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State briefs for January 17

State plans to offer drive-thru vaccinations

HONOLULU (AP) — Health officials in Hawaii have partnered with local pharmacies to offer drive-thru and in-home COVID-19 vaccinations for residents as the state prepares to increase immunizations.

The state Department of Health started scheduling licensed care homes in Oahu this week, while neighboring islands have already started drive-thru clinics, county hubs and other mobile services.

“This is another major step forward in the implementation of our state’s vaccination plan,” Health Director Libby Char said Friday. “With residents and staff of larger long-term care facilities such as assisted living communities now in progress, we’re now turning our attention to residential care homes and community care foster family homes.”

Pharmacies have been assigned to licensed care homes based on ZIP code. Officials say there are more than 1,200 community care foster family homes, 445 adult residential care homes and about 50 homes for those with development disabilities.

The health department is working with employers to identify front-line workers for the vaccination. The department is planning to launch an online portal where workers can register for the COVID-19 vaccine.

“There’s so many moving parts because a lot of different groups have to be accommodated. At the same time, we have to distribute vaccines not just to multiple islands, but multiple organizations that are administering the vaccine,” department spokesperson Janice Okubo said.

Nareit Hawaii awards $300K in housing grants

HONOLULU (AP) — A national organization for real estate investment trusts has awarded $300,000 in grants to two Hawaii organizations: Honolulu Habitat for Humanity and Hale O Hawaii.

Nareit, which administers the Nareit Hawaii Community Giving Initiative, granted $120,000 on Friday to Honolulu Habitat for Humanity that will help build six affordable single-family homes, including five in Waimanalo and one in Papakolea.

The homes, which will range in size from two bedrooms and one bathroom to six bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms, are expected to house 25 residents, including two veteran families, eight residents over the age of 62 and three residents under 16, officials said.

Construction is scheduled to be completed within a year.

Nareit previously gave Hale O Hawaii a $195,000 grant to buy an acre of land to build an affordable home in Puna for a family who was displaced by the 2018 Kilauea Volcano eruption, officials said.

The new home is expected to be least 1,175 square feet with two bedrooms, one and a half bathrooms and a covered carport. The grant also allows Hale O Hawaii to buy property in Hawaiian Paradise Park. Construction is scheduled to begin later this year.

Man who died at Pearl Harbor buried in Ariz.

PHOENIX (AP) — An 18-year-old U.S. Navy sailor from Arizona who died at Pearl Harbor was buried with full military honors on Friday after his remains were identified last year, about 80 years after the Japanese attack.

Carl Johnson, a U.S. Navy seaman 1st Class and a Purple Heart recipient, was aboard the USS West Virginia near Hawaii when multiple torpedoes hit the side of the battleship to which he was assigned in 1941. About 100 crewman on the vessel died.

Johnson was buried at Greenwood Memory Lawn cemetery in Phoenix with a 21-gun salute and the folding and presentation of the U.S. flag to the family.

“It was always my grandparent’s hopes, and their siblings … that Carl would be eventually found and returned to them — today that prayer has been answered,” Johnson’s nephew Carl Dahl said.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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