As Kalihi coronavirus clusters form, so do longer lines at testing centers

Updated: Jul. 30, 2020 at 3:29 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases increase on Oahu, Kalihi has been identified as one of the areas where clusters are popping up ― and on Thursday at the Kalihi Kai Urgent Care, there was a crowd of people outside waiting to get tested.

“Yesterday was a very bad day,” Kalihi Kai Urgent Care director Rida Cabanilla said. “We had a lot of positives yesterday. So far today, it’s been good. We’ve probably tested about 30 since we opened at 9 a.m., and nobody turned positive, but the big reason why we are so busy is because we have the rapid test.”

While the tests themselves may be rapid, meeting the demand takes a little longer. By day’s end, Cabanilla projects nearly a hundred tests will be administered at her facility alone, but some waited nearly an hour for tests to be taken.

“It’s astonishing,” said Joanna Vongphakdy, who visited the urgent care center for a test. “There’s a lot of people here and they need more staff. They need help.”

Over the last seven days, Hawaii has logged five record-highs in cases reported on a single day.

Vongphakdy received a test because she works in the restaurant industry and fears more shutdowns may be near if positive numbers keep rising.

“The reasoning why I think that there’s more increase in cases is because there’s no social distancing,” Vongphakdy said. “No one is wearing masks. People that are infected aren’t doing their part. We just need to keep the community safe, so do your part and get tested.”

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