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County completes week-long distribution of free COVID home test kits

LIHU‘E — The County of Kaua‘i, in partnership with the Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office, concluded a week-long schedule of distributing free COVID-19 home test kits with the distribution at the Lihu‘e Neighborhood Center, Friday afternoon.

“We have the remainder of those kits that were not passed out earlier,” said Ross Kagawa of the Kaua‘i Emergency Management Office and coordinator of the test kits distribution. “We brought them over to Lihu‘e so that means we can service the first 500 people. That’s 200 more than what was scheduled.”

Earlier in the morning, Kagawa and a team from the Department of Parks and Recreation distributed up to 300 kits at the Koloa Neighborhood Center where the Parks crew said the line of people waiting for kits was not as bad as the previous distribution.

“I wanted to be first in line,” said an individual waiting for the process to start. “Good thing they had the senior softball games. I could watch the seniors play, and not lose my place in line.”

Players in the 70s division league also joined the line following their play at the neighboring Isenberg Park.

Most of the people waiting also picked up kits for their neighbors and relatives who were working.

“This is the first time I could get anything,” said a lady who shared her allocation with an arriving friend. “The last time, they were sold out so we couldn’t get anything. This time, I tried to get here early so they wouldn’t run out, again.”

Kagawa also got help from members of the Kaua‘i Senior Softball league Barteks who had just wrapped up practice at Isenberg Park. The kupuna eagerly unloaded the van containing cartons of home test kits before settling in the shade cast by the neighborhood center away from the line.

“I’m not taking any chances,” said Barbara Prigge of Keoki’s in the Lihu‘e Industrial Park. Prigge forced a lunch break to get her allocation of tests. “I caught it. I’ve been vaccinated and boostered, and yet I caught it. The bug is still out there, and you need to be safe. All because of a hug. Now, I tell people to stay away. No hugs.”

Dr. Janet Berreman of the Kaua‘i District Health Office said the home test kits are a convenient way to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to others.

“If you have symptoms of COVID, use a home test immediately,” she said. “If your self test is negative, remain in isolation and repeat the test one or two days later. If you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID, use the test three to four days following exposure, and test again on the fifth day.”

An advisory from the Mayor’s office said the public is reminded that free test kits from the federal government can be ordered through covidtest.gov. The test kits are delivered by mail.
Source: The Garden Island

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