Updated: September 21, 2023
US Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced that the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) received $3,704,731.64 in new federal funding to cover the costs of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers and first responders throughout the state. The funding, awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), comes after Hawai‘i was granted a Presidential Disaster Declaration to help the state respond to the pandemic.
“These new funds will help cover the cost of PPE and medical equipment for frontline workers, ensuring they can keep themselves and our communities safe,” said Senator Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “As Hawai‘i begins to reopen, we’ll need additional PPE and supplies so that we can conduct widespread testing and prepare for any future surge in cases.”
HI-EMA will use the funds to help supplement the supply needs of hospitals, nursing homes, private providers, and dentists that are either unable to source PPE or cannot afford to. In addition, non-medical PPE – such as cloth masks, hand sanitizers, and cleaning products – will be distributed to a range of government facilities like airports, schools, and homeless shelters.
The $3.7 million is a first, expedited payment on Hawai‘i’s application for FEMA Public Assistance funding under the Presidential Disaster Declaration. As the COVID-19 response continues, the state should be eligible for further FEMA funding.