LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i District Health Office opened the free post-travel test site for residents returning from the Mainland yesterday at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall where quick results could be obtained within 20 minutes from its on-site laboratory.
A similar test site for visitors opened at the American Medical Response office in Lihu‘e, several days into the state’s loosening the travel requirements for visitors to the Islands.
“One of the safety issues we are most passionate about is promoting a second, post-arrival test for incoming, out-of-state travelers,” Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami said during his daily video update Monday. “If you traveled here from the mainland and participated in the state’s Pre-Travel Testing Program, whether you are a resident or visitor, we urge you to take a second COVID-19 test no sooner than 72 hours following your arrival.”
These tests are available for travelers participating in the state’s Pre-Arrival Test Program.
“If you have not participated in the state’s Pre-Arrival Testing Program, you are required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival,” the mayor said. “If you have not taken a pre-arrival test, there is no option for you to test out of quarantine once you arrive.”
For Kaua‘i residents returning from Mainland travel and participating in the state’s Pre-Travel Testing Program, the free COVID-19 test is available at the convention hall site from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday. Residents are encouraged to take the test no sooner than 72 hours following arrival at home.
“The free post-arrival test is offered to Kaua‘i residents who returned home from mainland travel,” Kawakami said. “This program is not yet available to inter-island travelers. But we are looking to expand our program.”
For visitors from the Mainland, the post-arrival testing is available at the AMR office located behind Pizza Hut in Lihu‘e from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday with walk-ins welcomed. Visitors will be charged for their test, but will receive gift cards and vouchers to local restaurants and businesses for their participation.
“While we are very passionate about providing a post-arrival testing program to offer another layor of protection to our community, we must acknowledge that testing does not prevent COVID-19,” Kawakami said. “The absolute best way you can protect yourselves, and those around you, is to wear your mask at all times when you are around people who don’t live with you. This includes your close family, friends, and co-workers, regardless if you are indoors or outdoors. Keep at least a six-foot distance from others whenever possible. Wash your hands regularly. Sanitize your environment, and please, avoid group gatherings.”
Since the pre-test program started on Oct. 15, some of the problems encountered include travelers taking the pre-test, but not from one of the state’s Trusted Partners, and not completing their Safe Travels Digital Form that is required before leaving the airport.
“As a reminder,” Kawakami said. “All travelers must complete the state’s Safe Travels Digital Form by going to www.travel.hawaii.gov. For those taking part in the state’s Pre-Travel Testing Program, tests must be taken at a Trusted Partner and results uploaded to your Digital Profile.”
For details, visit hawaiicovid19.com.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.