The Conversation: Understanding Coronavirus Antibody Testing

May 19, 2020

Antibody testing results; Technology could help manage quarantine; Longline fishermen struggle to stay afloat; Neighbor island recipents affected by new Medicaid contract; Living in isolation at Kalaupapa

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Antibody testing results  

What is antibody testing and what does it do? Authorities say Hawaii will not be reaching herd immunity levels anytime soon.

Technology could help manage quarantine

These unusual times are spurring innovative ideas. Toby Morris is a windward Oahu resident who felt frustrated seeing tourists trespass on family property for years. But rather than just complain about it, he developed an app to try and manage the problem. His company is called Geokeepers, and there could be applications in this time of COVID-19 that could help state and county governments with scofflaws.

Credit Cory Lum / Honolulu Civil Beat

Longline fishermen struggle to stay afloat

The demand for fresh fish has fallen drastically and today's Reality Check gives us a snapshot of another island industry that is struggling through these tough COVID times. Click here to read Nick Grube's story at

Neighbor island recipents affected by new Medicaid contract

The state Department of Human Services Med-QUEST Division is making some big changes and it's causing some big worries. Medicaid provides low-income adults and children access to medical coverage. The state went out to bid, trimming the 5 providers AlohaCare, HMSA, Kaiser Permanente, Ohana Health Plan and UnitedHealthCare Community Plan down to just a couple statewide. DHS awarded the statewide contract to HMSA and United.

AlohaCare, Kaiser and Ohana are to only administer their Medicaid health plan on Oahu. 

DHS planned on implementing the new contract on July 1st, but due to the current health crisis, it has been delayed until further notice. The Hawaii County Council passed a resolution asking for more time. Some of their concerns included lack of public input and transparency during the RFP process. Richard Taafe spoke with The Conversation’s Jason Ubay about those concerns.


Living in isolation at Kalaupapa

Last June marked the 45th anniversary of the end of isolation in the Kalaupapa settlement for Leprosy or Hansen's Disease. The residents who had endured permanent quarantine because of their contagious disease moved into the remote settlement and most died there. We reached out to author John Clark to talk about the parallels with our seclusion due to COVID-19.