COVID-19 screening and testing is ongoing

There is ongoing screening and testing for COVID-19 around the island, and in some locations, antibody tests.  The State Health Department says the state has the capacity to process tests for at least 3,000 people every day, but the current testing level is less than 1,000 per day.  In addition to the ongoing testing, there are also often one-day “pop up” test sites.

Health care professionals on the island have noted that the volume of people coming into some sites to get tested for COVID-19 has declined.  Anne Broderson, RN, of Ali’i Health Center says, for example, Ali’i Health in Keauhou Shopping Center in April was testing 200 to 220 people each week in April, and the count is now down to 100 to 150 weekly in May.  Broderson says it’s especially important for people to go to a location for testing if they have symptoms or exposure, even though new cases in the state and on the island have declined.   She said with businesses reopening people will be in more contact with others, and that will be even more so as tourism begins to increase.

Health officials remind everybody that COVID-19 is very contagious, as evidenced by the spread of COVID-19 to at least 36 people sickened in the McDonald’s Kona cluster.  One individual with COVID-19 worked and the virus spread to at least 19 employees and 17 other family contacts.  State Health Director Bruce Anderson said there were 3 clusters of COVID-19 in Kona–the 36 associated with McDonald’s, plus two family clusters of 4 and 2.

The standard COVID-19 PCR test tells if somebody has COVID-19 at the time.  The antibody tests tell if somebody had COVID-19 in the past, and if they have as a result developed antibodies.  The COVID-19 test uses a long swab to gather cells from the back of the nose and/or throat.  The antibody tests are generally blood draws.

The Island of Hawaii has several ongoing testing sites offering COVID-19 testing.  For antibody testing, check with the location.  To learn more about antibody testing, click here.   Hilo Medical Center requires a doctor’s lab order, and all others will do a physician screening on-site.

For all, please bring a photo I.D. and if you have insurance, please bring your card. Please also try to bring your own pen to fill out the forms.   Symptoms include fever, dry cough, difficulty in breathing, loss of taste and smell.  Medical personnel will also ask about off island travel history and about possible exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 patient.  They encourage people with likely exposure to possible victims–first responders, health providers, etc. — to get screened.

Hilo Medical Center:  Call your primary care provider and ask them if you need a test.  The provider must place the order directly with Clinical Labs Hawaii.  The testing tents are in the parking lot across from Hilo Medical Center, 1285 Waianuenue Avenue, Monday through Friday, 10  til 2.

The following screening and testing sites do not need an advance doctor’s order, and will have a medical professional provide an on-site medical assessment and have set up special drive-up testing tents.   Take your photo I.D. and a health insurance card, if you have one.

Ali’i Health Center at Keauhou Shopping Center:  Monday and Thursday, 8 a.m. til noon.   For advance screening to shorten the process, call weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to  808-747-8321, option 5

Aloha Kona Urgent Care  will conduct drive-through screening and testing clinics in Kona at their Pottery Terrace location, 75-5995 Kuakini Hwy, Kailua-Kona on Saturdays from 8 a.m. until noon.  Call for pre-screening at (808) 854-3566.

Hilo Civic Auditorium/Ho’olulu Complex:  Sundays, 9 a.m. til 1 p.m.

Puna Community Medical Center, in Malama Marketplace in Pahoa:  every day, 8 a.m. til 5 p.m., on Saturdays and Sundays they close for lunch for 12 til 1.  Puna Community Medical Center will test with a doctor’s order and will come to your vehicle to do the swab; otherwise the on-site physicians will screen and test as appropriate.

Queen’s North Hawaii Community Hospital, now in the emergency department at the main hospital site:  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 10 a.m. til 2 p.m.

Kaiser Permanente patients should call their clinic and speak to a provider.  Or go online, kp.org — they have a COVID-19 screening section.

West Hawaii Community Health Center is doing testing for patients; those concerned may sign up with WHCHC on a same-day basis.  Please call West Hawaii Community Health Center, located at the intersection of Kuakini and Hualalai Roads, at 808-326-5629.  They take all patients regardless of ability to pay.

Bay Clinic is doing testing for patients, with drive-through COVID-19 testing  open to Bay patients on weekdays from 7:30 am -12:00 pm at 450 Kilauea Ave.  Questions, call 808-333-3600.  Bay Clinic takes all  patients regardless of ability to pay.

Photo is screening/testing site at Ali’i Health at Keauhou Shopping Center.

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