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Hundreds of COVID Test Samples Lost in Transit

January 14, 2022, 3:13 PM HST
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Hundreds of residents will have to retest for COVID-19 after their swabs collected this month were lost in transit to the lab, county officials confirmed.

The 407 affected samples were those obtained by TrueCare24 between Jan. 7-10 at the county COVID testing operation site at Old Kona Airport. According to county officials, TrueCare24 provided the following explanation: “The samples that were collected that day were not delivered by our courier partner to the lab despite providing a delivery confirmation, and unfortunately a large number of samples collected that day were lost and are no longer valid.”

Mayor Mitch Roth said the county has been in discussion with TrueCare 24 since being notified of the invalid tests Thursday morning.

“We are satisfied that they have worked out a solution to eliminate this reoccurrence,” Roth said. “That said, we apologize to all affected by the inconvenience and encourage folks to get re-tested as soon as possible.”

County spokesman Cyrus Johnasen said the swabs on-site were taken by professional staff hired by TrueCare24. Once collected, the samples are completed and packaged and follow a transportation system to Premier Lab Solutions where they are tested.

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The county has not made special arrangements to accommodate those individuals impacted by the lost samples. Johnasen said residents are encouraged to retest at any of the county-sponsored testing sites operating each week. Click here for more information on dates, times and locations.

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“Testing is our greatest asset in slowing the spread, and we appreciate everyone who has taken the time to get tested in a broader effort to keep themselves, their loved ones, and the community-at-large safe,” Roth stated.

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