Schatz: Repeated delays of coronavirus test kits for Hawaii ‘unacceptable’

coronavirus test kit
coronavirus test kit(File)
Updated: Feb. 20, 2020 at 6:05 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The botched coronavirus test kits that were sent to Hawaii now have to be re-manufactured.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz says he’s been told by CDC that the new test kits won’t be ready until mid-March.

“The fact that it’s going to take a month for them to re-manufacture totally unacceptable,” he said.

There are not confirmed cases of coronavirus in Hawaii.

But the delay of the testing kits is causing mounting frustration.

The state said the CDC initially sent Hawaii’s kits to the wrong state. When they arrived, they was damaged. Another shipment didn’t work.

Schatz commended Hawaii officials for their response, but criticized the federal government.

"The federal response from the get go lacked basic communication," said Schatz.

Currently, samples from Hawaii must be sent to CDC headquarters in Atlanta and federal officials say results would take a week.

Schatz says Hawaii officials will work with the CDC to get test kits from Japan.

"The challenge for us will be to make sure the CDC is comfortable to make sure it meets all of their standards and I trust that it will," he said.

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