Starting next week, the University of Hawaii will be offering up to 500 free COVID-19 tests per day to people on Oahu, Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced on Thursday.

Patients can walk up to the clinic at 651 Ilalo St., get a test and receive results in 24 to 48 hours, according to UH. The lab is also working with community health centers to process tests from their patients.

For now, the testing is limited to people 18 years and older, according to UH.

The lab at the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine is supported by federal CARES Act money from the City and County of Honolulu. It is slated to receive a total of $3.9 million by the end of the year.

The program has faced some obstacles and delays since the project was announced in May. At the time, the aim was for the lab to provide nearly 100,000 tests by the end of the year. With only 10 weeks left in 2020, it’s unlikely the lab will hit that target. However, the mayor said the lab could process up to 1,000 tests per day if “surge capacity” becomes necessary.

Information on testing times and location is available on the JABSOM website and

Honolulu is currently in Tier 1 of a four-tier pandemic response strategy that bases the island’s restrictions on COVID-19 case numbers. If the island’s case levels stay the same or decrease, Caldwell said he might be announcing an easing of restrictions next week.

Help power our public service journalism

As a local newsroom, Civil Beat has a unique public service role in times of crisis.

That’s why we’re committed to a paywall-free website and subscription-free content, so we can get vital information out to everyone, from all communities.

We are deploying a significant amount of our resources to covering the Maui fires, and your support ensures that we can pivot when these types of emergencies arise.

Make a gift to Civil Beat today and help power our nonprofit newsroom.

About the Author