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United offering coronavirus tests to passengers flying to Hawaii

United offering coronavirus tests to passengers flying to Hawaii
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United Airlines on Thursday announced it will offer rapid coronavirus testing for passengers flying from San Francisco to Hawaii, making it the first U.S. airline to launch a COVID-19 pilot testing program.

The airline said that passengers will have the option of either taking a rapid test at San Francisco International Airport or a self-collected, mail-in test ahead of their trip to Hawaii starting on Oct. 15.

The rapid test is being administered by GoHealth Urgent Care and produces results in about 15 minutes. Passengers who opt for the mail-in test, which is administered by Color, are encouraged to send in their sample within 72 hours of their departure.

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United said it worked with Hawaii officials to ensure that any passenger who tests negative on either test would not have to undergo the state-mandated 14-day quarantine requirement upon arrival.

"Our new COVID testing program is another way we are helping customers meet their destinations' entry requirements, safely and conveniently," said Toby Enqvist, chief customer officer at United. "We'll look to quickly expand customer testing to other destinations and U.S. airports later this year to complement our state-of-the-art cleaning and safety measures that include a mandatory mask policy, antimicrobial and electrostatic spraying and our hospital-grade HEPA air filtration systems." 

United first started working with GoHealth Urgent Care in July to test its international flight crews at San Francisco International.

"We are excited about expanding our partnership with United and continuing to support their proactive safety measures," said Todd Latz, CEO of GoHealth Urgent Care.

Hawaii has had 11,689 confirmed coronavirus cases since the outbreak began and 122 deaths, according to the state’s Department of Health.

Besides implementing a mandatory 14-day quarantine for people entering the state, Hawaii has also postponed plans to reopen its tourism industry to Oct. 1.