Who is eligible for COVID-19 testing in Hawaiʻi?
Current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines indicate that the following people should get tested:
- People who have symptoms of COVID-19
- People who have had close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) with someone with confirmed COVID-19
- People who have been asked or referred to get testing by their healthcare provider, local or state health department.
Not everyone needs to be tested. If you do get tested, you should self-quarantine/isolate at home pending test results and follow the advice of your health care provider or a public health professional.
What should I do while I wait for my COVID-19 test results?
If you do not have symptoms, you should continue to follow recommended physical distancing practices, such as staying home and staying at least 6 feet away from others when you are outside your home until your test results are back. You should also use a cloth face covering whenever you leave the home and are around others that are not part of your household. If you were a contact to a suspected or positive case of COVID-19 you should remain in quarantine at your home and away from others until you are given results and their related guidance.
If you have symptoms, you should stay home and self-isolate until the test results are back. See the guidance for home care that tells you how to take care of yourself while you are at home waiting for your test results.
- Stay home: Restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19 prior to arriving at the facility. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
- Separate yourself from others: As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from others in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available
- Take preventative actions: Wear a facemask, if possible, when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle). If you do not wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live with you should not be in the same room with you, or they should wear a mask if they enter your room. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can; immediately clean your hands as described below. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Clean high touch surfaces including counters, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, phones, etc. Also clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to label instructions.
- Monitor yourself for symptoms: Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing). Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for COVID-19. Put on a facemask before you enter the facility. These steps will help the healthcare provider’s office keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected or exposed.
What should I do if a COVID-19 test comes back positive?
From Hawaiʻi DOH: HDOH coordinates closely with Hawaiʻi’s healthcare facilities to ensure any clinic, hospital, or other healthcare setting is ready to care for a person infected or potentially infected with COVID-19 with appropriate isolation precautions. Cases not needing hospitalization will be subject to isolation with close monitoring by public health and ready access to medical care.
If your test is positive you should notify your healthcare provider as soon as possible. If you do not have your own healthcare provider, you should call either the Queen’s Medical Center COVID-19 info line (808-691-2619) or the Hawaii Pacific Health virtual clinic (808-462-5430, press option 4) to enroll in a support program that will provide close monitoring and access to a healthcare provider should you have questions or develop additional needs. If you cannot safely isolate at home, please call the Hawaii CARES line 1-800-753-6879. Be sure to tell all of your close contacts (at home and work) they need to quarantine for 14 days after their last contact with you.
Are there kits that I can purchase myself to conduct at-home or mail-in testing for COVID-19?
At this time, the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has not authorized any COVID-19 test for at-home testing. In May, 2020 the FDA authorized the first at-home sample collection kit that can then be sent to specified laboratories for COVID-19 diagnostic testing.
What are the risks associated with a pet or livestock getting infected with COVID-19?
From Hawaiʻi DOH: Although this coronavirus seems to have come from an animal source, it is now spreading from person-to-person. There is no reason to believe animals or pets in Hawaiʻi or elsewhere in the United States might be at risk for infection from COVID-19.