Kokua Line: Must I confirm a COVID-19 home test?

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Question: If we test positive for COVID- 19 on a home test, are we supposed to get a PCR test to confirm? We’re getting conflicting advice.

Answer: No. Consider a positive result on the home test accurate and proceed accordingly, which includes seeking treatment right away if you have serious symptoms or are at high risk of severe disease. To work well, prescribed oral medication to treat COVID- 19 must be taken as soon as possible after diagnosis. This is all according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says “people who are more likely to get very sick include older adults (ages 50 years or more, with risk increasing with older age), people who are unvaccinated, and people with certain medical conditions, such as a weakened immune system.”

People who don’t need treatment can safely isolate at home for five days after a positive result on an over-the-counter test, also known as a home test or self-test. Read more at 808ne.ws/covid.

Q: How do I get in touch with the people involved in the Genki Ala Wai Project and the Eco Rotary Club of Kakaako, who are putting genki balls in the Ala Wai Canal? I want to offer our financial and physical support.

A: You should be able to reach both organizations via their websites, which have electronic contact forms through which you can submit an email. The contact link for the Genki Ala Wai Project is at the top of its homepage, genkialawai.org, while the contact link for Eco Rotary Club of Kakaako is at the bottom of its homepage, ecorotary.org. Both groups also are active on social media, such as Instagram, where you can send a direct message.

The goal of the Genki Ala Wai Project is to restore the Ala Wai Canal through bioremediation, which uses living organisms to remove pollutants from water and soil. Effective microorganisms are mixed with other ingredients to form mud balls that are tossed into the canal to digest polluting sludge. Numerous schools, businesses and organizations, including the Eco Rotary Club of Kakaako, have volunteered to help with the project, which aims to make the Ala Wai safe for swimming and fishing within a few years. The project is based on the pioneering work of a Japanese horticulture professor. In English, the word genki means energetic, lively and healthy, which would describe the Ala Wai’s ecosystem if the project succeeds.


Beware a menace in Aiea town. Be vigilant when walking. As a retired senior citizen who frequently walks for exercise in the early morning hours, I want to urge caution about a young man, apparently mentally ill and homeless, who taunts passersby and challenges them to a fight if they don’t give him cigarettes or money when he asks. I’ve encountered this person at the intersection of Moanalua Road and Aiea Heights Drive and have talked to several other people (all senior citizens) who’ve had similar encounters with the same individual at different times of the day. … So far, he’s always run away cussing, swearing from a distance. But you never know what will happen in the future. Be careful. — Bobby from LA (lower Aiea)

(Note: In a followup email, you said that you’ve never notified authorities about these encounters, and neither had the others, as far as you know. The city’s Crisis, Outreach, Response and Engagement program may be able to help this young man, and your neighborhood in the process. Call 808-768-2673 for CORE, which responds to nonemergency calls involving the homeless. By contrast, if you fear for your safety, or violence occurs, call 911 for a police response.)


Mahalo to all the moms working hard to raise good kids. Happy Mother’s Day! — A reader

Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-500, Honolulu, HI 96813; call 808-529-4773; or email kokualine@staradvertiser.com.