County setting up mobile labs funded by Chan-Zuckerberg fund

LIHU‘E — With over $300,000 in funds derived from a Hawai‘i Community Foundation fund seeded by Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, the county will be getting three mobile labs capable of expanding the county’s COVID-19 vaccination and testing programs.

The Kaua‘i Health Fund, a field of interest fund supported by Chan Zuckerberg Kaua‘i Community Fund of HCF, approved a $365,193.40 grant from HCF for three 2020 Ford commercial cargo vehicles that will be outfitted with medical-grade facilities, including running water, ventilation and refrigeration capabilities.

“The mobile labs’ original intent was to provide communities and specific populations with on-site services island-wide as part of the incident management response for the COVID-19 emergency,” County Managing Director Michael Dahilig said in an email this week. “This resource was intended to be deployed for multiple programs starting with rapid testing (antigen and/or rapid PCR) to eventually administering vaccinations.”

Mobile units, Dahilig explained during Wednesday’s Kaua‘i County Council briefing on the grant, will allow the county to provide care to hard-to-reach areas without spending additional resources on transportation back and forth.

“We have had outbreaks in places like Wainiha and Kekaha, and having the ability to go into the community with the ease of laboratory access will allow us to provide information and response quicker, more accurately, and in the manner that allows us to not waste a lot of time in terms of having to shuttle things back and forth to the fixed laboratory facilities in Lihu‘e,” Dahilig said.

“These mobile labs will be used to provide on-site vaccinations to hard-to-reach populations such as houseless and home-bound elderly residents,” Dahilig said. “Vaccinations will presently take a higher priority for these mobile labs since the vaccination program is currently in full swing.”

The Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency hopes to get the program up and running in the next couple of weeks once the vehicles, from Hawai‘i Specialty Vehicles, are shipped.

The in-kind gift, which the council unanimously approved to the county to receive on Wednesday, is already being looked at for long-term use. The county plans to offer the mobile labs to island-wide partners or utilize in times of need.

“After the pandemic, social services will continue to be in high demand due to the hardships caused by the pandemic,” Dahilig said. “These mobile labs will be available for charitable and non-profit agencies that are servicing individuals and populations for various programs that partner with the various county’s agencies and departments.”

10 Comments
  1. more Aloha from Zuck than most Kauaians March 11, 2021 7:34 am Reply

    this is what Aloha looks like. Zuck’s generosity stands in stark contrast to the anti-visitor, NIMBY, anti-change, small-minded, selfish people on this island (=North Shore).


    1. Smoke and mirrors March 11, 2021 8:20 am Reply

      Zuck is buying his influence on island. He’s no dummy that’s for sure. Hired a Hawaiian to screw over a bunch of other Hawaiians through quiet title sales and convincing to sell so he could consolidate his land grab legally in a court of law. Extinguishing any claims to those native borns rights in the area. Zuck has access to more information than imaginable. This is how you bribe politicians these days.


    2. John March 11, 2021 9:08 am Reply

      Zuck’s net worth is $105 BILLION. And $26 billion of that was earned in 2020 during the Covid pandemic, virtually profiting off of death and suffering.

      Donating $300K to Kauai – where he and his lawyers stole property worth hundreds of millions from locals – is the literal mathematical equivalent of you or me tossing one single penny into a homeless person’s hat.

      Zuck is nouveau-riche scum, and he knows it; this is just an empty gesture, and I really hope nobody else here is as gullible and easily placated as you.


  2. Jerry Thomas March 11, 2021 8:02 am Reply

    Thanks Zuck! You be the man!


    1. Michael March 11, 2021 2:45 pm Reply

      While Zuckerbergs platform may have almost single handily destroyed what comity was left in society and he himself profited immensely it is good to see them pony up for needs on island.
      He plays the evil guy for sure but id take his loose change. How about 10 million for Hawaii Hospice to build a oceanview center?


  3. Makani B. Howard March 11, 2021 10:27 am Reply

    Good work! I am glad he is helping out!


  4. Doug March 11, 2021 10:30 am Reply

    Mark Zukerberg and Priscilla Chan have donated a lot of money to this island over the last two years (a million here, $500,000 there, $4.2 million for the jobs program which goes directly to the people of Kauai) and we should be grateful for that. They definitely got off on the wrong foot though when they tried to use the quiet title process to take over land that belonged to others, people have not forgiven them for that, and you can’t blame them.


    1. Barely legal March 11, 2021 3:59 pm Reply

      Buying influence.


  5. Respect Life March 11, 2021 10:04 pm Reply

    Kind of reminiscent of of the mobile execution vans in China set up for organ harvesting…
    No Thank you.


  6. Lyra March 15, 2021 5:48 pm Reply

    Sure. Kauai is for the Elite and all of us dump bums are gonna be living in Lihue as per Agenda21 getting new software upgrades via Zuck vax. Who sold Kauai? What you gonna have for your children. You think they care about your children? Or you? You are just a cattle to them. Wake up


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