Other coronavirus-related news

Here is a brief look at other COVID-19 related news from throughout Hawaii.

Mayor’s office clarifies hand sanitizer rule

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Mayor Harry Kim’s office released a statement Wednesday clarifying an emergency rule regarding hand sanitizers at businesses.

Kim’s COVID-19 emergency Rule No. 3, which went into effect Tuesday, “calls for all customers to sanitize their hands at entry, and hand sanitizing stations must be set up in the customers’ path at the entrance to the fullest extent possible,” according to the statement.

“Demand for hand sanitizer has surged since the COVID-19 pandemic, and establishments that lack supplies of hand sanitizer may offer an alternative to hand sanitizer by providing a place to wash hands,” the statement said. “A wash basin or sink with soap and water would be sufficient and be in good faith compliance with the order.”

The county is “looking at all avenues to acquire supplies of hand sanitizer, including local distilleries that have switched their production lines to produce it,” according to the statement.

The rule cited Gov. David Ige’s fifth supplementary proclamation dated April 16, which mandates protective measures “to the fullest extent possible,” including the mandatory use of hand sanitizer and sanitizing products by all customers and employees of essential businesses.

The county’s COVID-19 Prevention and Education Task Force will be working with businesses to ensure compliance by their employees and customers, according to the statement.

For further information about requesting a visit from the task force, call Hawaii County Civil Defense at 935-0031.

Arrests made for violating order

From April 15-21, Hawaii Police Department officers made 15 arrests and issued 53 citations for violating Gov. David Ige’s emergency stay-at-home order and initiated criminal cases against two individuals.

The breakdown by district is:

• South Hilo: seven arrests and 11 citations.

• South Kohala: two arrests, four citations and two criminal cases initiated.

• Kona: six arrests and 21 citations.

• Ka‘u: five citations.

• Puna: eight citations.

• Hamakua: four citations.

According to police, the three-week combined enforcement total of the emergency stay-at-home order stands at 55 arrests, 168 citations and nine criminal cases initiated.

Farmer relief checks being mailed

The state Department of Agriculture mailed out the first batch of checks Wednesday under the COVID-19 Emergency Farmer Relief Program.

DOA received 333 applications for the grants and awarded 106 proposals that ranged from $2,000 for individual farmers and ranchers up to $10,000 for nonprofit organizations, commodity groups and agricultural associations that experienced financial damage because of the COVID-19 emergency, the DOA announced.

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The total funding for the program was $250,000, which was drawn from the state’s Agriculture Development and Food Security Special Fund and made available through Gov. David Ige’s March 4 emergency proclamation.

The Ulupono Foundation contributed an additional $20,000 to specifically assist local pork producers with feed costs because they can no longer rely on food scraps from closed restaurants.

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