HONOLULU (KHON2) — A blessing ceremony was held at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport as the state unveiled its newest coronavirus mobile testing laboratory.
[Hawaii news on the go–LISTEN to KHON 2GO weekday mornings at 7:30 a.m.]
Governor David Ige and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell attended the event to express support of the site, which will serve as a COVID-19 testing and results facility for arriving travelers.
The blessing ceremony can be watched here:
The lab is fully integrated and will have the ability to test up to 10,000 people a day with a PCR test.
“Having this lab facility here in the islands, being able to process these samples, is a fundamental strategy upon which we build our public health program,” said Gov. Ige.
Officials say that the COVID-19 testing facility will be able to process results anywhere from a few hours to two days.
The lab, which is headed by the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii, is currently not a trusted state testing partner. However, NKFH officials noted that it is working on getting approval. Once established, the lab will help facilitate inter-island travel.
“As you know, we do have a quarantine between islands and being able to test here right at the airport for neighbor island residents returning to their island would allow them to test out of the quarantine,” Gov. Ige added.
Testing will cost $125 but it will be offered for free to first responders and government employees. Adults and children over the age of five can be tested.
Appointments and prescriptions are not necessary.
“I think, most importantly, this facility has the potential to double the testing capacity within the State of Hawaii and that will make a tremendous difference for us in identifying those who are infected and controlling the virus here in the islands,” said Gov. Ige.
Though the lab is dedicated to COVID-19 testing, Mayor Caldwell says that the governor will have the ability to turn the lab into a vaccination center in the future.
“This lab here can be turned into a vaccination center … Gov. Ige has the ability to turn this into a way to get people vaccinated — maybe twice — to start to make sure people are vaccinated up to about 70% so we can put this COVID-19 behind us,” explained Mayor Caldwell.
The lab will be open Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport near the group tour bus parking, taxi cab staging and bus stop.
The full press conference can be watched below:
For more information, click here.