Maui District Health Officials Support Sequential Testing
State Health officials say that “while there are indications that infections in Honolulu are beginning to stabilize,” they are expressing concerns about growing activity on Maui and Hawai‘i island.
Dr. Lorrin Pang with the Maui District Health Office spoke at an afternoon press conference on Wednesday saying, “There’s different kinds of reasons why the case numbers went up. I know from my colleague on the Big Island it was gatherings. We had that problem like three weeks ago and then gatherings kind of petered out. For us it is cases in the health care settings (and) the nursing homes… so ours is a little bit different nature.”
Clusters on Maui include at least 20 cases at an assisted living facility and 66 associated with the Maui Memorial Medical Center. Pang said that while it’s not perfect, sequential testing is a good direction for Maui.
Dr. Pang said the five W’s of mitigation would help. “I bet you that can shut down anything regardless of where it comes from,” he said. This includes: (1) Wear your mask; (2) Watch your physical distancing, at least 6 but preferably 10 feet of separation; (3) Wash your hands; (4) Make sure you’re Well before going out in public; and (5) Wipe down and clean/disinfect frequently touched surfaces. He had added a sixth recommendation: When going out, do so in Wide, open spaces, away from other people.
“We should test a lot, widely, comfortably and with a quick turn around,” said Dr. Pang. He also discussed antigen testing saying, “It’s not perfect, but when you do it at intervals or sequentially–when you have a captive audience (nursing homes, a prison, a homeless shelter)–two tests three days apart are terrific, compared to a single test, no matter how good it is, just one time.”
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