HONOLULU (KHON2) — Thousands of Oahu residents can begin ordering free COVID-19 test kits, while supplies last, thanks to a federal pilot program called the “Say Yes! COVID Test At-Home Testing Challenge.”
Eight rapid antigen tests will be sent to 125,000 residents who live in eligible ZIP codes (listed below). Participants are encouraged to use the tests twice a week for four weeks, regardless of symptoms.
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Residents who live in the following ZIP codes are eligible: 96701, 96706, 96707, 96712, 96717, 96730, 96731, 96734, 96744, 96762, 96782, 96786, 96789, 96791, 96792, 96795, 96797, 96813, 96814, 96815, 96816, 96817, 96818, 96819, 96821, 96822, 96825, 96826, 96844, 96850, 96853, 96854, 96857, 96858, 96859, 96860, 96861, 96863.
The Premier Medical Group President and CEO Dr. Scott Miscovich said he has used these rapid COVID tests out in the field manufactured by Quidel. He has found these tests are more reliable with people who are showing COVID symptoms.
“When you go between day four and day seven there’s a lot of virus, it’s in your tears, it’s in your respiratory droplets in your nose, you can get it almost anywhere on your body,” Miscovich said. “It’s really very easy to detect, therefore that swab and that test they give you it’s going to detect when you are most contagious.”
A spokesperson for the City said since these tests are antigen and FDA approved under emergency use authorization, they are acceptable under the Safe Access Oahu program. However, at-home COVID tests cannot be used by City employees who received a vaccine exemption.
“Free, rapid, self-administered testing will give community members one more way to help reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char said in a statement. “This program provides participating communities with another tool to protect themselves and their families as we continue to increase access to testing.”
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The self-administered test kits will be available through Monday, Oct. 18, or while supplies last. These tests cannot be used for workplace testing requirements or other programs. Results can be ready in about 10 minutes.
Click here to order a test kit.