Maui Coronavirus Updates

Free at-home COVID-19 test kit distribution for Maui residents, July 26

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BinaxNOW COVID-19 take-home tests kits were distributed by the county earlier this week. PC: Kehaulani Cerizo

The County of Maui is partnering with the Federal government and Mālama I Ke Ola to distribute free at-home COVID-19 test kits to Maui County residents.

The pau hana drive-thru distribution will be 4 to 6 p.m., Tuesday, July 26 at the War Memorial Complex in Wailuku.

Enter Kanaloa Drive from Kahului Beach Road and turn right at the entrance to Maehara Baseball Stadium (left turns are prohibited).

Volunteers from Mālama I Ke Ola and the County of Maui will deliver up to six free test kits per vehicle. No walk-ups will be served and drivers are asked to wear face masks. Exit onto Kanaloa Drive near baseball field #3.

“Maui County, like so many other places, is in the midst of a new COVID-19 surge, from the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron,” explained Mayor Michael Victorino. “We know that when new cases rise, so does the demand for testing, so we ordered nearly 200,000 at-home test kits as soon as we learned how contagious these new sub-variants are.”

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“Mālama I Ke Ola is proud and humbled to have been part of this collaborative partnership to bring 90,000 home COVID test kits (180,000 individual COVID tests) to the island of Maui,” said Dr. John Vaz, CEO. “Our community continues to be affected by COVID. Good access to home COVID test kits helps our community know when to stay home to keep each other safe, and when we can safely enjoy spending time with our ‘ohana.”

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Although the new subvariants are good at evading immunity, they typically do not evade detection with at-home testing. The CDC recommends taking your first test 48 hours after a close exposure to ensure more accurate test results.

If you test negative initially, continue to test daily for five days. If you continue to test negative, but are experiencing symptoms, it’s possible you may have a common cold, sinus infection or something else. Should you test positive, you may want to ask your physician if the therapeutic Paxlovid is appropriate for you.

Even if you are completely healthy today, this is a good time to stock up on home test-kits. If you should wake up feeling ill, stay home and isolate. The accuracy of at-home testing depends on your ability to follow the step-by-step instructions.  Make sure to swab both nostrils and wait for the appropriate time to see your results.

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The CDC recommends wearing masks indoors in high-transmission areas such as the Hawaiian Islands. Maui County continues to offer its free resident testing program through Minit-Medical clinics in Central, South and West Maui. For details, visit: www.mauinuistrong.info.

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