Results of Maui’s First Round of Drive-Through Testing Encouraging, Maui Urged to Stay the Course

March 31, 2020, 12:38 PM HST · Updated March 31, 12:59 PM
Wendy Osher · 6 Comments
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Dr. Lorrin Pang from the Maui District Health Office. PC: by Gaylord Paul Garcia (2020)

Results from the first week of drive-through testing on Maui (completed on March 23 and 24) returned only one positive COVID-19 result, according to county officials.

The positive case was identified as a resident returning to Maui from the mainland.

“We need to strive to do better,” said Maui Mayor Michael Victorino.  “I ask you now–all returning residents–whether it’s interisland, whether it’s from the mainland–when you return home, go straight to your home.  Go straight to your facility,” he said during a press conference on Monday afternoon.

Dr. Lorrin Pang with the Maui District Health Office who also spoke at the press conference said he believes that if there were more resources to do testing on a larger scale, Maui’s positive count would be much higher.

He said that at the time of the screening last week, Maui Island possibly had more than 5,000 people who could have been screened based on backup information on how many people could have been experiencing symptoms.

“This all kind of translates to how many people really out there that you could have picked up if you had the time and energy to screen them all,” said Dr. Pang.  “I think we could have picked up 30–30 more,” he said.  “I think we picked up one in our little survey, but that represents 30 people out there with COVID-19 in 10 days,” he said, noting that 10 days is the estimated period when people are sick and “shedding the virus.”

In one month, he said, it translates to 30 potential positive cases times three 10 day periods, or 90 potential cases of COVID-19 challenging the island.  He said hygiene and social distancing is helping to curb the spread and could help to address the potentially positive cases that are not included in the official count.

“As explosive as this thing can be, if you shut it down with hygiene and spreading out, you will lead those other two dozen” individuals “to a dead end,” said Dr. Pang.

A second round of testing at the War Memorial Gym drive-through site on Maui was conducted on Monday, March 30, with 83 tests submitted for review.

County officials say they will continue to test as supplies allow and will announce the next planned testing date when more kits are available.

As of Tuesday at noon, there are 224 cases of COVID-19 identified in Hawaiʻi with 20 new cases statewide. Maui’s total COVID-19 positive cases currently stands at 25.  The state also reported its first COVID-19 related death in Hawaiʻi.

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served nearly 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.

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