HONOLULU (KHON2) — Dr. Scott Miscovich was emphatic when placing blame for the surge in positive coronavirus tests on Oahu in recent weeks, many of which he has tested himself.

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“This is the Department of Health’s failure,” Dr. Miscovich said. “This is not the people of Hawaii. The people of Hawaii are respectful. Sure there’s some that haven’t done everything they needed to do, but this is not from the people.”

The leading COVID-19 test administrator in Hawaii conducted more drive-thru testing at Kakaako Waterfront Park. He blames a lack of contact tracing and testing on the DOH’s demise from success in the early days of the pandemic to current levels, which have soared over 200 positive results for five days straight. Dr. Miscovich thinks the increase is still an undercount.

“This has nothing to do with better testing, the testing is actually worse. If we had adequate testing we would be finding right now that these numbers would be double what they are,” Dr. Miscovich said.

In July, Hawaii’s in-state lab capacity was drawn away by a spike on the continental United States, with reagent developer Roache pulling supplies to other regions.

Since then, the state has seen a steady increase become an outbreak in a matter of weeks.

“My estimation is that the true incidence and number of cases in our state right now is probably easily exceeding 500-700, could be exceeding 1,000 at any given time,” Dr. Miscovich said.

What he saw Sunday was many people in the early stages of the virus, which is when he says it is most important to test and isolate individuals.

“The symptomatology that we’re seeing right now is fatigue, headache–they’re a little achy, very vague. Let alone a lot of the other people are asymptomatic. If you’re waiting until you have coughing, you’ve already spread it to another 10 or 15 people probably,” Dr. Miscovich said.

Hawaii Governor David Ige has made some staffing changes at the DOH recently, putting Dr. Emily Roberson as the head of contact tracing at their Disease Investigation Branch. Governor Ige said last week that restructuring at the DOH is an important step in addressing the surge, and the Department will continue to increase its capacity to step up contact tracing.

Dr. Miscovich says that the changes are not enough.

“We have to have complete change for everything we are doing in the state right now. What has been announced will not work.”

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