HONOLULU (KHON2) — As coronavirus cases soar to new heights, the demand for testing is also reaching new records.
“In July I would say we were seeing maybe 1,000 to 2,000 tests a day,” said Dr. Libby Char State Health Director. “Right now we’re doing about 8,000 to 10,000 tests per day and we are ramping up to meet that demand.”
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There are dozens of free testing events this weekend on every island, including Aloha Stadium. Starting Saturday, people who are symptomatic or who have been exposed to COVID-19 can come down to the bus parking lot to get a rapid test. Just follow the “COVID-19” tests signs.
The event starts at 10 a.m. and will continue four days a week until the end of the month. It’s free, no appointment is needed, but a photo I.D. will need to be provided. One thing that makes this site different is that it will be using rapid tests.
“Expect that you may have to wait up to about 30 minutes or so once the testing process begins, ” said Brooks Baehr, Hawaii Department of Health spokesperson. “Those who test positive will be given a confirmatory test just to make sure that the antigen test they were given is indeed accurate.”
About 500 tests will be available Saturday at Aloha Stadium. How smoothly the process goes will depend on how many people show up.
Last weekend, some people said they waited three hours to get tested at the City’s testing site at the airport. While it may not be a fast process, health officials say that shouldn’t be a reason people don’t get tested.
“One of the big things we’re seeing is people who are sick still going to work or cousins house or whatever. I thought it was just allergies or runny nose. When we see this exponential growth in the amount of people getting infected with COVID-19 everyday, 2,000 people in the last three days that’s a crisis. To the point that we overwhelm our resources, that’s a disaster. That’s where we’re heading and we’re trying really hard not to get there.”
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The DOH has a testing site list island by island, for more information click here.