The free, home COVID-19 test kits that the Hawaii Department of Health is distributing as part of a federal pilot program are now available for pickup at various Oahu locations.
The Honolulu Fire Department will be distributing about 3,000 of the kits, which have eight tests each, at its four drive-thru testing sites, which include the Aloha Stadium, Ewa Mahiko District Park, Waianae District Park, and Kapolei Consolidated Theatres parking lot.
The free kits, part of the “Say Yes! COVID Test” at-home testing challenge has been in high demand since its launch last week. More than 500,000 were already ordered online within the first few days of the launch.
A total of 1 million tests are available for Oahu residents, with each kit containing eight rapid antigen tests to be used twice a week for four weeks.
The at-home testing 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.
The rapid antigen COVID-19 tests provided by Quidel are authorized for use by the Food and Drug Administration, and require a quick swab inside each nostril, with results ready in about 10 minutes. Researchers will use publicly available data from the program to determine if local testing efforts slowed the spread of COVID-19.
In all, 80,000 kits, or 640,000 tests, were requested online at COVIDTestHonolulu.org for those living in eligible zip codes.
The state Health Department said 45,000 kits, or 360,000 remaining tests, were given to community partners such as HFD for distribution to underserved communities, including those without internet access.
Pickup locations are now listed at covidtesthonolulu.org/get-your-tests, with schedules for each location posted online.
They include Don Quijote Drugs locations on Farrington Highway and Kaheka Street, in addition to Times Pharmacies throughout Oahu, including the ones on Beretania and North School streets, and in Aiea, Liliha, Kailua, Kaneohe, Waimalu, and Waipahu.