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Staff shortages force Diagnostic Laboratory Services to close some COVID-19 testing sites

  • STAR-ADVERTISER FILE
                                A Diagnostic Laboratory Services lab assistant prepared to run pre-employment and workplace drug tests. Diagnostic Laboratory Services Inc. has temporarily closed several of its COVID-19 testing sites due to staffing shortages.

    STAR-ADVERTISER FILE

    A Diagnostic Laboratory Services lab assistant prepared to run pre-employment and workplace drug tests. Diagnostic Laboratory Services Inc. has temporarily closed several of its COVID-19 testing sites due to staffing shortages.

Diagnostic Laboratory Services Inc. has temporarily closed several of its COVID-19 testing sites due to staffing shortages.

DLS, which describes itself as the largest, locally owned clinical testing laboratory in Hawaii, has temporarily closed at least half a dozen sites, including locations in Hawaii Kai, Wahiawa, Ewa and the Queens Physicians Office Building II on Lusitana Street.

Ken Lincoln, director of marketing and communications for DLS, said the temporary closures are due to staff testing positive for COVID-19 or exposure to the coronavirus, along with other factors, such as the need to provide support for The Queen’s Health Systems or workers that went back to school.

“The prevalence is so high now, and we’re an island so we’re all getting affected,” said Lincoln. “We take exposure very seriously. [Employees] are not necessarily infected but if they’ve been potentially exposed, that affects our pool of people to call upon until they’re cleared.”

But DLS has multiple locations, he said, and has tried to keep options open for all areas.

The Hawaii Kai DLS on Keahole Street has been temporarily closed since Dec. 19, for instance, but the one at Kahala is open. Although the site at the Physicians Office Building II has been temporarily closed as of Monday, the one at POB I remains open.

Some locations, such as Kailua, have two sites, where one is closed but the other remains open.

“We try to be judicious on which ones are closed, so we’re available in every part of the island,” he said.

DLS offers COVID-19 testing for a fee — $120 to $175 per person for travel (as a trusted testing partner), as well as work and school clearance for those who are asymptomatic.

Appointments for COVID testing need to be made online at dlslab.com, which offers a list of the temporarily closed as well as available locations.

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