comscore Off the News: Trafficking and Native Hawaiians; Free COVID testing available | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Off the News

Off the News: Trafficking and Native Hawaiians; Free COVID testing available

Yet another sad observation about Hawaii’s indigenous people: Native Hawaiians disproportionately suffer from social ills such as poverty that put them at risk of trafficking. From 2017 to 2019, 1 of 3 child sex trafficking victims reported to Child Welfare Services were Native Hawaiian.

Here’s one baby step toward a solution: Senate Concurrent Resolution 8, seeking a task force to improve data on the problem, will be heard via livestream starting at 9:46 a.m. today on the Senate YouTube channel (808ne.ws/trafficking).

Free COVID testing available

Quicker pace of COVID-19 vaccinations is hindered by limited supply, with Hawaii receiving about 67,000-plus doses weekly. That means residents almost — but not quite yet — eligible are in a holding pattern, including kupuna under age 70, and workers in the 1c category, such as restaurant workers.

For that latter group, even as they await vaccination, COVID testing remains useful — and to that end, a new program is making 15,000 free tests available for food service industry workers.

The city, partnering with the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii, is offering testing at the Hawaiian Monarch Hotel in Waikiki, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and at Honolulu’s airport near baggage claim 31, 9 a.m. to midnight. For information, call (833) 560-0997 or email CovidResponse@kidneyhi.org.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

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