Maui Drive-Through Coronavirus Testing Expected to Launch Early Next Week
By Wendy Osher
Preparations are underway to ready the War Memorial Gymnasium parking lot in Wailuku as Maui’s drive-through testing site for COVID-19.
Details of the operation will be announced on Friday, with the goal of tests to start as early as next week.
“Our primary goal with the drive through testing is to divert people away from our hospitals and overloading their resources. The public knows that the hospitals are doing sampling, but we’re really stressing to people that they shouldn’t show up there unless they need urgent medical attention,” said Chris Sugidono, Assistant Communications Director with the County of Maui Office of the Mayor.
Once the drive through is up and running, people will be able to call a phone number to be screened for testing eligibility. The plan is to have morning and afternoon appointments.
Occupants of vehicles traveling through the drive-through site will not get out of their vehicle, as the test swab can be done while the person is still inside.
“We’re also advising the community that we don’t need to test everyone in Maui County. We continue to ask people with mild symptoms to stay home and take care of their personal health,” said Sugidono.
“Our Maui District Health Office has been working with health officials on Oʻahu to help establish procedures and protocols, and other people from the community have stepped forward to assist. The major issue we’ve encountered is a lack of test kits nationwide and statewide, which has delayed the opening of drive through testing on the island,” he said.
County officials say the intention is to do testing until it is no longer needed, but say that will ultimately depend on the availability of resources.