Honolulu Mayor urges residents to get tested for coronavirus

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) –– Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is urging residents to get tested for COVID-19 as the city struggles to maintain the number of cases below the threshold needed to move into Tier 3.

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The City’s ability to move Oahu to Tier 3 is getting harder to achieve as cases continue to exceed the required seven-day average. The seven-day average required to advance through the tiers must remain below 50 cases with a positivity rate not exceeding 2.5 percent.

“I believe we all hope to get to Tier 3 on Thanksgiving day, but at this point given the number of cases, the positivity rate, it’s going to be very difficult, if not impossible,” Mayor Caldwell said.

The City is counting on more COVID-19 testing to curve the spread of the virus. Test results can prevent asymptomatic people from spreading the virus unknowingly.

Honolulu’s Department of Emergency Management Director, Hiro Toiya, said COVID-19 testing is among the strongest defense the City has against the virus.

“As we head into the holiday season, we see what’s happening on the mainland and it’s really troubling trend,” Toiya said. “Testing is not the silver bullet but it’s one of the tools that we have available in our arsenal.”

More than 16,000 COVID-19 tests remain available from August’ surge testing efforts. The City says it will continue to offer free tests at five locations across Oahu through the end of the month.

The tests are self-administered and usually provide results within 3 to 5 days.

“We have to average around 1,600 tests being done everyday to the end of the month. That’s a lot,” Caldwell said.

Even if the city does not move into Tier 3 in the next few weeks, Mayor Caldwell said the plan now is to try not to go backward.

“All you need is two weeks, two seven-day averages of two-weeks of over 100 and we immediately snap back to Tier One,” Caldwell explained. “So gyms close, dining is only with family or household unit, we can go back, I don’t want to go back.”

For more information about where to obtain a COVID-19 test on Oahu, click here.

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