FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii --
By Dino W. Buchanan, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Honolulu District Public Affairs
In response to the spread of coronavirus in Hawaii, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Honolulu District technical survey team conducted initial planning and site assessments of two Oahu and five Kauai locations for potential conversion into alternate care facilities (ACFs).
To date, the USACE team has completed 18 assessments in Hawaii - five on Oahu, three on Maui, five in Hawaii County, and five on Kauai.
USACE is conducting technical planning and site assessments at locations across Hawaii in partnership with FEMA, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the state and counties.
“The assessments provide critical information for the state to make informed decisions on alternate-care facilities in Hawaii,” said Honolulu District Commander Lt. Col. Kathryn Sanborn.
Following the recent presidential declaration that a major disaster exists in the State of Hawaii, Federal funding is now available to the state, should leaders decide to move forward with USACE-related emergency support measures. Implementation of alternate care facilities is a state-led and managed process.
Once assessments are complete, USACE will provide the reports to our partners and work with them to make informed decisions in the best interest for the people of Hawaii. The state can request continued assistance from USACE or execute the mission on their own based on their projected needs.
“We work closely with the counties, the state, and our federal partners to identify the projected needs and evaluate a site based on that,” said Jeff Herzog, assessment team leader. “There are several different options for levels of facility, but all are designed to be simple solutions to a very complex problem.”
USACE is prepared to assist the nation in times of crisis and is working with the White House, Department of Defense, FEMA, and other federal, state and local partners in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The FEMA mission assignments will provide support nationwide in response to medical facility shortages.
Overall, USACE has received 17 FEMA mission assignments totaling approximately $1.2 billion, and has more than 15,000 personnel engaged in the response effort and providing support.
Information pertaining to specifications and implementation of the alternate care sites is available on the web at https://www.usace.army.mil/Coronavirus/Alternate-Care-Sites/.
Images of the Hawaii County USACE assessments are available on DVIDS at: