COVID-19 surge on the mainland leads to shortage of testing supplies in Hawaii

Hundreds of people turned out to a drive-thru test site Saturday in Waipio.
Hundreds of people turned out to a drive-thru test site Saturday in Waipio.(Hawaii News Now)
Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 3:02 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A surge in new COVID-19 cases on the mainland is impacting how many coronavirus tests can be conducted in Hawaii each day.

Diagnostic Laboratory Services, the largest locally-own lab in the islands, said its capacity for COVID-19 testing in Hawaii has been reduced from about 800 tests a day to 250.

The shortage of testing materials means that Diagnostic Laboratory will only be testing priority cases locally, ensuring those patients get results back more quickly.

Cases that aren’t deemed a priority will be sent to the mainland for testing. And results on those tests could take 10 days or more to get back.

“We are fortifying our other COVID testing platforms and are looking into new platforms to bring in-house to boost our testing capabilities as quickly as possible,” said Mark Wasielewski, president of Diagnostic Laboratory Services, in a statement.

“We are fortunate to be able to work with the other Hawaii labs to help us keep as much testing as we can on island until we can be resupplied.”

It wasn’t immediately clear how other Hawaii labs were being impacted by mainland surge or whether the State Lab in Pearl City would also have to reduce its testing capacity.

This story will be updated.

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