COVID dramatically impacting communities in west Oahu


HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) said it will be ramping up COVID testing and vaccination efforts on Oahu’s west side.

According to the DOH, communities along the Waianae Coast are disproportionately impacted by the virus.

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Jacob Schafer, the Director of Infection Control at the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, said in the last week, the coronavirus situation on Oahu has gotten much worse.

On Friday, Schafer said approximately one in three tests is coming back positive, compared to one in four a week ago.

“To be honest, I feel like we are in the Olympics from hell because every day is a new record. For example, today our case positivity rate for the first time at the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center reached above 30%,” he said.

Although Oahu currently allows gatherings of up to 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors, Schafer said residents should not be gathering with anyone outside of their household for at least the next two weeks.

“There is that much COVID out there, and it is that transmissible,” Schafer explained.

He also recommends getting tested immediately if you feel sick.

“I just wish I had a time machine that I could take these people five weeks before and say, ‘Get your shot now… Your 15 minute, free shot now. It’s going to save you a world of anguish, pain, hurt, heartache and fear. It’s not that hard and the consequences are just not worth it,'” Schafer said.

Find more COVID-19 news: cases, vaccinations on our Coronavirus News page

For a list of where you can get tested on the Leeward side of Oahu, click here.

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