Governor Silvestri 2020-04-29
Summary of Facebook Live Chat by Governor Silvestri at 2020-04-29 15:00 (starts at 01:30) and Facebook Live Chat by Governor Silvestri at 2020-04-29 09:00 (starts at 02:15). The first one is the normal question/answer session and the second is about donations and what’s being done with the money.
The is a transcript of the English transmission. There is also a Spanish transmission which I do not translate.
Note that it’s been re-ordered and some repetition collapsed.
Plan is to do 15:00 for the foundation update on Monday and Friday. If there’s important updates, there may be an update on Wednesday as well. Will move normal transmissions in the morning, probably 08:00 or 09:00
- Reminder that anything donated to the foundation will be doubled as of Friday. Every donation is needed, no matter how small.
- Current total (excluding the amount pledged for matching):
USD 208,649; HNL 5,172,888
- USD 32,893 still available as matching funds
- USD -15,000 for COVID-19 isolation centre in French Harbour
- Over USD 12,500 raised
- If you are on Utila in need of food, Tylenol or Aspirin, please send a message to @SupportUtila on Facebook
- Businesses should join https://www.facebook.com/groups/SupportUtilaBusiness
- Second project being worked on, involving medical equipment
- Central government can not take the money as it is established in the USA and thus has no jurisdiction
- Only the 6 person oversight committee has control of spending
- The USD 15,000 was transferred directly to a local foundation
- Places that don’t have COVID-19 are not getting as much federal aid.
- This is part of why the Bay Islands is running the fundraising initiatives
- The Bay Islands have always been more private sector driven
Makeup of Oversight Board:
- Not specifically from any place in the Bay Islands
- As things progress, will setup technical committees and there are 5 currently
- One for each county
- Yes it’s on Roatan, but it can be used to help people on the other islands
- The same will be the case for testing, it’ll be run out of Roatan
- Roatan is being used as the central hub as it’s 80% of the population of the Bay Islands
Using the donations for food:
- There’s a lot of foundations managing food right now, about USD 50,000 was distributed for food bags.
- Want to avoid people doubling down on food bags.
- If local authorities suggest that food is important and the oversight committee agrees then it might be done in the future.
- This isn’t likely to start until food donation organisations start having trouble getting food.
- Want the funds to extend as long as possible
Ideas for projects to use the donated funds:
- Send them to the governor or the COVID-19 Facebook page
Help from the cruise lines:
- They haven’t offered any at this time
- Still waiting on results from police, they got tests which were reported as negative but the paperwork hasn’t been supplied to the Bay Islands yet
Flights to the USA:
- 2020-04-30: 2 United flights SAP-IAH and TGU-IAH
- No flights scheduled from RTB currently
Bringing people home:
- Small groups, no more than 15
- Emergency situations will be first
- Looking at logistics, room and board
- Difficult to get COVID-19 kits, difficult to get to the islands. There are 3 potential offers being negotiated, once one of them is successful things will speed up.
- Once we have tests, we can potentially self quarantine people rather than putting them in main quarantine area.
Incoming flights to RTB:
- This will be possible once we have testing setup
Getting to the mainland:
- Only way is by private plane and it’s expensive
- There aren’t currently any scheduled flights between the islands and the mainland
- Met with owners of all cargo and fuel boats
- Gave warnings to some because they haven’t been meeting quarantine measures.
Small business assistance:
- If in the tourism industry, please hold your employees as long as possible
- Look into a labour lawyer to see what your options are if you’re on the edge of bankruptcy.
- Each business has to make its own decision based on finances.
- A stimulus package just for tourism is being worked on at the federal level
- It’s not yet approved, will wait until it is to share details as they may still change.
- Changes in taxation is potentially in this.
- The only governmental agency that can change taxes is congress.
- Local government would need to file a lawsuit to avoid charging taxes.
- It is possible to do payment plans though.
Labour Day (Friday, May 1):
- Haven’t addressed whether banks etc will be open or closed
Lock down/reopen timeline:
- Article by a university suggests end of May for curve flattening around the world
- No current timeline yet though
- US and Canada are big players for setting the timeline for the Bay Islands
- No timeline for opening the rest of Honduras yet either
- Soon, biosecurity guidelines have been written up, currently doing translation
Monday and Tuesday:
- Updates postponed due to lots of meetings
- Starting to plan for post COVID-19
- Government is trying to keep things under control
- Recommends that businesses have cameras
- This is why food is so important, that’s the main driver of crime
Pregnancy and birth at hospital:
- Will look into transfer from Utila to Roatan for the birth if this case needs it
- Many people are having natural births right now, it’s complicated
- Mainland people did not come over for this project
- Some of the people on this project were trying to go La Ceiba, but got rejected
- No decision yet as to when they’ll be open
Questions pending answers:
- Should be kept track of in the daily facts updates