Honolulu Mayor Says Glitches Affected More Than 1,700 COVID-19 Tests

August 31, 2020, 4:00 PM HST · Updated September 1, 6:09 AM
Wendy Osher · 62 Comments
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LIVE: Mayor Caldwell responding to questions from the media regarding the surge testing program underway on Oʻahu.

Posted by Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Monday, August 31, 2020

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Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell responded to questions from the media today regarding the surge testing program underway on Oʻahu and glitches experienced on the first day.

In the first day of surge testing at Kaneʻohe District Park and Leeward Community College there were problems reported  with an estimated 1,776 tests that were returned as incomplete.

The program has a goal of testing 5,000 individuals a day for two weeks.  Mayor Caldwell said the vials used for the affected tests were not labeled correctly. “On the vials that were done in the first day, that information was not put on the vial.  It was on the paper form that was put into the bag with the vial when the test was done, but through miscommunication, it was not written on the vial itself,” said Mayor Caldwell.

The vast majority of incomplete tests were returned from Kaneʻohe District Park with the remaining problems reported at Leeward Community College.

Mayor Caldwell said those affected will be receiving an email from the company that does the testing and will be getting a second email telling them where they can go to get a follow up test that is more convenient, and will not require a long wait in line.

Over last two days 10,534 individuals have been tested, exceeding the daily goal of 5,000 tests a day.  The goal of the surge testing program is to find out where the virus is so that officials can focus contact tracing and quarantine efforts.

The program was announced last week and was slated to begin on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, with the goal of completing 60,000 tests in two weeks.

“We made a request for even more tests, and they’ve committed to providing another 30,000.  So that will be a total of 90,000 tests that we will be doing on the island of Oʻahu. That’s almost one tenth of the entire population fo the City and County of Honolulu,” said Mayor Caldwell.

“We had a little bit of a rocky rollout. Everyone has been brought up to speed on how they need to label the vials and I think we’ve learned from that experience.  The good news is that the 1776 tests are a small fraction of all of the tests we’ve done so far,” said Mayor Caldwell.

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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