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San Diego mom: Hawaii didn't accept negative COVID test, sent to quarantine

Posted at 4:16 PM, Nov 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-07 00:54:28-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Roughly 24 hours after stepping foot on Hawaiian soil, San Diego mother Christina Adele said that she and her family flew back home from vacation once Hawaiian state health officials had them quarantine after not accepting their negative test results.

“I was in tears,” she told ABC10 News. She said that before the trip she checked Hawaii's entry checklist which requires a negative nucleic acid amplification test performed by a trusted partner, including CVS Pharmacy.

She said that she and her family went to a CVS in Poway to get tested, which is where she said that she clarified with CVS staff that their testing would be adequate.

“I said, ‘We're going to Hawaii. We need to make sure this is not an antigen or antibody test,’ and they assured me it wasn't,” she added.

The family’s excitement quickly faded after their plane touched down in Hawaii. Adele said that Hawaiian health officials did not accept their tests and said that her family was instructed to quarantine for 14 days in their room at their resort.

“[The resort staff said] if we see you out at all we're going to call the Hawaiian Police Department and you will go to jail,” she told ABC10 News. “I didn't pack much of anything for my son. I had some diapers and some things but I was thinking I was going to buy all that stuff in Hawaii.”

She said her family couldn’t handle the quarantine so they flew back home the next day.

“[I got] an email saying that [Hawaiian health officials] reread our COVID tests and they actually are valid and we could be immediately released from quarantine," she said a day after returning home.

Part of the email reads: "Aloha, your COVID test has been read and you have been released from quarantine."

“The whole ridiculous part is we had the negative COVID tests from the trusted partner,” she added.

State health officials in Hawaii emailed the following to ABC10 News:

“Thanks for your inquiry. The state is reviewing the matter. That’s all we have for now.”

A spokesperson with CVS did not address ABC10 News' specific questions about the family’s situation but sent the following response:

“CVS Health is aware of the requirements put in place by the state of Hawaii for the pre-travel COVID-19 testing program. We have more than 4,000 COVID-19 drive-thru test sites at select CVS Pharmacy locations that provide the type of testing required by the state for this program. We recommend that people use the following link to access the sites that provide the type of test that meets the state’s requirements [].”