HONOLULU (KHON2) — The state said its coronavirus test kits from the Centers for Disease Control are ready for use. They were able to use it to test a visitor who flew in Thursday.
The visitor from California had contact with a person identified to have coronavirus or COVID-19 and was showing symptoms of being sick. The visitor tested negative for coronavirus, but positive for a cold virus.
Lieutenant Governor Josh Green said they got the green light from the Centers for Disease Control that they can use the CDC test kits, even though there’s a part that doesn’t work.
They had insisted before that that third re-agent be tested
“They had this additional re-agent to test that the test was not faulty. At first that thing had been broken,” said Green.
“[The CDC] had insisted before that that third re-agent be tested. They finally decided that it was adequate, and that we not have to use that… so the standardization was adequate, and now we can test.”
He said because they were able to test on Oahu, it was a quick turn around.
“Now we can test and turn around even faster. They could even turn it around in 4 to 6 hours,” said Green. “Otherwise it’s a 7 day turn around all the way back to the CDC in Georgia.”
He said the Hawaii Department of Health will still double check the results at the main CDC lab in Atlanta, Georgia.
“What we do is we will still send it for confirmation so we send that person’s test result and the swab over now for verification,” said Green. “We will continue to check so that we don’t have a false negative.”
As for the airports, KHON asked if additional screening will be added to not only international travelers but mainland travelers as well since new cases are popping up in the U.S., Green said they will continue to watch the travel advisories.
Temperature checks began in January as part of the screening process for those coming from China, he said he’s looking into the possibility of extending this throughout the airport.
“I’m getting quotes on what that could cost us as a state, it’s pretty inexpensive and whether it suits us. It’s not perfect, but it is a way to do some checks and do some security so that we’re not missing people,” said Green.