Hawaii health officials tested six potential cases of Coronavirus, all of the results were negative, but they said to expect even more people to be under investigation for the virus as the state’s department of health is now able to test for the virus.
After weeks of delays due to faulty testing kits sent by the CDC, health officials and Governor David Ige said the first results from the state labs have been negative.
Ige said, “There’s been two people that you know under investigation for the virus, they both ended up being negative so the virus was not found.”
Now with Covid19 testing capabilities the state will expand its criteria for testing. Dr. Bruce Anderson the Director of Health said before it was only those with symptoms and who traveled to or from China who got tested.
“That’s now been expanded dramatically and we do expect more testing to occur as a result the disease is now spread in other countries,” Anderson said. “Iran, Iraq, Japan and South Korea and Italy, are all areas where the disease is circulating. “
The state lab in Pearl City is the only facility testing for Coronavirus in the state, the facility could test 250 samples per week or 500 in the case of an emergency.
However, under CDC orders, private labs will soon be able to do the testing as well. Dr. Edward Desmond, the administrator for the state laboratory division said the private labs could help neighbor islands get results faster.
Desmond said, “We will ask that they send from other laboratories in Hawaii that are beginning to do this procedure send their first positive to us so that will help them with their quality control. “
Currently all of the testing is being done manually, although there is a pending request to order automated testing equipment that would allow for more and faster results.
Ige said, “We are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best, as you have seen in China they tested 80,000 individuals for Covid 19 virus so we are clearly are looking at being able to accommodate as many tests that are required in our community. “
State health officials will send any positive results to the CDC for further confirmation.