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More than 1,770 residents will need to retake ’surge’ tests because of labeling error

Updated: Aug. 31, 2020 at 3:59 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Some 1,776 residents will need to retake their so-called “surge” coronavirus tests after a labeling error meant the samples could not be processed.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell acknowledged the missteps in a news conference Monday, saying that they have been resolved and that additional testing sites would be offered to those who need the re-tests.

“We don’t want to give up because of the glitches,” Caldwell said, speaking at a news conference Monday. “I think we’ve corrected the problems on the first day. We had a little bit of a rocky rollout.”

Those who need to re-take their tests will get an email from the city with instructions.

Some 90,000 “surge” tests are being administered as part of the federally-backed program — 30,000 more than originally pledged — to get a better understanding of how widespread the virus is on Oahu.

“We’ve tried from day one to get more tests done. That’s why we welcome the offer,” Caldwell said.

The mayor’s comments come as the state and city prepare to shut down the H-3 Freeway on Tuesday and Thursday to accommodate a massive, drive-thru testing site.

Caldwell pushed back against some onlookers who have criticized the problems at the COVID-19 testing sites, saying the program was rolled out too quickly.

“When you have politicians talking stink about the program it helps none of that. It’s about working together to solve problems, not complaining,” he said.

The mayor added that as the city works to administer the surge tests with the help of the Honolulu Fire Department, it’s also trying to ramp up testing capacity more broadly.

This story will be updated.

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