New clinic on wheels is designed to bolster Oahu’s COVID-19 response

New clinic on wheels is designed to bolster Oahu’s COVID-19 response

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - As new clusters of coronavirus crop up in Hawaii, rapid testing is poised to play an essential role in preventing spread.

And a state-of-the-art mobile clinic that just arrived in Honolulu is intended to bolster Oahu’s COVID-19 response.

Custom-made in Arizona, the doctor’s office on wheels just rolled off the dock at Honolulu Harbor.

“We can do a blood draw here,” said Dr. Jim Ireland. “And if you have to give a urine specimen, you can give it here.”

With a private exam room at one end and a place to conduct screenings at the other, the mobile clinic has just about everything ― including a steering wheel.

“Right now, people are scared to come to the doctor’s office,” said Ireland. “They don’t want to go in the crowds. So it offers personalized community-based care that can go right to the person.”

That same mobility will play a key role in Hawaii’s COVID-19 response.

Ireland says the clinic is equipped to roll up and provide rapid on-site testing in places clusters of the virus emerge. It’s also available for mass testing efforts.

“At a workplace, or another institution,” he said. “It’s big enough, it’s private and easy to disinfect.”

The $140,000 clinic was paid for entirely through donations and will be staffed by volunteer physicians. It’s expected to hit the road in the next two weeks.

When the clinic’s not needed for COVID-19 testing, it will have the same mission as Kalihi’s Aloha Free Clinic, traveling into communities to provide free basic health care to people who lost their insurance as a result of the pandemic.

Copyright 2020 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.