Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023 |
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The Hawaii County Council is poised to accept 8,000 COVID-19 home tests from the state Department of Health.
A resolution authorizing the acceptance of the Flowflex COVID-10 antigen home test kits from the DOH to Hawaii County Civil Defense will be heard by the full council at its Wednesday meeting.
The resolution by Puna Councilman Matt Kanealii-Kleinfelder says the tests will be utilized to provide testing options to low-income households, rural communities and county employees.
However, Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno said the tests, valued at approximately $79,920, would only be distributed to various county departments to be used by employees who frequently interact with the public.
“The Civil Defense Agency views these test kits as a viable means to provide a quick method to test county employees who’s job includes interaction with the public,” Magno said in a request for council action. “The idea is to identify potential cases of COVID-19 in the workforce in order to limit the potential exposure to both county employees and residents seeking county provided services.”
Testing is no longer mandated for county or state employees as Gov. David Ige’s emergency proclamation requiring employees be vaccinated or provide a weekly negative result expired March 25.
COVID-19 cases continue to decline for both the Big Island and the state.
Just over 8,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported statewide over the seven-day period ending Wednesday, with Hawaii County reporting 841 new cases, a decrease of 125 cases from the week prior.
Eight new deaths were reported statewide during the week, one less than the week prior. One death occurred in Hawaii County, a man between the ages of 50 and 59.
The death toll for the state is now 1,426, with Hawaii County reporting a death toll of 193 throughout the pandemic.
Free at-home COVID-19 tests are also available to households through the federal government. To order the free tests, visit covid.gov/tests.
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