Gov. Ige Provides Update on October 15 Pre-Travel Testing Program
*Video courtesy Gov. David Ige / Facebook LIVE (Originally aired 2:30 p.m. Oct. 7, 2020)
Governor Ige hosted a media briefing today to discuss the upcoming pre-travel testing program for the state and other comprehensive safety measures ahead of the Oct. 15 launch.
Gov. Ige said the state does not expect an immediate flood of travelers, but is using Oct. 15 as a deadline to bring testing and contact tracing capabilities to the highest levels of readiness and effectiveness achieved so far.
Many of the partners that are involved with the pre-travel testing program – government, airlines, hospitality industry and businesses – are also using this start date as a deadline to ensure all safety measures, operations and information for residents and visitors are ready.
“The health of our community remains our primary focus, and I want the people of Hawaiʻi to have confidence that the state is acting with their health and well-being in mind,” said Gov. Ige. “The pre-travel testing program will add an additional layer of protection for Hawaiʻi when combined with our Safe Travels mandatory online health questionnaire, airport temperature screening, improved contact tracing and the many other safety protocols we have in place.”
Hawaiʻi’s pre-travel testing program requires passengers five and older to take a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) from a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certified laboratory within 72 hours from the final leg of departure and produce a negative result in order to avoid the state’s 14-day mandatory quarantine. A trained professional must observe all tests. Only test results from trusted testing partners approved by the Hawaiʻi Department of Health will be accepted.
This expanded list of partners was announced today and includes:
- AFC Urgent Care
- Carbon Health
- CityHealth Urgent Care
- CVS Health
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Kaiser Permanente (for members only)
- Quest Diagnostics
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
- Vault Health
Registration instructions and costs can be found at the partners’ websites. Links and more information for travelers seeking a pre-travel test and a list of approved trusted testing partners can be found at HawaiiCovid19.com.
Lt. Gov. Josh Green, who was tasked by Gov. Ige to spearhead the pre-travel testing effort, said he is continuing to add trusted testing partners and points to the state’s testing confirmation and verification system as an example of how the state is hardening and operationalizing its Covid-19 response infrastructure.
“The pandemic demands that we remain flexible and open minded to new advances in screening tools and methods to further decrease the spread of the virus,” said Green. “We are doing all that we can to make the pre-travel testing program successful and we’ll make needed adjustments along the way. I appreciate the incredible work of the partners involved in this process, and special thanks to the people of Hawaiʻi who have shown their aloha, patience and resilience throughout this challenging time.”
Separate from the travel testing, Gov. Ige also announced that the state will receive 420,000 Abbot BINAXNOW rapid antigen tests from the federal government by the end of the year. These 15-minute tests will be used first to protect the health of residents, specifically at long term care centers and as schools are reopened.
In addition to the pre-test program, Lieutenant Governor Josh Green announced plans to start a pilot post-arrival surveillance testing program that he hopes to have off the ground by Oct. 19. The program seeks voluntary compliance and hopes to test 10% of arriving passengers after arrival in the islands.
“The science currently dictates that more layers of protection, such as more testing, is safer than less testing,” said Dr. Libby Char, Director, Hawaiʻi Department of Health. “While the Safe Travels program adds a greater layer of safety, DOH supports additional testing for travelers entering our state and a second test should be added as soon as testing supplies and logistics make this feasible. The Dept. of Health will continue to advocate for this additional layer of protection as the situation evolves in Hawaiʻi and new tests and new information become available.”
John DeFries, President and CEO Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority said, “For the next week, Hawai‘i’s visitor industry partners will continue to remain focused on implementing their respective enhanced safety protocols and to ensure procedures are in place to protect our local employee-associates and our visiting guests. Through the Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau, pre-arrival and post-arrival COVID-19 safety and health messages are being communicated to our visitors.”
Interisland Quarantine Remains in Place
For now, the interisland quarantine remains in place as Gov. Ige and county mayors come up with a workable solution that balances public safety with the need to revive the economy and residents’ desire to connect with family and friends on other islands.
All arriving passengers are still required to fill out the Safe Travels health form. Temperature checks will continue at all airports. People with temperatures of 100.4 degrees and higher or who are experiencing other symptoms will be required to undergo secondary airport screening conducted by trained personnel. Links and more information on pre-travel testing and a list of approved trusted testing partners can be found at: HawaiiCovid19.com
Testing and Travel Partners
AFC Urgent Care (Portland, OR) (https://afcurgentcareportland.com/traveling-hawaii)
Please schedule a convenient COVID-19 testing appointment at your preferred clinic on our website. If possible, try to do this a few days in advance to guarantee appointment availability. When you arrive for your test, call us from your vehicle at 503-305-6262 ext: 1 and select the appropriate clinic from the menu. A staff member will ask a few screening questions regarding COVID-19 and then will come out to your vehicle to administer the test. Before you leave the clinic, we’ll give you a printed version of your results to present at the airport. Thanks for using AFC and have a safe flight!
“AFC Urgent Care is excited to work with the state of Hawaiʻi as it implements its pre-testing program. With five clinics across the Portland metro area, we look forward to providing testing services for travelers in order to keep them and Hawaiʻi’s residents safe,” said Managing Partner, Guru Sankar.
Alaska Airlines flyers can schedule an appointment starting Oct 12 at the Carbon Health Seattle pop-up clinic.
“Carbon Health is honored to support the state of Hawaiʻi in reopening safely and responsibly through our expanding network of COVID-19 pop-up testing clinics with Abbott ID Now rapid tests. With dedicated testing sites and timely results delivered within two hours, we strive to offer a hassle-free, convenient experience for travelers to the islands,” said Eren Bali, Co-founder and CEO of Carbon Health. “Our program launches at our Seattle pop-up clinic for Alaska Airlines flyers on Oct 12, with plans to expand across the West Coast and to all travelers in the coming weeks.”
CityHealth Urgent Care https://bayareacovid19testing.com/
Understanding the need for safe air travel during COVID-19, CityHealth Urgent Care and its team of expert clinical staff and infectious disease physician consultants are pleased to offer convenient, efficient molecular COVID-19 testing utilizing state-of-the-art Abbott Lab instrumentation for results in 15 minutes. We are thrilled to be listed as a “trusted testing partner” as we work together with the Hawaiʻi Department of Health to protect travelers and residents of Hawaiʻi. In a partnership with Oakland International Airport and the Port of Oakland, CityHealth offers daily pre-travel testing at Oakland International Airport to help bring people home to Hawaiʻi, back to work, or to a long delayed vacation in paradise. Aloha begins at OAK with CityHealth and Oakland International Airport.
“Accessible, efficient COVID-19 testing is one of the best tools we have to mitigate future outbreaks and is paramount to ensure the safety of residents and travelers throughout the state of Hawaiʻi,” said Color CEO Othman Laraki. “We’re proud to support the nation’s first COVID-19 testing program for airline passengers and to introduce a practical offering that will contribute to the responsible revitalization of the local economy.”
CVS Health https://www.cvs.com/selfpaytesting
Starting on Oct. 10, travelers will be able to register online to schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 test at select CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations. Pre-registration is required. Travelers will select the “Travel to Hawaii” drop down option on the website to schedule a same-day appointment, if available, or appointments up to two days in the future. Currently, CVS Health expects the majority of test results to be available generally within 2-3 days and tests will cost $139 per person.
Per the state of Hawaiʻi’s guidelines, beginning on Oct. 15, travelers will be exempt from the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine if they provide written confirmation from a state approved COVID-19 testing facility of a negative test result from a test administered to the traveler within 72 hours from the final leg of departure to Hawaiʻi.
Hawaiian Airlines https://www.hawaiianairlines.com/covidtesting
Hawaiian Airlines is offering U.S. mainland travelers two convenient options to obtain a COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to taking their flight to Hawai‘i. Hawaiian has partnered with Worksite Labs to provide their guests exclusive access to drive-through PCR testing ($90 for results within 36 hours, or $150 for day-of-travel express service) from dedicated, conveniently located labs near Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO) international airports, with more testing locations coming soon to its other U.S. mainland gateways. Children of any age can be tested in these locations.
Hawaiian’s guests can also order a $150 mail-in PCR saliva test online through its partnership with Vault Health. The test kit, available for travelers of all ages including children, will be express mailed overnight to guests who will collect their sample with assistance from a testing supervisor via a video call.
“As Hawai‘i’s hometown airline, we are pleased to offer our guests convenient testing options that will allow us to welcome more travelers, including U.S. mainland visitors and kama‘āina returning home, as we safely reopen our economy,” said Avi Mannis, senior vice president of marketing for Hawaiian Airlines.
Kaiser Permanente www.kp.org/travel
Kaiser Permanente members who plan to visit Hawaiʻi should schedule a COVID-19 test online or contact the appointment call center or nurse advice line in their home region to schedule a COVID-19 test at their nearest testing facility.
Kaiser Permanente members returning home to Hawaiʻi should call the Away-from-Home Travel Line at 951-268-3900 for assistance in finding the nearest testing facility and instructions on scheduling an appointment. Kaiser Permanente members are encouraged to call the Travel Line (M-F, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. PST) before leaving Hawaiʻi, to set up the necessary online accounts.
Quest Diagnostics www.QuestCovid19.com/Hawaii
Quest Diagnostics is the leading provider of diagnostic information services, including for COVID-19. Individuals who plan to visit Hawaiʻi may conveniently order and schedule the company’s COVID-19 Active Infection Test online at www.QuestCovid19.com/Hawaii. You can select from over 500 Walmart drive-thru pharmacy locations around the United States and visit that location for your nasal swab test, which will be observed by a trained healthcare professional.
“Quality lab testing is essential to stopping the spread of COVID-19. We commend the state of Hawaiʻi for their innovative Safe Travels Program and we’re proud to be a Trusted Partner for pre-travel testing,” said Cathy Doherty, Senior Vice President and Group Executive – Clinical Franchise Solutions and Marketing for Quest Diagnostics. “QuestDirect allows travelers to easily order and schedule the Active Infection test online.”
Southwest Airlines Southwest.com/coronavirus
Southwest initiated Hawaiʻi service in spring 2019 and answered a call from locals who asked the carrier to provide its unmatched value in interisland service. As the State of Hawaiʻi Pre-travel testing program begins, travelers will receive personalized pre-trip communication with information and testing options specific to the requirements of their journey.
“Our frontline Employees in the Islands remain dedicated to delivering the legendary Customer service they provided throughout spring and summer to keep essential travel and critical supplies moving around the state,” said Tom Nealon, President of Southwest Airlines. “Now, we’re partnering with the State of Hawaiʻi as a Trusted Travel Partner to further bolster the local economy and continue providing our Customers with what we’re known for: Safety, Reliability, Hospitality, and Comfort.”
United Airlines https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/travel/what-to-expect.html
Starting October 15, customers traveling on United Airlines from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Hawaiʻi will have the option to take a rapid COVID-19 test at the airport. The rapid Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 test – administered by GoHealth Urgent Care and their partner Dignity Health – provides results in approximately 15 minutes and will be available to United customers on the same day as their flight departing from SFO. Customers can schedule their visits online in advance for the convenient, on-site testing facility that is located at the international terminal. GoHealth Urgent Care’s dedicated COVID-19 testing area will be available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT daily.
United is also working with Color on a test that meets the state’s requirements and will also be available for the airline’s customers traveling from San Francisco to Hawaiʻi.
United will email customers with their testing options in advance of their departure to Hawaiʻi. These testing options are currently only available for customers with an itinerary originating in San Francisco.
“United is proud to be the first U.S. airline to announce a COVID-19 testing program for our customers,” said Toby Enqvist, Chief Customer Officer at United. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with the state of Hawai’i to slowly help open the economy in a safe and thoughtful way and offer our customers convenient testing options that meet the state’s entry requirements.”
Vault Health https://learn.vaulthealth.com/state-of-hawaii/
Vault Health is a health care technology platform focused on men’s health that shifted focus at the onset of COVID-19 joining the effort to address the pandemic by facilitating testing with the first FDA-authorized saliva test for men, women, and children. With real-time audio-visual supervision when providing your test sample, this saliva based, at home PCR test is easy to take, minimizes exposure risks, and preserves PPE for health care professionals who need it. The test is mailed by UPS overnight to the individual taking the test and returned back to the lab by priority overnight for fast, accurate results in 72 hours or less.
“We will do everything possible to support Governor Ige and the government of Hawaiʻi in making the health and safety of its residents and visitors their top priority,” said Vault Health Founder and CEO, Jason Feldman. “By facilitating this supervised at-home saliva COVID-19 test, Vault Health works every day to ensure individuals can make plans and travel with confidence knowing they have the most accurate and timely results possible.”
“Walgreens is proud to work with the State of Hawaiʻi on its reopening efforts using our network of COVID-19 testing locations available across the country,” said Katie Lestan, vice president of health systems at Walgreens. “Walgreens pharmacy teams have helped to administer more than one million COVID-19 tests since our efforts began in March, and our sites and pharmacy services can be instrumental in helping to ensure the health and safety of island residents, as well as travelers visiting Hawaiʻi.”
On Monday, Maui Mayor Michael Victorino said Gov. Ige was still in favor of looking at some other alternatives; however, Mayor Victorino could not elaborate on what type of alternatives were being discussed.
Mayor Victorino said he continues to push for secondary or “sandwich” testing for out-of-state arrivals to be taken 48 to 72 hours after arrival. He said a firm announcement on results of his negotiations with the governor is expected by today (Wednesday). Mayor Victorino said he is looking at acquiring 20,000 rapid tests as part of his secondary testing proposal.
As for interisland travel, Mayor Victorino says he’s still adamant about a pre-test, but no post-test for travel between counties. He’s also in support of easing restrictions for Maui County residents for travel to other islands within the county by seeking approval for travel without a test or quarantine for those individuals.
The state’s pre-travel testing program is scheduled to launch on Oct. 15, enabling travelers to get a COVID-19 test no earlier than 72 hours prior to their flight arrival in Hawai‘i to avoid the 14-day mandatory quarantine if the test comes back negative for the virus.