IN THE NEWS | Testing Still Critical As Travel Opens Up in Hawaii

With vaccination rates increasing and the recent opening of Hawaii interisland travel, there has been a big drop in the numbers of COVID-19 tests being conducted statewide. Hawaii’s KHON news spoke with several local and state experts about COVID-19 testing as just 3,300 daily tests were logged on June 14th. This sum is the lowest weekday count since New Year’s Day.

“We know at least 40% to 50% of individuals are asymptomatic positive, so how are those individuals going to know whether they have the disease or not?” Dr. Scott Miscovich of Hawaii’s Premier Medical Group said. “That’s why you still need to have a large amount of surveillance testing available, while you’re pushing your vaccine rates up at the same time.”

KHON went on to report that the new and highly contagious Delta variant behind the outbreak in India was detected in Hawaii on Monday in a fully-vaccinated local traveler.

As test volume declines, “it’s likely the positivity numbers that we have are not truly reflective of the actual count of disease in our state,” Miscovich said, “because we do not have the allocation of testing to the areas that we need to focus.” Read the full story below:

Coronavirus testing volume down in Hawaii as millions to fund it sit unspent