Waimea hospital expanding COVID-19 testing to six days a week

Queen’s North Hawaii Community Hospital is expanding COVID-19 testing to six days a week.

The Waimea facility will now offer drive-up testing for patient’s with physician’s orders at the entrance to Queen’s North Hawaii Community Hospital Primary Care Clinic Monday through Saturday, said Sean Ibarra, a spokesman with the The Queen’s Health Systems. The clinic is located off Kawaihae Road, next to Longs Drugs.

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Tests will be administered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with processing through Diagnostic Laboratory, which has the ability to run tests on Oahu.

A physician’s order is not required, Queen’s said. Patients are asked to bring ID and insurance information, and to stay in their vehicle; testing takes only a few minutes and is done while the patient stays in the vehicle.

North Hawaii Community Hospital is the only community-wide coronavirus testing site in West Hawaii. Kona Community Hospital is not a community-wide testing site, despite the state notifying the public the Kealakekua-based facility was on Tuesday. The facility is not offering drive-up or walk-up testing.

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The hospital is unable to offer the service due to its narrow access road. Leaders are working to establish a community-wide testing site, a hospital spokesperson said Tuesday.

Some medical facilities, such as the West Hawaii Community Health Center, are testing, but only current patients.