COVID-19 testing centers on Kaua‘i are currently experiencing high demand and limited supplies. However, not everyone needs to have a PCR test. The Kaua‘i District Health Office offers the following guidance on when to test for COVID-19.
If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and you are experiencing symptoms, get a test if you can easily do so. If you can’t easily get tested, assume that you have COVID-19 even without getting a test. If this pertains to you, follow DOH guidelines and isolate at home for at least five days if your fever is gone and symptoms are improving, or up to 10 days if fever persists or symptoms worsen. Let your close contacts know, and let your employer know.
If you are feeling sick and have access to a home test kit, a home test is a good option. If your test is positive, it is reliable, and you are advised to follow DOH guidelines as stated above. If your test is negative, you should repeat the home test in a couple of days, as it may take a few days for COVID-19 to be detected on a home test.
If you test positive, you do not need to get another test. Doing so uses valuable resources and does not change what you need to do: isolate per DOH guidelines as stated above.
As a reminder, the Department of Health does not issue “return to work” letters for employers. Return-to-work guidance for employers and employees is available on the Department of Health website, https://health.hawaii.gov/coronavirusdisease2019/2022/01/. Employers and employees should refer to and follow DOH guidelines for when someone no longer needs to isolate.
PCR testing should not be repeated in the 90 days following a positive test, as someone can continue to test positive for up to 90 days after being infected. Therefore, requiring a negative test in order to return to work is not appropriate. The only time someone should re-test in that 90-day interval is if new symptoms arise after they have recovered because it is possible to be re-infected.
For more information on isolation and quarantine, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html.
For a full list of testing options, visit http://www.kauai.gov/covidtest.