Testing wraps up at University of the Nations

  • The University of the Nations campus off Kuakini Highway. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

The University of the Nations Kona wrapped up campuswide testing Thursday with more than 900 staffers, families members and students tested after an outbreak of COVID-19 at the campus.

A total of 463 tests were conducted Thursday, including a second round of testing for approximately 300 students, by Premier Medical Group, which is contracted by the state Department of Health. Including the 492 people tested Tuesday, the testing covered 955 people in 72 hours, said Johnny Gillespie, UofN Kona spokesperson.

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“That is our entire staff and student body and most of the staff’s kids, which is amazing,” he said. “We’re super grateful for the help of Mayor (Harry) Kim and the Department of Health.”

Gillespie said the school received the first batch of results from Tuesday’s tests on Thursday. All 85 of those tests were negative for the novel coronavirus.

“That’s great so far but we’re waiting for the full batch to come back from Tuesday’s testing,” he said. “But were thankful for no additional positives so far.”

However, Gillespie did report three additional COVID-19 were confirmed among staffers on Thursday, bringing the total number of cases associated with the school to 37. Those staffers were not tested during campuswide testing this week.

“Those were people who were quarantined a long time ago – at least six days ago,” Gillespie said.

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West Hawaii Today first reported the cluster of cases at COVID-19 at the campus after the school confirmed nine cases on Oct. 1.

Gillespie said Thursday that all who have tested positive are “recovering well” and “not currently sick.” Active cases remain in isolation.

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