With no post-arrival travel test, Oahu hopes state’s surveillance numbers come quickly


HONOLULU (KHON2) — Officials are gathering post-arrival testing information to see how much of the virus is slipping through the cracks of the state’s pre-travel testing program.

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One mayor is hoping that the results will come quick.

Currently, Oahu does not have a post-arrival testing program like the neighbor islands as discussions are ongoing.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said that when they agreed to the state’s pre-travel testing program, they were assured there would be a surveillance test that would provide a second follow-up test involving somewhere around 10% of arrivals.

“That’s our insurance policy for Honolulu to make sure we are not encouraging or taking on more risk than we should,” said Mayor Caldwell.

The city is waiting for results from the surveillance testing.

“We have taken on risk opening to visitors and we need to know what those results are of those risks, and finding it out after the fact does not protect the people of Oahu who are concerned opening up to visitors,” said Mayor Caldwell.

Lieutenant Governor Josh Green said the surveillance testing is a study and that it takes time to generate enough data. Lt. Gov. Green did provide some numbers but said that they don’t know if they’re statistically significant yet.

“The initial data, just the first handful of data that we’re getting tests back, just 24 hours after people got tested starting Monday, the first 10, were all negative on Oahu,” said Lt. Gov. Green. “So lots of data will be coming in, and this is something I tried to explain to the mayor of the City and County of Honolulu, okay, he was unable to grasp it.”

A scientific team is leading the surveillance testing study and Lt. Gov. Green said that it would be a mistake to rush the project.

“We should just let them do their science and get us data over the course of several weeks,” said Lt. Gov. Green.

“We expected to see results quickly to find out what’s out there, but we don’t know what’s out there,” said the mayor. “We are hoping we get those answers quickly so we can take appropriate action.”

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