LIHU‘E — U.S. legislators are working to get reimbursement for states that have spent money assisting in federal response to the coronavirus outbreak, and though there haven’t been any confirmed cases of the virus, formally known as COVID-19, in Hawai‘i, the state is mentioned in the request.
U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawai‘i) have both added their names to a list of 17 legislators asking the federal Department of Health and Human Services to establish clear guidelines for how state and local governments will be reimbursed for costs incurred while helping with the federal response to the outbreak.
“Many state and local health departments and hospitals have helped support the transportation and quarantine efforts, and it is important they be notified of the criteria by which the department will ask them to document and report what resources they contributed to the federal response for reimbursement,” the senators stated in a letter to DHHS dated Feb. 13.
Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu is one of 11 major airports identified as being able to support Americans being evacuated from China.
According to the state Department of Health, flights from China were being funneled through the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. As of Feb. 2, however, no more flights to Hawai‘i from China were scheduled.
DOH says screening is still being conducted at Honolulu by federal authorities, and any passengers identified as having a travel history to Hubei Province, China, in the past 14 days will be placed in mandatory quarantine until 14 days after they left the province.