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Bookings fill up quickly on opening day of Blaisdell drive-thru testing site

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 5:39 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 13, 2021 at 5:55 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As the Safe Access Oahu program begins, the city’s testing efforts are seeing a major uptick.

In partnership with Nomi Health, city officials set up a drive-thru testing site Monday at the Blaisdell Arena to offer free antigen tests or PCR nasal swabs.

The site opened at 9 a.m., but vehicles were starting to line up long before.

By 11:30 a.m., more than 300 people had already been tested.

“The nice thing about this site is one, it’s a drive-thru site, so people can be physically distanced in their car while they’re waiting,” said city spokesperson Tim Sakahara.

“Two, they can actually choose between the antigen test, which will have their test ready within an hour or the PCR test which will have their result within 24 to 48 hours.’

Among the many to drive through for a swab Monday was an unvaccinated couple visiting from Wyoming who took a test to come to Hawaii and now need another test to dine out.

“So far Hawaii is great, it’s just stressful that we either have to have the negative COVID test 48 hours in advance to get into mostly everyplace or a vaccine,” said visitor Kymberlee Sorensen.

“We didn’t feel like we wanted to get the vaccine just coming here on vacation because it’s not required where we live, so it’s really stressful with the long lines and the hassle.”

While many receiving tests understand the intent of the city’s access policy, some question how it will be enforced or how many people will comply.

“I believe it’s infringing on some rights,” said Oahu resident Anthony Na-O. “I’m not technically intelligent in that area, but I believe that there’s some sort of a small degree of oppression upon it and it does cause a lot of frustration for people who is just trying to live through all this.”

Testing is offered from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and appointments must be booked in advance. To book an appointment, click here.

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