Getting a better understanding: Second drive-through COVID-19 testing slated for Kona

  • Volunteer Lori Cannon, flight nurse for Hawaii Life Flight displays a swab taken from a qualifying patient at the Old Kona Airport drive up testing for COVID-19 on Monday. Another testing is scheduled for Saturday.(Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Hawaii Fire Department first responders take qualifying patient's vital signs at the drive up coronavirus testing Friday at Old Kona Airport Park. Another testing is scheduled for Saturday.(Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Dr. Frank Sayer prequalifies a patient for the drive up COVID-19 Monday at Old Airport Park. Another testing is scheduled for Saturday. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

A second pop-up drive-through testing clinic for COVID-19 will be set up at the Old Kona Airport Park on Saturday.

Alii Health Center has teamed up with Premier Medical Group in conjunction with the County of Hawaii to expand COVID-19 testing on the leeward side of the Big Island.


“We need to better understand what is going on in West Hawaii. The best way to do that is by increasing testing and identifying those people that are positive, isolating them and then perform contact tracing,” said Dr. Nathan Tomita, Alii Health Center’s medical director.

The Saturday clinic, which will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., is open to the public; however, individuals must first undergo a screening to determine if they meet the criteria to be tested. Alii Health Center providers will be on-site Saturday to determine whether individuals meet the testing guidelines.

The screening criteria will be based on guidance from the CDC and the State’s COVID-19 Response Task Force.

Fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, loss of smell or taste, redness in or around eyes, sore throat, and diarrhea are the screened symptoms of COVID-19. Other factors that will determine eligibility for testing include travel history, frequency of exposure to visitors from outside Hawaii, and frequency of exposure to vulnerable or high-risk populations.

People who visit the screening clinic will be asked to show photo ID. Additionally, people are requested to bring any health insurance cards they have, although insurance is not required.

“It is amazing to see volunteers come together in a coordinated effort to provide testing for our community. We at Alii Health Center are dedicated to ensure our ohana have access to this much needed resource,” said Alii Health Center Executive Director Clayton McGhan through a statement.


Last Saturday, more than 1,600 West Hawaii residents arrived for testing with nearly 300 qualifying. Results from that drive-up testing are expected next week.

To expedite the testing process on Saturday, patients can contact Alii Health Center’s COVID-19 hotline at (808) 747-8321, and select “option 5” to register.

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