COVID-19 testing availability is here
A notice to Hawai`i PAs regarding COVID-19 testing:
Starting March 10th, all Clinical Labs of Hawai`i (CLH) will have the capability of testing for coronavirus (COVID-19). Results will be available approximately 72 hours after the test is received. This will be accomplished by CLH flying out the samples to their sister company in Texas.
The test will consist of a simple nasopharyngeal swab – similar to the one done to test for influenza A and B. If the medical establishment has the capability to do a rapid test for influenza A and B, then screening should be done for that first. If no immediate screening is available for influenza, then a single nasopharyngeal swab can be submitted to CLH and will be able to test for all of influenza and COVID-19.
A screening test for COVID-19 should still be limited to those who have the hallmark symptoms (dry cough, fever, shortness of breath), or who are at higher risk for contracting the virus (i.e. healthcare workers, airport/airlines workers, individuals who may have come into direct contact with an infected person). While there is no limit of the number of tests CLH will be able to accommodate, the testing is NOT random screening for someone asymptomatic and without known contact with an infected individual.
If there is concern for a COVID-19 infected patient, please have them stay at home and avoid contact with kῡpuna (grandparents, elders) and the immunosuppressed population. If the patient is high-risk, appropriate measures should be taken to evaluate whether hospitalization is necessary.
Lieutenant Governor Josh Green is planning a system to give all health care providers up-to-date information, but this is just being tested now, and more information on this will become available soon.