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County distributes the last 6,000 COVID tests kits

LIHU‘E — Ross Kagawa of the Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency was a one-man show on Friday at the Lihu‘e Neighborhood Center, which is where the last of the free COVID home test kits were distributed.

“Are you going to be alright?” asked Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami, who partnered with Kagawa in the distributions that started Wednesday in Hanalei. “I can get someone to help.”

Kagawa declined the offer, as he was greeted by the line of people at the Lihu‘e Neighborhood Center waiting for their allocation of the free COVID home test kits at the rate of five per family.

The county’s goal was to distribute 6,000 of the free COVID home test kits with the total distribution being broken down to include the North Shore of Hanalei, and Kilauea, the Westside, including the Waimea and Hanapepe Neighborhood Centers, and the East and Central areas on Friday.

“We had to start early in Kapa‘a because there was a line of people waiting,” Kagawa said. “Nearly 200 families were accomodated before we ran out of tests within the first hour.”

Based on previous home test kit distributions, Kagawa said Lihu‘e was going to be big because of the number of people who live in the area. He said any extra kits from the earlier distributions were set aside for the Lihu‘e distribution to handle the demand.

The county said although the expiration date of these tests is listed as November 2022, the tests received a seven-month, shelf-life extension from the Food and Drug Administration. This means the tests are set to expire in June 2023.

COVID testing is also available around the island. People can get a full list of county testing and other sites by visiting kauai.gov/covidtest.

The state’s Department of Health says testing should be done if an individual has COVID-19 symptoms, or has been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19.

The distribution of 6,000 COVID home test kits was done through the collaboration of the Kaua‘i District Health Office, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency.
Source: The Garden Island

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