Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Hawai‘i County Updates on Testing, DMV Operations, Meal Services and More

April 10, 2020, 11:19 AM HST
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People get screened or tested during Alii Health Center’s COVID-19 drive-thru site at Old Kona Airport on March 28. (PC: Tiffany DeMasters)

Premier Medical Group and Bay Clinic are offering coronavirus testing in Hilo this weekend.

The drive-through screening and testing clinic will be held at Hilo’s Ho‘olulu Complex on Saturday, April 11, from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Access is only available through the Pi’ilani/Hinano entrance. Normally, Hilo testing is done on Sundays, but an adjustment was made due to the Easter holiday.

This free clinic is open to the public. However, individuals must first undergo a screening to determine if they meet the criteria to be tested. Clinic physicians on site will make the determination regarding testing. The screening criteria are based on the guidance of the CDC and the State’s COVID-19 Response Task Force.

People who visit the screening clinic will be asked to show a photo ID. Additionally, it is requested that people bring their own pens and any health insurance cards they have, although insurance is not required.

For further information, please call Civil Defense at 808-935-0031.

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Hawai‘i County Vehicle Registration

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hawai‘i County Vehicle Registration and Licensing Division offices are closed to in-person transactions. However, there are still alternative ways to renew your vehicle registration or driver’s license.

These include:

  • Mail-in renewals can be sent to County of Hawai‘i, Motor Vehicle Registration, 101 Pauahi St., #5, Hilo, HI 96720
  • Online applications can be found on the County website.
  • Kiosks are located at the Safeway stores in Hilo and Kona as well as the Foodland store in Waimea.
  • In-wall drop off slot at the Hilo MVR office.  Do not drop off or mail renewal applications with cash payments.

Driver’s License or State ID renewals (issued after May 1, 2014)

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Mail-in renewal applications to 349 Kapi‘olani St., Hilo, HI 96720. Duplicate license requests for lost licenses will also be accepted by mail.  See the county website for application details and forms.

What is the county doing to help?

  • Offering 60-day automatic extension for driver’s licenses, state IDs and learner’s permits that are expiring from March 16 through May 15, 2020 (valid in Hawai‘i only)
  • Waiving late fees for vehicle registrations expiring in March and April for an additional 60 days
  • Developing an online reservation system to set up customer appointments for various licensing and registration requests
  • Hiring and training new staff to fill multiple vacancies within the VRL division
  • Offering extended hours of operation, including several Saturday dates, once the COVID-19 crisis has passed

Getting a “Gold Star” compliant driver’s license or state ID is important to many. However, be aware that the Department of Homeland Security recently extended the deadline until October 1, 2021.

Easter Celebrations

As Easter approaches, Mayor Harry Kim is appealing to the faith community of Hawai‘i Island to please attend the virtual church of their choice in order to stay healthy and safe.

Mokuaikaua Church

Because of the crucial need for social distancing in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, many churches have notified their congregations that this year, Easter services will be held online.

“We want everyone in the faith community and all of our community to stay healthy and safe while getting the spiritual comfort that comes from worship in these difficult times,” Mayor Kim said. “Please attend the virtual church of your choice and stay healthy and safe.”

Meal Delivery For Seniors

Beginning this week, the County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation’s Elderly Activities Division (EAD) began a comprehensive meal delivery program for eligible seniors enrolled in Hawai‘i County’s Nutrition Program.

In compliance with Governor Ige’s Third Emergency Proclamation on COVID-19, EAD undertook an effort to convert its two standard meals programs for seniors — Meals on Wheels and Congregate [Meals] Sites — into an organized meal delivery network that services all enrolled seniors at their respective places of residence.

In this initial week of EAD’s emergency meal delivery program, 3,440 frozen prepared meals will be delivered to 688 seniors that opted into the program. Each senior will receive five nutritious meals per week prepared by one of five different vendors, depending on the recipient’s location.

EAD staff have charted 24 distinct routes spanning the entire island to efficiently distribute the meals. All deliveries on 22 of these routes are performed by EAD employees, in marked County of Hawai‘i vehicles, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays, depending on geographic location. The remaining two routes — Wainaku to Pa‘auilo and Honoka‘a to Waimea — are executed by staff of Hawai‘i County Economic Opportunity Council (HCEOC) in their marked vehicles.

In addition to the delivery of meals, EAD staff members are reaching out by phone weekly to the seniors in its highest risk category to ensure they are doing okay and to inquire with them what their plans are over the next month, as well as if there is any way that EAD can assist them further in this period of emergency.

During this time, EAD continues to service seniors through its Coordinated Services for the Elderly program that provides transportation for doctor’s appointments, pharmaceutical pickups, two-week essentials shopping as well as emergency services — such as dialysis, cancer treatments, etc.

The Department of Parks and Recreation offered thanks to the Hawai‘i County Office of Aging for its continued support of this emergency meals programs as well as its meals vendors: Nani Mau, HCEOC, Café 100, Big Island Grill and L&L Drive Inn.

For questions about the program, call Roann S. Okamura, EAD Operations Director, at 808-961-8708.

Hawai‘i County Public Restroom Availability

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces the following park restroom facilities are now open for the public’s convenience during the hours noted.

People may enter the park to use the restrooms but must then leave the park.

  • Mo‘oheau Bus Terminal – 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Lincoln Park – 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Bayfront Soccer Fields – 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Bayfront Beach Park – 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Lili‘uokalani Gardens – 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Reeds Bay Beach Park – 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Veterans Cemetery No. 2 – 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Honoli‘i Beach Park – 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • ‘Alae Cemetery – 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Shipman Park – 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Kurtistown Park – 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Kahalu‘u Beach Park – 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Magic Sands Beach Park (La’aloa) – 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  •  Wai‘aha Bay Beach Park (Honl’s) – 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Kailua Park (Old A/Maka‘eo) runway only – 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Waikoloa Pu‘u Nui Park – 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Waimea Park tennis courts only – 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Gilbert Kahele Recreation Area – 24 hours

The Department reminds the public that all County parks and recreational sites/facilities are closed to all uses, with some exceptions. These exceptions are as follows:

  • County cemeteries (including veterans’ cemeteries) remain open during standard operating times. Restrictions on social distancing and gathering apply. No committal services, per federal and state policies, are allowed at this time at veterans cemeteries, but direct internments are allowed with only direct family members in attendance.
  • The horse stalls at Pana‘ewa Equestrian Center remain open for stall renters with horse(s) actively occupying their rented stalls.

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