Blood tests may play key role in reopening tourism to Hawaii

Published: Apr. 14, 2020 at 9:53 AM HST|Updated: Apr. 14, 2020 at 9:55 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new blood test that reveals who’s immune to the coronavirus will likely play a key role in the state’s plan to allow visitors to return to Hawaii.

It’s called an antibody test and involves a simple finger-prick.

It’s similar to how someone with diabetes checks their blood sugar. Results take 90 seconds.

Dozens of companies are working to get FDA approval for their COVID-19 antibody tests.

“If I have IGG antibodies it means I already had it and I’m immune. I can’t make anybody sick,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Green, adding he’d like to see the testing implemented locally.

That, he said, will enable government to manage an influx of travelers without risk of creating a new wave of infections.

If a person doesn’t have antibodies to show they’re immune, Green says he wants them to show proof they don’t have the virus before being allowed to visit.

“We will want some kind of test that shows they have been tested within 48 to 72 hours before they come to Hawaii to show they are negative," he said.

Green says the same kind of testing could also be used to determine who is safe to re-enter the workforce.

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