DOH Waives Routine TB Clearance Requirements for Selected Groups

The Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) is waiving routine Tuberculosis (TB) clearance requirements for selected groups to support COVID-19 mitigation efforts. The suspension will remain in effect through May 31, 2020. The suspension will support social distancing in the community to protect the public, especially vulnerable seniors and individuals with medical conditions that could increase their risk for COVID-19.  


Although TB tests for routine screening are mandated under Hawaii Administrative Rules, Title 11, Chapter 164, the DOH determined that temporarily suspending the TB clearance for these selected categories do not pose immediate risks for tuberculosis transmission in the community. This also reduces the greater risks of contracting COVID-19 and helps to further manage the spread of the virus in communities across the state. DOH conducts an average of 50,000 tuberculosis skin tests annually, and provides treatment to approximately 120 individuals identified with TB.

TB clearances for the following are suspended through May 31, 2020:

  • Annual clearance for healthcare workers
  • Annual clearance for patients in long-term care facilities
  • Food handlers
  • Children entering childcare, preschool or school (K-12th grade)
  • Post-secondary school students and employees

The Department of Health continues to require TB clearances for new healthcare workers, new childcare and school employees, and new residents of long-term care facilities.  DOH will continue to provide full evaluation and treatment of patients with active TB as well as those who have been exposed to individuals with active TB.

Residents who need a TB clearance may call their local public health nursing office to make an appointment for this service.

Department of Health Restarts TB Skin Testing in Clinics Statewide

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has acquired an adequate supply of purified protein derivative (PPD) solution used for tuberculosis (TB) skin testing and will resume providing the tuberculin skin test (TST) in all DOH TB clinics statewide on Monday, July 15, 2013.

Department of Health

Availability of TB test solution is returning to normal throughout Hawaii and the DOH encourages medical providers, clinics, and health care settings to resume providing the TST to their clients.

A national shortage of PPD prompted the state to issue a 120-day temporary suspension of TB clearance requirements that are mandated in Hawaii Administrative Rules, Title 11, Chapter 164, for school personnel, students, food handlers, and workers in health care, domiciliary care, daycare, and residential care facilities. The temporary suspension of requirements for TB clearance expires on August 9, 2013 and state requirements for TB clearance will resume at that time. Students enrolling in post-secondary school for the first-time in Hawaii may receive additional guidance directly from their university or college.

“We anticipate that there will be a high demand for testing, especially with the new school year approaching. To meet this demand as smoothly as possible, and in collaboration with our public health nurses, we have expanded the hours and staffing at DOH testing locations statewide,” said Dr. Elizabeth MacNeill, Acting TB Control Branch Chief. “Fortunately, the DOH tuberculosis program has moved back to our permanent and familiar location in Kalihi at 1700 Lanakila Avenue.”

A full listing of DOH TB testing locations and hours as well as TB clearance requirements can be found on the DOH TB Control Branch website at www.health.gov/health/tb. For more information on tuberculosis or TB testing, the public may call the Hawaii TB Control Branch at (808) 832-5731 or visit www.hawaii.gov/health/tb.