About 1,000 surge tests labeled incorrectly, impacted individuals urged to retest

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Honolulu is in the midst of two weeks of surge testing to try and get a handle on the disease in the community.

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But KHON2 learned that some of the tests from the Kaneohe site on Wednesday were not labeled correctly and those who are impacted are being urged to retest.

The results from last week’s surge testings are still not publicly available and for some, those results may not come as soon as they thought.

We learned that about a thousand of the surge tests were apparently not labeled correctly because the Honolulu Fire Department did not get the correct guidance on how to label them.

A city spokesman says that the mayor spoke with the Surgeon General and is requesting to have those tests go through anyway.

The city provided us this statement from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

“At one of the sites, the non-eTrueNorth staff who were responsible for putting patient identifiers on the vials, did not do so for approximately 1,000 vials and the vials arrived at the lab with no patient identifiers on the vials. The lab validates each specimen by looking at the patient information on the voucher and matching it with the patient information on the vial.  Since there was NO patient information on the vials, the lab had to send each patient a notice that they had an inconclusive result.  All impacted individuals were informed to retest. There were an additional 500 vials that had some patient identifiers on the vials and the lab was able to match that information with the information on the voucher and processed those specimens.”

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Once the numbers do come in, Lieutenant Governor Josh Green told KHON2 that the results will likely be separate from daily case totals.

“Because I think there’s going to be some volatility of mass testing, and they are asymptomatic individuals so I intend to separate them,” said Lt. Gov. Green. “I don’t want to let one batch contaminate another, if you will, because I think that it’s too important that we keep our steady baseline of our, you know, percent positive.”

We also wanted to know if there’s a concern that the results from these surge testings could strain contract tracing efforts–efforts that were recently scrutinized by the state auditor.

“It could happen. I think it’s going to be a relatively low number of people testing positive from the surge efforts because there’s mostly asymptomatic folks, and it’s less of a worry,” said Lt. Gov. Green.

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