KEKAHA — A line of cars stretched along Kekaha Road to get into the parking lot of Kekaha School Saturday morning for free COVID-19 testing.
State Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office Officer Dr. Janet Berreman said there have been a low number of cases on the Westside community, not yet classified as a cluster.
The drive-up testing allowed residents to be quickly swabbed from the comfort of their vehicles, though that wasn’t always the case. During the first hour, even one biker and one person rolled in on an electric wheelchair.
The response from the Kekaha community, Berreman said, was greater than anticipated.
The DOH estimated there would be about 250 participants, but doubled that estimate to 500 within the first hour and a half of service. Results for the tests were expected to come in within the day or early today.
One of the pros of having a testing event like this within the community, Berreman said, is accessibility. Pointing to the line of cars Saturday morning, she said that if the community felt like they didn’t need it, they wouldn’t be here.
Today, the county, in partnership with the DOH, hosts free testing at Vidinha Stadium from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The county’s free testing opportunities are every Sunday through the end of the year, at rotating locations. Next week, testing will be held in Kapa‘a at the Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Complex from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Different than the county’s weekly surge-testing events, the tests Saturday were read at the DOH Kuua‘i District Health Office in Lihu‘e. The weekly surge-testing kits must be sent off to the Mainland for results.
For more information on the county’s free surge-testing, visit kauai.gov/test. The county urges those participating in these programs to contact the DOH Kaua‘i District Health Office at 241-3387 if they receive a positive result.
Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or firstname.lastname@example.org.