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Requests for COVID-19 test kits for Oahu residents on pause due to overwhelming response, will resume today

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The Hawaii Department of Health on Wednesday said the “Say Yes! COVID Test” at-home testing challenge is currently on pause due to high demand.

Health officials on Monday announced the availability of the free test kits for Oahu residents in eligible zip codes as part of a federal pilot program. A total of 1 million tests are available for Oahu residents, with each kit containing eight rapid antigen tests.

The challenge is a cooperative effort between DOH, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, community partners, test manufacturer Quidel, and health care technology company CareEvolution.

Each participating resident is to be provided with eight rapid antigen tests by Quidel to be used twice a week for four weeks total, regardless of symptoms, to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Health officials said the challenge had a very successful launch on Monday, and that 65,000 people ordered the kits online, which equates to 520,000 tests total.

Some residents tried to sign up numerous times online, with no luck, and received a message saying there was an overwhelming response to the initiative, and that new orders would not be accepted for Wednesday and to tray again tomorrow.

”Online ordering was paused due to high demand to ensure our underserved communities had an opportunity to access the tests,” said DOH in an email.

More than 120,000 tests are also on their way to community partners for distribution to underserved communities, including those without internet access, DOH said.

The site will reopen Thursday, with a limited number of tests available for home delivery.

Residents living in the following zip codes are eligible for the program: 96701, 96706, 96707, 96712, 96717, 96730, 96731, 96734, 96744, 96762, 96782, 96786, 96789, 96791, 96792, 96795, 96797, 96813, 96814, 96815, 96816, 96817, 96818, 96819, 96821, 96822, 96825, 96826, 96844, 96850, 96853, 96854, 96857, 96858, 96859, 96860, 96861, 96863.

Pickup locations will be announced later this week for those without internet access, officials said.

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