The Hawaii Department of Health has ordered Embry Health to immediately stop conducting COVID-19 testing and has fined the company $207,000 for operating specimen collection sites without clinical laboratory certification or written permission from the state health department, as required by law.
Embry Health had been operating COVID-19 testing sites on Oahu and Hawaii Island, including at Kahala Mall, the Kaimana Beach Hotel, Mauna Kea Beach Resort, Patsy T. Mink Central Oahu Regional Park, Wahiawa District Park and Waipahu District Park, according to the DOH.
The testing locations collect specimens, then send them to a laboratory for analysis.
“Testing is an important tool in our fight against the pandemic. It is critical that all individuals seeking testing in Hawai‘i can trust the results they receive,” said Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char in a press release. “We will continue to enforce all regulations to protect Hawai‘i residents and we thank our government partners for their collaboration on this action.”
DOH says it made repeated attempts to work with Embry Health to secure the necessary approvals once it realized the company was collecting specimens, but the company withdrew its application for certification on Oct. 19.
DOH has also ordered the company to notify it of all collection depots it has operated in Hawaii and the date that operations ceased.