About Town: October 26, 2020

Free COVID-19 testing today in North Kona

Free drive-through COVID-19 testing will be offered from 9 a.m. to noon today at Keauhou Shopping Center in North Kona, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense.

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No insurance is necessary to be tested, but those seeking testing should bring their insurance card if they have one. There is no co-pay for individuals being tested for the novel coronavirus.

For more information, call Civil Defense at 935-0031.

Kiwanis meeting on Zoom

Kiwanis Club of Kailua-Kona will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday via Zoom. All visiting Kiwanis and prospective members are invited to attend. Non members should contact Doug at KailuaKona4Kiwanis@gmail.com for reservations and Zoom instructions.

The speaker will be fellow Kiwanian Carol Ann von Hake who will provide an update on the Kona real estate market.

Kiwanis believes in serving the community by conducting service projects that respond to identified needs, especially related to children. For more information, email KailuaKona4Kiwanis@gmail.com.

Marine wildlife interaction workshop Nov. 6

The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary invites the public to attend a virtual workshop to learn about safe and lawful wildlife viewing and boating practices around marine mammals and sea turtles in Hawaii waters from 6 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 6.

The event is free and open to the public. Whale and dolphin enthusiasts, boat captains, ocean tour operators and other ocean users are encouraged to attend the webinar. Federal and State officials will discuss how to legally interact with protected marine wildlife according to the existing State laws, Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, the National Marine Sanctuaries Act and the Lacey Act.

The workshop’s featured speakers will include: Ed Lyman (sanctuary disentanglement), Marc Lammers (sanctuary research), Ryan Jenkinson (Department of Land and Natural Resources) Adam Kurtz (National Marine Fisheries Service — marine mammals and sea turtles), Brian Christy (NOAA Office of Law Enforcement) and Elizabeth O’Sullivan (NOAA Enforcement General Counsel).

Register online at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6461852235835070734. For more information, contact Allen Tom, sanctuary superintendent, via email to allen.tom@noaa.gov.

Keep keiki safe from lead exposure

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week continues through Friday. The state Department of Health (DOH) encourages healthcare providers and the public to learn more about the effects of lead exposure on children, the many possible sources of lead exposure, and steps to reduce the risk of lead poisoning.

“In Hawaii, one of out of every 100 tested children has an elevated blood lead level,” said Derek Priddy, coordinator, Hawaii Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. “And only 25% of children are tested for lead at ages 1 and 2.”

Even small amounts of lead can make it hard for children to learn, pay attention and perform well in school, but a few simple steps can go a long way toward giving a child the best possible future:

• Wash hands with soap and water before eating and after playing outside. Hand sanitizer does not remove lead.

• Keep homes and childcare facilities free of lead dust with a HEPA vacuum and a wet mop. Regular vacuums and sweeping can spread lead dust.

• Keep children away from areas of peeling paint inside or outside a home.

• Talk to your child’s healthcare provider about a lead test at ages 1 and 2, or later if never tested before.

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Learn more about protecting keiki from lead exposure with handouts and other resources at Lead.Hawaii.Gov.

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