Hawaii Updates: 36 New Cases; Survey: 40% Unable To Pay June Rent; Arrivals Exceed 700
Where we stand
The state Department of Health today reported 36 new COVID-19 cases following 23 new cases yesterday and a record 41 cases on Monday. The 34 cases are on Oahu, 1 on Kauai and 1 on Hawaii Island.
The state's total coronavirus case count now stands at 1,130 with 19 deaths. Oahu has 842 cases, Maui County has 130, Hawaii County has 97 and Kauai County has 43. Eighteen residents have been diagnosed outside of the state. One hundred twenty-three people have required hospitalization and 840 people have been released from isolation.
Over the July 4th weekend, the health department reported a total of 78 new cases, including 25 on Sunday, 24 on Saturday and 29 on Friday, when one death was also reported. On Monday, there were 7 new cases.
Realtors survey: 40% of tenants unable to pay June rent
Nearly 40% of tenants were unable to pay their rent last month while a similar number asked for a payment plan, discount or rent reduction, according to a survey of the Honolulu Board of Realtors.
The survey of board members, conducted June 17 to June 22, reflects another measure of the economic pain that is widespread in the state.
"While the state's protections for renters and assistance for homeowners has worked well, we know many people will continue to face financial hardship as a result of the pandemic," said Suzanne Young, the board's chief executive officer.
"The situation is especially difficult for renters, and we must start finding solutions to ensure people don't need to worry about having a place to call home."
About 45% of the survey respondents anticipate July will see similar challenges for renters unable to pay rent.
"Communication between tenants and landlords is critical," said Board President Tricia Nekota. "Having candid conversations, being compassionate and exploring all options will help us get through this challenging time together."
Information on rental assistance resources for tenants, landlords and homeowners can be found on the board's website.
Visitor numbers jump to over 700
On Tuesday, a total of 2,685 people came to the islands. Among them were 721 visitors and 815 returning residents.
The total included 262 crew members, 203 transiting travelers, 347 military, 180 people exempt from quarantine and 157 who say they are relocating to Hawaii.
Deadline today to register, update information for primary election
Today is the final day to register to vote by mail for the upcoming August 8 primary election.
This year for the first time, the state will mail ballots to all registered voters for the upcoming elections.
State election officials say it’s crucial they have the most current information from voters in order to send the ballots.
County clerks are going the extra mile by holding drive-through events today until 4:30 p.m. for those wanting to register or update their information. The locations include:
- 744 Kamehameha Ave., Hilo (corner of Pauahi St. and Kamehameha Ave.)
- Malama Market, Pahoa
- Safeway, Kona Crossroads
- Kahului Shopping Center
- Office of County Clerk, Elections Division (back parking area)
- Aloha Stadium (enter through Parking Gate 1 off Salt Lake Boulevard)
Honolulu Elections Administrator Rex Quidilla says today’s deadline is important.
"It ensures that your ballot will be mailed on time, and that you’re afforded the full period of time to consider your ballot and return it to our office. So we can ensure that it counts, and your voice is heard. If you plan to mail in an application, it has to be postmarked by today," he said.
Quidilla says if you plan to register online, the deadline is 4:30 this afternoon. To register or update your information online, go to olvr.hawaii.gov.
If residents miss today's deadline, they can still register in person and vote in the primary election at a voter service center within their county from July 27 through 7 p.m. on Election Day, August 8. A map of the service centers statewide, as well as locations where ballots can be mailed or dropped off, is available on the elections office website.
Mail ballots will start to arrive on July 21. Elections officials advise that voters post their ballots at least three to five days before August 8 so they can arrive in time to be counted.
--HPR's Casey Harlow
Suspected mortgage scam warning issued
The Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority (HGIA), created by the state Legislature to make clean energy investments affordable to consumers, says there is a suspected mortgage scam being carried out by an entity using a name similar to that of HGIA.
A postcard solicitation refers to a “mortgage” with “HAWAII GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE AU” and asks recipients to call a phone number and provide a “Mortgage Authentication Phrase” as soon as possible.
HGIA said it does not make mortgage loans and advises residents not to call the number, release any information or pay any fee to the entity.
To check on the legitimacy of any notice regarding a loan with the Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority, residents can contact the agency by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 808-587-3868.
This is a developing story. Please check back for upates. Editor's note: We’d like to hear how you’re coping with the latest COVID-19 developments and the state's phased reopening. You can call our talkback line at 808-792-8217. Or e-mail us at email@example.com.