COVID-19 Drive-Through Testing in Kona & Waikoloa Announced

Premier Medical Group, with the support of the County of Hawai‘i, Hope Services and the Hawaii National Guard, will offer a drive-through screening and testing clinics for COVID-19 at Old Kona Airport Park in the Kekua‘okalani Gym/KCAC parking lot on Friday, May 29 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and at Kamakoa Nui Park in Waikoloa on Saturday, May 30, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Entrance is from Kamakoa Drive, at the end of Paniolo Avenue.

These free clinics are open to the public; however, individuals must first undergo a screening to determine if they meet the criteria to be tested. Clinic physicians on site will make the determination regarding testing. The screening criteria will be based on guidance of the CDC and the State’s COVID-19 Response Task Force.

People who visit the screening clinics will be asked to show photo ID. Additionally, people are requested to bring their own pen, and any health insurance cards they have, although insurance is not required. 

Antibody Testing

Antibody testing will also be available at the testing clinics. Antibody testing can determine if you have previously had COVID-19. 

Antibody testing will be offered only to those previously identified as having had the Coronavirus, or those with high risk exposures, including healthcare workers, first responders, and family members or those with close contact to known positives. A simple blood draw detects the presence of SARS-Cov2 IgG antibodies in your system. 

Note: there is a $43 out-of-pocket cost to people whose medical insurance plans do not cover the antibody test. Call your insurance provider to find out if you’re covered.

For further information, call Premier Medical Group at (808) 304-9745 or Hawaii County Civil Defense at (808) 935-0031.

COVID-19 Testing Capacity Up to Total of 3,620 Tests Daily in All Four Counties

In-state COVID-19 testing capabilities have been a top concern throughout the pandemic, but an assessment of statewide testing capacity this week shows there are ample supplies of tests that can be conducted in Hawai‘i. 

It means Hawai‘i residents can breathe a sigh of relief. Healthcare providers can now consider testing patients whom they suspect may be infected to ensure rapid identification of cases. This is a shift in the Hawai‘i Department of Health’s earlier guidance that required specific symptoms and epidemiological criteria before testing.

In the past three weeks, the number of sites conducting tests has increased from five to 11, and testing is now available in all four counties, including on all of the Neighbor Islands.

One of the critical requirements for the state to confidently and safely continue its path to fully reopen is readily accessible COVID-19 tests for all who meet recommended testing criteria, with test results available within 48 hours.

According to data compiled by DOH, as of Monday, May 18, Hawai‘i has more than 38,300 tests on hand for COVID-19 tests and is performing an average of 690 tests each day, with test results available the same day or by the next day. The maximum turnaround time is three days. The number of staff trained to perform the tests has also doubled, jumping from 68 to 135 within the past month.

“The compilation of data provides a realistic snapshot of the state’s overall testing capacity,” said Dr. Edward Desmond, State Laboratories Division (SLD) administrator, who compiled the data. “If necessary, the state has the capability to cumulatively ramp up to 3,620 tests a day, and this number is expected to significantly increase over the next three weeks.

In addition to the SLD, 10 laboratories (three public health and seven private sector) and healthcare facilities on O‘ahu and the neighbor islands currently are testing collected specimens. Private laboratories include Clinical Labs of Hawaii, Diagnostic Laboratory Services, and S&G Labs in Kona. Healthcare facilities include Kaiser Permanente and Adventist Health Castle.

Desmond added Hawai‘i initially sent tests to mainland labs to determine if individuals were COVID-19 positive and there was a backlog and results could take up to a week to receive.

“As a state, we’ve come a long way in a relatively short time to become more self-sufficient,” he said. “We initially had several hundred specimens waiting to be tested at mainland labs. That number has dropped to just 60 outstanding, untested specimens because our need to send samples to the mainland has been greatly reduced because of our in-state capabilities.”

COVID-19 Drive-Through Testing Next Week

Premier Medical Group, with the support of The County of Hawai’i, Hope Services and the Hawaii National Guard, will offer free drive-through screenings and testing clinics at Hilo’s Civic Auditorium on Monday, May 18 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Access through the Manono Street entrance. They will also offer them at the Pāhoa District Park on Wednesday, May 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

These clinics are open to the public; however, individuals must first undergo a screening to determine if they meet the criteria to be tested. Clinic physicians on site will make the determination regarding testing. The screening criteria will be based on guidance of the CDC and the State’s COVID-19 Response Task Force.

People who visit the screening clinic will be asked to show photo ID. Additionally, people are requested to bring their own pen, and any health insurance cards they have, although insurance is not required. 

Antibody Testing

Antibody testing will also be available at the Pahoa testing clinic. Antibody testing can determine if you have previously had COVID-19. Drive-through antibody testing is available nowhere else in the state. 

Antibody testing will be offered only to those previously identified as having had the Coronavirus, or those with high risk exposures, including healthcare workers, first responders, and family members or those with close contact to known positives. A simple blood draw detects the presence of SARS-Cov2 IgG antibodies in your system. 

Note: there is a $43 out-of-pocket cost to people whose medical insurance plans do not cover the antibody test. Call your insurance provider to find out if you’re covered.

For further information, please call Premier Medical Group at 808-304-9745 or Hawaii County Civil Defense at 935-0031.

County Announces More COVID-19 Drive-Through Testing Locations

Premier Medical Group, with the support of the County of Hawai‘i, Hope Services and the Hawaii National Guard will offer a free COVID-19 drive-through screening and testing clinics at the following locations and days:

  • Pahoa District Park, 15-3022 Kauhale Street, Pāhoa, on Wednesday, May 13 from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
  • Waimea District Park in Kamuela on Friday, May 15 from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. 
  • Kamehameha Park in Kapa‘au, North Kohala, on Saturday, May 16 from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. 

These clinics are open to the public; however, individuals must first undergo a screening to determine if they meet the criteria to be tested. Clinic physicians on site will make the determination regarding testing. The screening criteria will be based on guidance of the CDC and the State’s COVID-19 Response Task Force.

People who visit the screening clinic will be asked to show photo ID. Additionally, people are requested to bring their own pen, and any health insurance cards they have, although insurance is not required. 

Antibody Testing

Antibody testing will also be available at the North Kohala testing clinic. Antibody testing can determine if you have previously had COVID-19. Drive-through antibody testing is available nowhere else in the state. 

Antibody testing will be offered only to those previously identified as having had the Coronavirus, or those with high risk exposures, including healthcare workers, first responders, and family members or those with close contact to known positives. A simple blood draw detects the presence of SARS-Cov2 IgG antibodies in your system. 

Note: There is a $43 out-of-pocket cost to people whose medical insurance plans do not cover the antibody test. Call your insurance provider to find out if you’re covered.

For further information, please call Premier Medical Group at 808-304-9745 or Hawai‘i County Civil Defense at 935-0031.

Big Island Receives COVID-19 Rapid Test Equipments

The DOH State Laboratories Division (SLD) has distributed a total of 12 Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 rapid test instruments to all counties. The rapid coronavirus tests can produce results within 15 minutes when conducted in a certified laboratory.

“Having this capability to test a critically ill patient within 15 minutes is a great tool in the fight against COVID-19,” said Dr. Edward Desmond, State Laboratories Division Administrator. “It helps us detect the virus quickly and respond much faster to help the patient and inform staff to ensure safety measures are in place.”

Six instruments have been sent to county medical systems (two each to DOH District Health Office laboratories on Kaua‘i, Maui and Hawai‘i) and six instruments to clinical laboratories and health systems on O‘ahu (two each to Diagnostic Laboratory Services, Clinical Laboratories of Hawaii, and Kaiser Permanente).

In Maui County, the Abbott test was conducted on a hospitalized patient, who tested negative and was subsequently transferred into hospice care. The equipment helped to confirm that the patient could be transferred safely to another healthcare facility.

The Abbott instruments were provided at no cost to the state with federal funding from the International Reagent Resource (IRR). Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) specifies that use of the rapid testing equipment be conducted on symptomatic patients. Requesting physicians will utilize the test kits based on priority symptoms and factors. 

COVID-19 Drive-Through Testing in Honoka‘a & North Kohala

Premier Medical Group, with the support of the County of Hawai‘i, Hope Services and the Hawaii National Guard, will offer COVID-19 drive-through screening and testing clinic at the Honoka‘a Sports Complex lower entrance on Friday, May 1, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Access through the Akia Street entrance.

COVID-19 drive-through testing will also happen at Kamehameha Park in Kapa‘au on Saturday, May 2 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. 

These free clinics are open to the public; however, individuals must first undergo a screening to determine if they meet the criteria to be tested. Clinic physicians on site will make the determination regarding testing. The screening criteria will be based on guidance of the CDC and the State’s COVID-19 Response Task Force.

People who visit the screening clinics will be asked to show photo ID.  Additionally, people are requested to bring their own pen, and any health insurance cards they have, although insurance is not required.

For further information, call Hawaii County Civil Defense at (808) 935-0031. 

HMC Update on Community COVID-19 Tests

The Department of Health reported 6 new positive cases today resulted in a total of 592 cases with 12 deaths in the state. Hawaii Island has a total of 67 positive cases.

Hilo Medical Center (HMC) Update:

– Patients Hospitalized for COVID-19: 0
– Closing the Transitional Waitlist Unit in Extended Care Facility mid-May and returning patients to Medical or Surgical Units. Resource staff returned to their units April 20.

SCREENING & TESTING IN HILO AND PAHOA – 595 total individuals tested:

HMC DRIVE-THROUGH Testing Site in Hilo, weekdays 10 am – 2 pm
– Today, Wednesday, April 22, a total of 9 individuals were tested for COVID-19
– Last week, April 13-18, a total of 66 individuals were tested for COVID-19

PUNA COMMUNITY MEDICAL CENTER Screening & Testing Site in Pahoa, Monday-Saturday, 9 am – 4 pm
-Last week, April 13-18, a total of 3 individuals were tested for COVID-19

TESTING SITES ACROSS THE STATE: List provided by the Healthcare Association of Hawaii (http://hah.org/…/Hawaii-Statewide-COVID19-testing-sites-4.8…)

HMC’s 5-STAGE COVID-19 MANAGEMENT PLAN:

– We are currently in Stage 2: Travel-Related Big Island Cases without Community Spread
– We are in preparation for Stage 3: Two or More Community Acquired COVID-19 Cases in East Hawaii (Not Travel-Related)

NO-VISITOR POLICY IN EFFECT AT HMC APPLIES TO ALL:

– The No Visitor Policy also applies to hospital employees. Please do not visit your loved ones in the hospital.
– No Visitor Policy still in effect for HMC’s Extended Care Facility, and Ka`u Hospital and Hale Ho`ola Hamakua

No visitors will be allowed at Hilo Medical Center with the exception of one visitor at a time for child birth, pediatric patients and end-of-life.
-Visitors that are allowed into the hospital under the exceptions are required to present photo ID and wear a mask.
-Outpatient: Patients coming to the hospital for outpatient care like clinics, lab, imaging, rehab, RT, are allowed one caregiver to accompany the patient for special assistance IF NEEDED.
-Updated scripts for screeners at the hospital entrance has been provided.

TIME TO GET YOUR MASKS! MANDATORY POLICY: STAFF ARE REQUIRED TO WEAR CLOTH MASKS ON ALL OF OUR CAMPUSES
-Everyone including patients, caregivers, staff, and vendors are required to wear a mask upon entering our facilities and clinics.
-You do not need to wear a mask in the parking lot if you are practicing social distancing.
-HMC is receiving donations of cloth masks and is communicating with your department managers to distribute them fairly
-Hospital ID Badges Required to Enter
-Mask adjusters: Mask adjusters to save your ears from the ear loops are being produced by the SupportHawaii.com, school STEM programs and PISCES of the astronomy community. Over 500 mask adjusters been distributed. Please send your feedback on the design for improvements.

McDonald’s offers free Thank You Meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner to healthcare workers through May 5. Show your badge or be in your uniform for the following:
-Breakfast – A choice of an Egg McMuffin®, Chicken McGriddles® or a Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuit. All options come with any size soft drink, tea or hot coffee and a Hash Brown.
-Lunch & Dinner – A choice of a Double Cheeseburger, 6-Piece Chicken McNuggets® or a Filet-O-Fish® will be offered. All options come with any size soft drink, tea or hot coffee and small fries.