HONOLULU (KHON2) — House committee members met Thursday, July 9, with health officials and health care workers to discuss how to prevent COVID-19 from spreading in nursing homes.

This comes amid clusters among several nursing and adult care homes in the state.

The State Office of Health Care Assurance says that it received guidance from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, which includes doing infection control surveys by phone and in person.

The conversation quickly turned to our state’s testing capability.

Hawaii State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park reiterated how Hawaii is prepared with a reserve of medical supplies.

“We have stockpiles yes, that’s why we’re able to offer help to Diagnostic Laboratory Services and other labs,” Dr. Park said. 

 Dr. Scott Miscovich of Premier Medical Group Hawaii echoed Park’s statements.

“We should have the capability from doing anywhere from 10,000-25,000 tests a day in the state of Hawaii. I believe we need to be prepared now and not wait until there is a problem,” Dr. Miscovich said.

Diagnostic Laboratory Services told KHON2 on Tuesday that its mainland supplier is being overwhelmed with the surge on the mainland, and was unable to supply DLS with the necessary equipment to perform COVID-19 testing.

As a result, DLS’s testing capacity has been reduced from 800 tests per day to 250 tests per day.

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