Honolulu, Hawaii 2020-11-20 05:43:49 –
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is calling on more people to use the COVID-19 test for inter-island trips at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.
A new mobile COVID-19 test lab at the airport recently opened near baggage claim 31 in Terminal 2. The lab is run by the Hawaii National Kidney Foundation and is open to the public.
For almost three weeks, the lab tested 300 people via a nasal swab with a positive rate of 5%. This rate is higher than the average of 2.7% on Oahu, as most of the tests were the first responders to be exposed to the virus. Caldwell said at a news conference that only about 100 travelers used the facility to evade the 14-day forced quarantine for island trips.
“We need to do better,” he said of a facility that can handle up to 10,000 tests a day. “We know that people want to go to the next island to meet family and friends, and there is a great opportunity to be tested here.”
He said the city had purchased 42,000 additional tests for the mobile lab. However, travelers have to pay $ 125. This test is free for first responders and their families living in the same household, as well as federal and state employees working at Honolulu Airport.
The mayor hopes to increase testing by bringing the labs currently located in the Diamond Head Tour Group Bus Area of the overseas terminal closer to the inter-island terminal to the community.
The increase in testing is especially important as cases surge in the mainland, Caldwell said.
“COVID is getting out of control in the rest of the continents of all states … when we see a downward turn, we can’t see the end,” he said. An estimated 251,000 people nationwide have died from the new coronavirus, returning to positive in the United States with a positive rate of 10%.
“We take the risk every time someone flies here from another part of the continent. Natural barriers … the Pacific Ocean has made the positive rate very low,” he said. “We have opened that barrier in passing people, and it involves risks, which grow as aggressiveness grows on the continent.”
Health officials reported 107 new coronavirus infections across the state on Thursday. This includes 75 on Oahu, bringing the total to 16,841 since the pandemic began. The official state coronavirus deaths remain at 223. However, the state has not yet verified COVID-19 as a cause of 17 deaths on the Big Island. Of the total number of infections in the state, 1,527 are considered active.
Oahu is on Tier 2 of the island’s four-tier economic recovery program, with meetings limited to five people. Thanksgiving does not move the county to Tier 3 and allows up to 10 people to gather.
To move to the next layer, the 7-day average for new cases should be less than 50 on two consecutive Wednesdays and the positive rate should be less than 2.5%. The average 7-day number of cases on Oahu on Thursday was 71, with a positive rate of 2.7%.
“I still hope I can reach Tier 3 and get together in 10 before the holidays begin. No need to give up. We need to hunt down and work harder,” Caldwell said. Said. “Paying attention to a very dark year can bring great joy.”
The mobile lab is open daily from 9am to 5pm. Test results will be available in 3-4 hours.
For more information on the mobile test lab, please visit oneoahu.org/covid19-testing/#mobile.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell urges travelers to use airport lab Source link Mayor Kirk Caldwell urges travelers to use airport lab