With COVID cases soaring, many turn to testing to keep their ‘bubbles’ safe

Many residents spent some of their Christmas Eve waiting in line at COVID testing sites around the islands.
Published: Dec. 24, 2021 at 5:15 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 25, 2021 at 12:58 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Many residents spent some of their Christmas Eve waiting in line at COVID testing sites across the islands.

At the Blaisdell Center, the line of cars stretched down Kapiolani Boulevard and even went up Pensacola Street toward the H-1 Freeway.

People waiting in line said it was necessary to have peace of mind before celebrating Christmas with loved ones.

“It’s just the smart thing to do,” said James Chan, a Honolulu resident. “I have at-risk parents, so for that reason alone I just want to be responsible. We have a lot of family coming over tomorrow, so I just wanted to make sure that everything was all safe.”

Both walk-up and drive-thru testing were available at the Blaisdell. Some drivers said they waited up to two hours before getting swabbed.

“It’s humbug, obviously it’s Christmas Eve, but if we aren’t doing our part not just for the community but for our own families, we’re never going to get out of this,” said a resident waiting in line for a test.

Meanwhile, the state Department of Health’s website said an average of about 6,000 COVID tests have been administered on Oahu every day over the last seven days.

The demand for tests is so high some testing sites said they needed extra staffing.

“Today, we had to bring some people over from Queen’s, so that was much appreciated,” said Jordan Kurokawa, a COVID testing coordinator. “We’ve been super busy trying to see as much people as we can — keeping it timely. It’s been pretty crazy, but we’re doing our best.”

All this testing comes as Hawaii saw it’s highest single-day COVID case count on Friday. And of the surge in cases, Oahu is seeing the vast majority of new infections.

On Dec. 1, Oahu’s positivity rate was at 1.1%. It has since shot up to 11.3%.

On the Neighbor Islands, the positivity rates are rising to the 4%-range.

“It’s crazy that we’re back here again,” said a resident waiting in line. “Spend time with your bubble, and keep your bubble safe.”

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