Question: I see those drive-thru grocery giveaways on the news, but by then it’s too late for me. We could use the help; been out of work since April and no more pride about it. How do I find out where they’ll be?
Answer: The Hawaii Foodbank provides this information on its website, at hawaiifoodbank.org/help. You might find the Oahu Food Assistance Handout especially helpful, as it lists the locations, days and hours of ongoing distribution sites throughout the island. The handout, at 808ne.ws/foodlist, is frequently updated, most recently on Thursday. It lists food pantries, providers that serve prepared meals and the ‘Ohana Produce Plus distribution sites.
The food bank also has Pop-up Food Distribution events for specific neighborhoods; participants must register in advance. There’s one scheduled for Wednesday at Kualoa Regional Park and then for the next three Wednesdays after that, in Kalihi Valley, Ewa and Waianae, respectively. Each event will supply emergency food, fresh produce and other items for about 300 households.
Registration opens at 9 a.m. the Friday before the event; as of deadline Monday, registration for the Kualoa date remained open. For more information and to register, go to hawaiifoodbank.org/pop-up.
Q: My neighbors have been helping out, even though they’ve lost work, too. Can I pick up for them?
A: Each vehicle can pick up for up to three households, but each household must be registered in advance and an adult from each household must be present in the vehicle, with their own registration ticket and a valid government-issued ID.
Q: Regarding the COVID-19 pre-travel testing, what if I get the test but it comes back positive after I land in Hawaii? Can I just go home? I don’t think it would be positive, but you never know with this disease.
A: No, you wouldn’t be able to hop onto the next plane home, according to the state Department of Health.
“Once a person is COVID-positive, then DOH protocols kick in and the person goes into self-isolation. When we know someone is actively not isolating and there is a threat to the community, DOH also has the ability to seek a court order to quarantine,” said Janice Okubo, a DOH spokeswoman. “They are not allowed to travel when in isolation.”
“Isolation should be maintained until at least 24 hours after resolution of fever and myalgia (body aches) without the use of antipyretics (fever reducers) or since at least 10 days have passed since symptom onset, whichever is longer,” she said.
Many, many readers have asked for more information Hawaii’s pre-travel testing program, which is scheduled to take effect Oct. 15. As of that date, passengers who arrive with a negative result from an acceptable COVID-19 test would be able to skip the 14-day quarantine for arriving passengers. Those who were tested as required and receive a negative result after they arrive would be able to leave quarantine at that point, after reporting the result to the DOH.
Prospective travelers want to know exactly how this process will work, especially regarding the timeline for testing and the availability of acceptable tests outside of the United States (we’re hearing from a lot of Canadians).
Some information is available at hawaiicovid19.com/travel/#travel-FAQs, on the DOH website, but it doesn’t cover everything people want to know. Okubo said Gov. David Ige’s next emergency proclamation would formalize much of the process. “Everyone is working as diligently as possible to iron out the details for next month’s implementation. We appreciate the public’s understanding and patience,” she said.
Q: Assuming all goes well and I get my negative result in time, how do I report it?
A: “Travelers will be able to upload their negative test result when they complete their travel and health forms on the Safe Travels digital system, found at travel.hawaii.gov,” according to the DOH website.
Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email email@example.com.