21 tested for COVID-19 at community health center

  • West Hawaii Community Health Center employees screen patients before they enter the Kuakini Clinic on Tuesday. (Photos by Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • West Hawaii Community Health Center Kuakini Clinic has a triage tent set up for their patients who meet coronavirus criteria for testing on Tuesday.

  • West Hawaii Community Health Center Kuakini Clinic has a triage tent set up for their patients who meet coronavirus criteria for testing on Tuesday. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

The West Hawaii Community Health Center has tested 21 people for suspected COVID-19.

The nonprofit health center, which serves 25% of West Hawaii’s population, said it began testing patients on Thursday.

Twenty-two persons who met criteria and tested negative for influenza were tested for COVID-19 on Thursday, Friday and Monday, according to West Hawaii Community Health Center CEO Richard Taaffe. So far, 11 of those tests have come back negative for COVID-19. The center is awaiting results for the remaining 10 cases.

The West Hawaii Community Health Center is not a community-wide testing site and is focusing on its patients. The facility is conducting screening at the door for patients with appointments to ensure safety in the clinic for patients and staff.

Current WHCHC patients should inform staff ahead of time by calling (808) 326-5629 if they are experiencing any of the following: fever, cough, or shortness of breath. If a patient is coming in for a regular appointment and is experiencing any of the above symptoms, they too should call for instructions.

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