HONOLULU (KHON2) — The University of Hawaii at Manoa (UH) is expected to receive over $950,000 from the National Institutes of Health to encourage an increase in COVID-19 testing among Pacific Islander communities in Hawaii and Guam.

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The $958,613 federal grant will go toward the Puipuia le Ola project, which will work to improve testing outreach to Pacific Islanders impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The state’s Department of Health says Pacific Islanders account for 28 percent of COVID-19 infections, despite being just 4 percent of the state’s population.

“We need to do more to fight outbreaks in Pacific Islander communities,” said Senator Schatz, member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “By ramping up testing and supporting the targeted outreach efforts of local agencies on the ground, we can help stop the spread of the virus. There’s still more work to do, but this federal grant is a good start.”

The Puipuia le Ola project is a partnership between UH Manoa, University of Guam, Kalihi-Palama Health Center, the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander COVID-19 Response, Recovery and Resilience Team and several community-based organizations.

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