Health Department: Hawaii labs are able to meet current demand for COVID-19 testing

File photo of a testing lab in Hawaii.
File photo of a testing lab in Hawaii.(Hawaii News Now/file)
Updated: Jul. 9, 2020 at 3:14 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state says Hawaii labs are able to meet current demand for COVID-19 testing ― and could even double the number of tests conducted in-state if needed.

In a statement issued Thursday, the Health Department also said the State Laboratory has an emergency supply of test kits with the capacity to conduct 25,000 tests if needed for priority samples.

Officials said Hawaii is well-equipped to meet its current demand of about 1,200 tests a day and could as much as double that number. In-state tests, however, are reserved for “priority” cases.

“Our public health laboratory capacity is reserved and ready for testing of patients with symptoms and those who may be at risk of serious illness such as nursing home residents or those with serious medical conditions,” said state Health Department Director Bruce Anderson. “Reserving this capacity for priority testing ensures our state is prepared for outbreaks and emergency situations.”

The effort to reassure the public about the capacity to perform COVID-19 tests in Hawaii comes after Diagnostic Laboratory Services said its capacity for COVID-19 in-state testing has been reduced from about 800 tests a day to 250 because of a shortage of testing supplies on the mainland.

Results for tests sent to the mainland can take 10 days ore more to get back, Diagnostic Lab warned.

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