Ashley Mizuo

General Assignment/Community Reporter

Born and raised on O’ahu, she’s a graduate of ‘Iolani School and has a BA in Journalism and Political Science from Loyola University Chicago and an MA in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.   

Ashley’s first experience in audio storytelling was recording conversations with her grandfather about what it was like to grow up in Japanese internment camps during the second World War. More recently, she has been working as a statehouse reporter in Illinois’s capital city and before that as an editorial fellow at Washingtonian Magazine. She’s also done internships at the CBS Chicago bureau in their Specials and Investigation Unit and at Honolulu Magazine, where she wrote an award-winning feature story. She’s also worked in social media and produced and hosted a podcast asking people about their worst day at work—with the descriptive title “Work Sucks.”

Ways to Connect

Cory Lum / Civil Beat

The state Department of Health issued guidance for schools, both public and private, to transition to at least some in-person learning.

AP Photo/Caleb Jones

Mainland travelers may be able to avoid quarantine if they get a negative COVID-19 test before arriving in Hawaii starting October 15th. But some say the one-test plan is unsafe for Hawaii.

Hawai‘i COVID-19 Joint Information Center

The state Department of Health has redesigned its contact tracing program with a new leader to adapt to the surge in COVID-19 cases. It's too soon to tell if the changes will be enough to contain the virus but the program will be closely watched.

COVID-Pau initiative

Updated: 9/10/2020, 12:05 p.m.

 

Hawaii recorded three more COVID-19 deaths today and 169 cases of new infections. The latest daily counts bring the state death toll to 94 and the total number of cases to 10,292.

Ashley Mizuo/HPR

The departures of top leaders from the state Department of Health follow disclosures of major shortcomings in the state’s response to COVID-19. These events have diminished public confidence in what officials say. However, trust is crucial in maintaining the public’s health.

F. Muhammad from Pixabay

Pacific Islanders have been hardest hit by COVID-19 in the islands. They are catching the virus in disproportion to their small numbers in the population. One reason is that -- as with young people -- public information on how to avoid the virus has been failing to reach them in ways they can act on it.

Hawaii Department of Health

The state Department of Health continues to record a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases among young people. One key reason may be that public messages to avoid the virus haven't yet effectively reached them.

Casey Harlow/HPR

State Health Director Bruce Anderson and Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda will be retiring by the end of September. Both came under heavy criticism for what some saw as their inadequate response to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases statewide and in the prison system.

Wikimedia Commons

The state’s hospital industry says it’s facing a crisis and has appealed to the federal government to help it staff critically needed beds.

Teachers and students across the state concluded their first week of school Friday. Some attended class in-person and others started the year online with distance learning. That decision was largely left up to individual principals.

Ashley Mizuo

After mounting criticism, the state Department of health has scaled up its contact tracing efforts. It includes a streamlined process with new protocols in the contact tracing method.

StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay

As Hawaii struggles to control its soaring COVID-19 numbers, it might turn to Austin, Texas where researchers built a model to forecast how different actions can affect levels of infection in the area. It could give Hawaii insights into using hospital cases to determine when it’s time to lock down.

AP Photo/Jennifer Sinco Kelleher

Hawaii public schools today begin a month of distance learning to kick off the new school year.

But for many students -- and some parents -- it will be back to campus to learn in person how to use online technology and meet the teachers.

The teachers’ union opposes that plan. It says it’s not safe to hold in-person training while COVID-19 cases are surging.

At Kauai High School, about half the students, several hundred of them, are expected on campus to attend all-day classes for one week.

Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

The state Department of Health is working to increase contact tracing after Gov. David Ige put a new person in charge of the effort following mounting criticism of the program.

AP Photo/Marina Riker

Some Hawaii hospitals are getting hit harder than others with the surge in COVID-19 cases. But the Healthcare Association of Hawaii that represents hospitals has a plan: it will re-distribute patients if needed so facilities aren’t overrun.

AP Photo/Jennifer Sinco Kelleher

Updated: 8/11/2020, 10:05 a.m.

The state Department of Health’s contact tracing has failed to keep up with the burgeoning numbers of COVID-19 cases and key state senators are calling the department’s bluff on officials' claims that they are managing with the workers they have and are hiring.

prayitno.hadinata / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

Updated: 8/7/2020, 3:46 p.m.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige announced today that Oahu public schools will go to 100% distance learning for at least four weeks when classes resume on Aug. 17. After an assessment, the state hopes to transition to a blended learning plan of distance learning and in-person classes starting on Sept. 14.

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www.publicdomainpictures.net

As Hawaii’s COVID-19 cases surge, there is still no direction from Gov. David Ige on what should trigger the restrictions to help stop the virus, and when things can ease again. County officials closed bars, cut the size of gatherings and rolled back on reopening in other ways, all without a clear plan for when conditions can return to normal.

U.S. Air Force

Funding for seven public pre-K classes were cut to help cover the state’s approximately $2.3 billion budget shortfall due to COVID-19.

AP Photo/Marco Garcia

Updated: 7/28/2020, 2:50 p.m.

 

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is seeking approval from Gov. David Ige to shut down bars for three weeks. He's also asking to restore restrictions on how many can gather together and to tighten face covering rules so that they must be worn at all times when out in public, except when there is a health issue.

 

Bill Dorman/HPR

Updated: 7/27/2020, 12:17 p.m.

 

The Hawaii Department of Health reported 28 new COVID-19 cases today, all on Oahu. The daily count is far fewer than have been reported in recent record-setting days but also comes after a weekend when Hurricane Douglas stopped regular activity.

 

NOAA

Updated: 7/25/20 at 5:15 a.m.

Hurricane Douglas is projected to produce strong winds, heavy rain and high surf for portions of the state starting tomorrow, prompting officials to urge residents statewide to prepare a plan and stock up on emergency supplies.

Flickr Commons
Flickr Commons

About 60% of Hawaii parents said in a survey, their employer would not offer flexible hours to meet their children’s school and child care schedule.

Cory Lum / Civil Beat

The Hawaii teachers union called for the public school reopening date to be postponed until critical questions about safety procedures are answered by the state Department of Education and state Department of Health.

Among those who received citations the most for violating the stay-at-home order in the spring were the homeless. As a surge in COVID-19 cases threatens another lockdown, advocates fear that the homeless may be impacted again.

Cory Lum / Civil Beat

Public school students can expect six feet of space between desks when they return to classes in the fall, and teachers will decide if their students will wear a mask in the classroom.

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Parents can now find out just how their child’s public school will reopen on August 4th.

AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy

Diagnostic Laboratory Services Inc., the largest local lab in the state, warned that the number of tests it can run has been sharply reduced because it cannot obtain the supplies needed to process COVID-19 tests.

Amy Nakamura/HPR

The American Civil Liberties Union Hawaii Chapter is calling on the Honolulu Police Department to address racial disparities in its policing.

When Hawaii public school classes resume on August 4th, some schools could hold all in-person classes, others may have more online instruction and still others a blend of the two.

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