Lawmakers call on state to give all 14,000 seniors at Hawaii care homes a COVID-19 test

Updated: Jun. 23, 2020 at 5:31 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Lawmakers are calling on the state to test all 14,000 kupuna in the thousands of nursing and care homes across the state.

State Reps. John Mizuno and Rida Cabanilla, who are on the House Health Committee, say the widespread testing can be done through urgent care facilities and would be paid for by insurance.

They point to updated CDC guidelines that say high-risk settings like long-term care facilities and nursing homes have the potential for widespread infection so broader testing beyond close contacts is recommended.

“We are asking for wide testing of care homes, nursing homes because again this is our most vulnerable population,”

Cabanilla is a registered nurse and runs the Kalihi Kai Urgent Care, which does COVID-19 testing.

She says she checked with the Ethics Commission and was told it’s OK to advocate for testing as long as she isn’t telling anyone to go to her clinic.

The push comes as the state investigates nine COVID-19 at four community care homes on Oahu.

The cases are in addition to the 15 cases linked to the Hale Nani Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.

Meanwhile, the state Health Department said at least 30 people have been tested in connection with the cases at community care homes.

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