772 area in 
Kaʻū has one case recorded. Map from DOH
ONE NEW DEATH FROM COVID-19 was reported in the state today, bringing the total to 17. Calling it "another reminder of how deadly this disease is, and the way that COVID-19 continues to hurt our community," Governor Ige expressed his deepest condolences to the family and friends of the latest Hawai‘i resident to fall victim to coronavirus.
     He said, "Nevertheless, things are getting better every day. The numbers continue to look very good. With only one new case announced today, we are confident that we have flattened the curve." The governor indicated that testing capacity remains strong and hospital capacities are very manageable. This means, the governor said, "With these kinds of numbers we are looking to further ease restrictions and will continue our phased approach to re-opening our local economy."

     Ige said, with some non-essential businesses reopening, "such as florists, cetain real estate services, car dealerships, automated and mobile service providers, golf courses, and services provided on a one-on-one basis," everyone must remain vigilant. He thanked everyone who has started patronizing these businesses and "reminds us that all safety guidelines outlined in his emergency proclamation need to be followed, as a second wave of COVID-19 cases could mean some mandates may have to be reinstated," according to a statement today.

Civil Defense Director 
Talmadge Magno.
Photo from Big Island Video News
     Ige also congratulated all high school seniors who are graduating, saying many of them will choose the University of Hawai‘i for their undergraduate education. He called on UH President David Lassner to announce plans for the UH System. See the info, above.

     Of 75 cases on Hawaiʻi Isalnd, as counted by the state Department of Health, 63 have been released from isolation. The remainder are quarantined at home and monitored by DOH. No one is currently hospitalized and no one has died on-island.

     In the daily message from Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense, Director Talmadge Magno thanked the "multitude of people and organizations that contributed to make" feeding of those in need possible, and thanked Police and National Guard "for helping… Thank you, people of Hawaiʻi for who you are, a community together, helping at a very difficult time. Thank you for listening and a safe Monday to you all. This is your Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense."

     Statewide, only the one new case on Hawaiʻi Island was reported today by DOH, bringing the state's case count to 621. The state death toll rose to 17. The recovery rate is about 88 percent, with 548 people released from isolation.

     In the United States, more than 1.21 million cases have been confirmed. Recovery is about 160,000. The death toll is over 69,680.

directory for farms, ranches, takeout. Print edition of The Kaʻū Calendar is 
free, with 7,500 distributed on stands and to all postal addresses throughout 
Kaʻū, from Miloliʻi through Volcano throughout the district. Read online at 
kaucalendar.com and facebook.com/kaucalendar. To advertise your 
business or your social cause, contact kaucalendarads@gmail.com.
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our Fresh Food on The Kaʻū Calendar and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.

Daily, weekly, and monthly recurring Kaʻū and Volcano Events, Meetings, Entertainment, Exercise, Meditation, and more are listed at kaucalendar.com. However, all non-essential activities are canceled through the end of May.

MOST EVENTS ARE CANCELLED to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. The state is under a stay-at-home order, with l4 days of quarantine required for anyone coming into the state. Interisland travel is restricted. Those in Hawaiʻi should stay at home unless needing to obtain food or medical care.

ONGOING
Free COVID-19 Screenings are at Bay Clinic during business hours, with appointment. Call 333-3600.
     Beginning Wednesday, May 6, a testing team from Aloha Critical Care in Kona will provide testing at St. Jude's every other Wednesday.
     The next drive-thru screening  at Nāʻālehu Community Center will be held Wednesday, May 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Screening will be carried out by Aliʻi Health, with support from County of Hawai‘i COVID-19 Task Force, Premier Medical Group and Pathways Telehealth.
     Wearing masks is required for everyone.
     To bypass the screening queue at community test sites, patients can call ahead to Pathways Telehealth, option 5 at 808-747-8321. The free clinic will also offer on-site screening to meet testing criteria. Physicians qualify those for testing, under the guidance of Center for Disease Control and Hawaiʻi's COVID-19 Response Task Force.
     Those visiting screening clinics will be asked to show photo ID, and any health insurance cards – though health insurance is not required to be tested. They are also asked to bring their own pen to fill in forms.
     For further information, call Civil Defense at 935-0031.

Free Breakfast and Lunch for Anyone Eighteen and Under is available at Kaʻū High & Pāhala Elementary and at Nāʻālehu Elementary weekdays through May. Each youth must be present to receive a meal. Service is drive-up or walk-up, and social distancing rules (at least six feet away) are observed. Breakfast is served 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m., lunch from 11:30 a.m. to noon. Food is being delivered to Ocean View.

St. Jude's Episcopal Church Soup Kitchen is open, with a modified menu and increased health & safety standards, every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hot showers, the computer lab, and in-person services and bible studies are suspended. Services are posted online on Sundays at stjudeshawaii.org.

The Food Basket Food Pantries Distribution, where families can receive 14 days of food per family:

     The Ocean View location for May is Kahuku Park on Monday, May 11, 10 a.m. to noon. Call The Food Basket, 933-6030.
     The Nāʻālehu location is Nāʻālehu Shopping Center Monday, May 4, 10 a.m. to noon. Call The Food Basket, 933-6030. The next distribution is Sacred Heart Church at 95-558 Mamālahoa Hwy, under their Loaves and Fishes program, on Thursday, May 28 from  to  Call 928-8208.

     The Pāhala location is Kaʻū District Gym at 96-1149 Kamani Street, distributed by the ʻO Kaʻū Kākou Pantry, on Thursday, May 28 at  Call The Food Basket, 933-6030.
     The Volcano location is Cooper Center at 19-4030 Wright Road Wednesday, May 27 from 11 a.m. until food runs out. Call Kehau at 443-4130.


On Call Emergency Box Food Pantry is open at Cooper Center Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to noon. Call 967-7800 to confirm.

The Next Learning Packet and Student Resource Distribution for Nāʻālehu Elementary School Students will be Monday, May 11. The packets are designed for learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, and can be picked up every two weeks. One family member may pick up for several students in the same family. Students need not be present for the learning resources to be retrieved. Please note the grade of each child. Distribution times are organized by the first letter of the student's last name at the site closest to their home. Supplies will be given out simultaneously.
     Everyone is asked to observe social distancing rules, staying 6 feet away from others during pick-up. See the school website, naalehuel.hidoe.us, for more information and updates.
     Distribution at Nāʻālehu Elementary has pick-up from 8 a.m - 8:20 a.m. for A-H;  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.

     Distribution at Discovery Harbour Community Center has pick-up from 8 a.m - 8:20 a.m. for A-H;  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.

     Distribution at Ocean View Mālama Market has pick-up from  for A-H,  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.

     Distribution at Ocean View Community Center has pick-up from  for A-H,  for I-P, and  for Q-Z.
     Those who come to campus to pick up free student breakfasts are encouraged to also pick up their packets at the same time.


Register for Volcano's ʻŌhiʻa Lehua Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Keiki Dash by Wednesday, July 22. The second annual event will be held on Saturday, July 25. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to University of Hawaiʻi for furthering research of Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death and The Volcano School of Arts & Sciences. See webscorer.com to register.     Half Marathon registration is $70 through May 24, $80 May 25 through July 22, and $90 for late registration. Registration for the 10K is $50 through May 24, $55 May 25 through Jul 22, and $60 for late registration. Registration for the 5K is $35 through May 24, $40 May 25 through July 22, and $45 for late registration. Keiki Dash registration is $10. All registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable.
     Late registration is only available at packet pickup or race day morning. Shirts are not guaranteed for late registration.  Race Shirts will be included for Half Marathon and 10K participants only. For all other participants, shirts are available to purchase online.
     Packet pick-up is scheduled for Thursday, July 23 in Hilo; Friday, July 26 in Volcano; and Saturday, July 27,  at the race start.
     Half Marathon will start at  Other distances follow shortly after. Keiki Dash will begin at  on VSAS grounds, with the option of one or two laps – about 300 meters or 600 meters. Race cut-off time for the Half Marathon is four hours. The races will begin and end in Volcano Village at VSAS.
     See ohialehuahalf.com.

Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium Closed for Renovation through June 30. The Park is closed until further notice due to COVID-19 spread mitigation. A popular seven-and-a-half minute 2018 eruption video will be shown on a television in the exhibits area, once the Park and center reopen, and is available online for free download.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. See our online calendars and our latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.






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