Free virus testing starts

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kaua‘i Police Department’s Bobby Thompson gets help from state Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office Public Health Nurse Angela Serota with the self test Sunday when the first surge-testing program launched at Vidinha Stadium.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Lauren Guest of the state Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office sanitizes a specimen collection Sunday when the first free COVID-19 surge-testing program opened at Vidinha Stadium.

  • Dennis Fujiimoto / The Garden Island

    Cale and MJ Akuna get help with their self test from Dr. Janet Berreman of the state Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office Sunday when the free COVID-19 surge-testing program launched at Vidinha Stadium.

LIHU‘E — Cale Akuna said the free self test for COVID-19 makes you want to sneeze Sunday as he and MJ Akuna got help from Dr. Janet Berreman, district health officer with the state Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office, at Vidinha Stadium.

The County of Kaua‘i, in partnership with the DOH, launched a free COVID-19 surge-testing program that will be available every Sunday through the end of December at various locations on Kaua‘i.

“Free testing is open to everyone, regardless of health insurance or symptoms,” said Mayor Derek Kawakami. “We want to encourage our hospitality-industry staff who work closely with visitors to get tested, to help protect their family and our entire community.”

Hospitality staff includes individuals of all ages working at hotels, restaurants and bars, tour companies, transportation companies and more. The testing is also available to those with poor access to COVID-19 testing.

Because of his exposure at the airport, Kaua‘i Police Department officer Bobby Thompson was able to take time on his shift with the Lihu‘e Airport detail to get his self test done with the help of the DOH Kaua‘i District Health Office public-health nurses.

“These tests are free to everyone,” Kawakami said. “This includes those who are under- or uninsured.”

These tests are not part of the state’s pre-travel testing program, and the results cannot be used for quarantine exemptions. For more information on pre-travel testing, visit

The surge-testing program is separate from the previously-announced, post-travel-testing program for out-of-state travelers. For more information on post-travel testing, visit kauai.go/visitorpost test. For Kaua‘i residents returning from travel, visit

Berreman, Elton Ushio with the Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency, Solomon Kanoho with the Kaua‘i Fire Department, and Patrick Porter of the county’s Department of Parks &Recreation oversaw the opening day.

“These are the same tests being administered on O‘ahu and the other islands,” Kanoho said. “We just brought it to Kaua‘‘i.”

The tests will rotate through sites in Lihu‘e, Kapa‘a and Hanapepe from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each Sunday through the end of 2020.

Next Sunday, Nov. 15, testing takes place at the Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Complex in Kapa‘a, and on Nov. 22 testing takes place at Hanapepe Stadium before rotating back to Vidinha Stadium Nov. 29.

“Everything worked smoothly,” Berreman said of opening day. “There was a line at the start, but everything worked like a well-oiled machine.”

Participants are asked to register ahead of testing at, and bring their confirmation when arriving on site for testing. A limited number of on-site registrations will be available at all sites for people who are unable to register online.


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or

  1. Me November 9, 2020 3:02 am Reply

    More testing more possibility of lockdown due to positive results.

  2. bye-den November 9, 2020 4:12 pm Reply

    If you have no symptoms and feel fine don’t get tested. If you test positive you and your close contacts will be forced to quarantine. Thanks plus it will add to our case count and potentially send us back into a restricted level of movement and school closures. Just remember nothings for free.

    1. what the... November 10, 2020 5:55 pm Reply

      How that comment made it past the screeners… Wow.

      If you have no symptoms and don’t get tested, but are infected, you are far more likely to spread Covid-19 and kill someone. If you get tested and find out you’re infected, you then have the chance to save lives, perhaps even someone you care about.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.