Travelers with negative COVID results are still forced to quarantine

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Travelers who got a negative COVID test but are still forced to quarantine are frustrated.

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These travelers said it’s because they’re not able to upload their negative results to the state’s Safe Travels App.

KHON2 spoke with both visitors and returning residents who say that the Safe Travels app seems to be overloaded. When they tried to upload their COVID test result, they got a message that says that it has to go through a manual review.

Utah visitor Janet Chambers and her family arrived in Honolulu Friday night, among the thousands who flew in since tourism’s reopening Thursday. Her results were delayed so they didn’t come in until Saturday. Since then, she’s been calling to find out how much longer it will take to finish that manual review.

“I was on the phone for 43 minutes waiting. It started out as caller number 41, later caller number 19, and then I was disconnected. Then every time I’ve tried to call back since then, the number is just busy,” said Chambers.

They’re supposed to go to Kauai on Friday and would need to get tested again. So far, their vacation has been filled with frustration and anxiety.

“This has been really uncomfortable and I have health issues, not anything with COVID, but it has actually exacerbated those and that’s not what a vacation is about,” said Chambers.

Late Monday afternoon, she got a call saying that the family has been cleared and no longer on quarantine. The state says that all passengers who got their results after they arrive have to go through a manual review. There were 2,000 of them and the state has cleared 1,200.

“People are probably going to have a two or three-day wait period for us to manually go through the tests. Part of the problem is that we did allow people at kind of the last minute for a few days to use non-trusted travel partners,” said state Chief Information Officer Doug Murdock.

He says the state stopped accepting results from non-trusted partners and that should ease the backlog. He adds that travelers should make sure to upload the PDF version of the test result as opposed to just a screenshot or a photo of it.

“All the trusted partners have a PDF normal eight-and-a-half by eleven portrait lab report that should be available to the travelers,” said Murdock.

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