HANAPEPE — Nearly 500 appointments — the largest amount since the County of Kaua‘i and state Department of Health started surge testing — greeted the surge-testing crew Sunday at Hanapepe Stadium when testing started in strong trade winds and cloudy skies.
“It is windy,” said Cynthia Chiang of the state Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office. “But leave it to Patrick Porter of the Department of Parks &Recreation and Solomon Kanoho of the Kaua‘i Fire Department to get everything set up correctly.”
Lauren Guest, DOH public health-preparedness planner in the Kaua‘i District Health Office, said there were 498 confirmed appointments when testing opened.
“Things are moving pretty smoothly,” she said. “We’ve already done more than 300 tests, and it’s just about noon.”
Free coronavirus surge testing continues every Sunday at least through the end of the year, and this Sunday the crew returns to Vidinha Stadium from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Results can be expected within three and five days.
The surge testing is not part of the state’s pre-travel testing program and cannot be used for quarantine exemptions.
“In addition to travel-related testing programs, the County of Kaua‘i, in partnership with the Hawai‘i State Department of Health, is providing free COVID-19 community testing at rotating sites every Sunday through the end of the year,” said Mayor Derek Kawakami last week.
“Last Sunday, Nov. 15, we tested 413 residents at our Kapa‘a site, which resulted in two positives. Earlier in the month, we tested 194 people at Vidinha Stadium, which also resulted in two positive results,” he said.
These tests are targeted for residents who work closely with visitors, Kawakami said.
“But tests are available to all residents for free,” he said. “That includes those who are under- or uninsured.”
Registration is required at Kauai.gov/test.
Guest said people are able to get tested as many times as they desire — they just need to register.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.