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Hawaii County Reduces Number of COVID-19 Tests Administered at Airport

Tourism officials in Hawaii County have announced a reduction in the number of COVID-19 tests that are done after less than one percent tested positive.

According to the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said 12,636 post-flight tests had been administered on the island as of Monday and that less than one percent tested positive for coronavirus.

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In total, 97 of the antigen tests administered after the flight were positive, leading to additional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. The most accurate test showed that only 17 travelers were positive for COVID-19.

As a result, only 25 percent of travelers arriving at Onizuka International Airport in Kona will receive a post-flight antigen test. With the random testing deemed illegal, Hawaii County officials are working on how to screen travelers for testing.

“I don’t drink, but they tell me it’s the same principle as randomly stopping cars for a DUI test,” Kim told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald. “They are not allowed to pick cars at random, but they can pick, say, every tenth car or something like that.”

“There is one way that is better than any other to keep case numbers low,” Kim continued. “And that’s following the rules and keeping everyone safe.”

While the reduced number of tests remains in effect for now, Kim made it clear that an increased number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Hawaii would result in a return to the original rate of post-flight testing.

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