Kokua Line: Hawaii Department of Health lists more options for pre-travel COVID-19 tests ahead of Oct. 15 reopening

Question: Could you please provide details about the pre-travel testing now that the state has added more providers? All I could see on TV was the sign with the names. I need to know where to make an appointment.

Answer: As your question indicates, the state of Hawaii on Wednesday announced more “trusted testing partners” for its pre-travel COVID-19 testing program. Starting Thursday, passengers from the rest of the United States may avoid Hawaii’s 14-day quarantine if they enter the state with an approved, negative COVID-19 test. (Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim has said he will opt out of this program, which means that passengers flying from the mainland to the Big Island would still have to quarantine, even if properly tested ahead of time.)

Here’s the latest information from Hawaii’s Department of Health, about trusted testing partners. Providers are in alphabetical order, along with links that provide information about cost, making an appointment and other details. Travelers generally are advised to make appointments online in advance, to occur within 72 hours of departure to Hawaii.

>> AFC Urgent Care: Pre-travel testing with rapid results available at five clinics in Oregon. See details at afcurgentcare portland.com/traveling- hawaii.

>> Carbon Health: Rapid results for Hawaii- bound passengers flying on Alaska Airlines from Seattle. See details at carbonhealth.com/alaska- airlines-to-hawaii-rapid-covid-testing.

>> CityHealth Urgent Care: Rapid results for Hawaii-bound passengers flying from California’s Bay Area; includes a testing site at the Oakland airport. See details at bayareacovid19testing.com

>> Color: Partnering with United Airlines to test Hawaii-bound passengers flying out of San Francisco International Airport. See details at color.com/united-airlines- testing-program.

>> CVS Health: Travelers may start scheduling appointments on Saturday for up to two days in advance at select CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations throughout the country. See details at cvs.com/ selfpaytesting.

>> Discovery Health MD: Passengers flying from or through Seattle- Tacoma International Airport may register online for tests administered as early as Monday. A limited number of walk-ups may be served. See details at discoveryhealthmd.com/covid-19-services/test-to-fly.

>> Kaiser Permanente: Kaiser members may schedule a test online, or contact their appointment call center or nurse advice line. Kaiser members returning home to Hawaii may call the Away-from-Home Travel Line at 951-268-3900. See details at kp.org/travel.

>> Quest Diagnostics: Order the COVID-19 Active Infection Test online and select from more than 500 Walmart drive-thru pharmacy locations to receive the nasal swab test. See details at questcovid 19.com/hawaii.

>> Vault Health: After initially balking, the state will accept this saliva test administered at home because it will be monitored in real time during a video call. For details, see learn.vaulthealth.com/state-of-hawaii/.

>> Walgreens: Drive-thru testing locations operate outdoors and patients do not leave their vehicles; appointment required. See details at walgreens.com/covid19testing.

As we’ve previously reported, some airlines are facilitating tests for their passengers; check with your airline to see what it can do.

For more information about Hawaii’s Safe Travels program, including the pre-travel testing component, see hawaiicovid19.com.

Unemployment Call Center

We spoke too soon about calls getting through to the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ new expanded call center. On Thursday, multiple readers shared experiences of waiting on hold for three hours or more until someone picked up, while others said they never got through, even after staying on hold practically all day — one reader clocked her wait at six hours before she finally hung up.

The DLIR blamed the problem on the widespread use of auto-dialers by claimants, which it said initially clogged the system with 150,000 calls a day. The contractor running the virtual call center has taken steps to thwart the use of auto-dialers, and claimants who call in “can now wait in a queue and get through to an agent,” the DLIR said in a news release Thursday.

Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email [email protected].

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