Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Oct. 4, 2021

Hawaii National Guard COVID Test in Historic District of Honolulu

By 1st Lt. Anyah Peatross State of Hawaii, Department of Defense, Public Affairs Office

HONOLULU, Hawaii -- For more than two months, a team from the Hawai‘i National Guard Joint Task Force, Task Force Medical (TF Med) have performed more than 1,400 COVID-19 swab tests since July through September at the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) Substation location in the Chinatown Historic District of downtown Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

Chinatown is one of the oldest towns in Hawai‘i and in the United States. In 1900, flea-infested rats from disembarking ships likely caused the spread of the bubonic plague in Chinatown. More than a century after the plague decimated the area, a revitalized Chinatown faces renewed hardships as residents and businesses work together to end the COVID-19 crisis.

Staff Sgt. Class William Ham, an Army medic assigned to TF Med, is the senior non-commissioned officer in charge of testing operations at the substation. On site, Ham supports and assists the military-trained medical specialists who provide rapid COVID testing.

“Working Chinatown opens up a whole new mindset on just how much our communities are in need of support,” Ham said.

The town’s one-way streets and tightly packed infrastructure have not hindered people from finding the testing site. During peak hours, the line for testing can be seen poking out from the alley wrapping around the front of the police substation. Patients that have been tested received their results in less than 30 minutes.

In addition to monitoring the well-being of his team, Ham also keeps an eye on those waiting in line.

“Patients are generally pleased with the testing we conduct,” said Ham. “Testing is quick. Patients receive their results within minutes with many fitting their COVID test into their busy schedules.”

The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) Disease Outbreak Control Division reported from mid-July through August, the statewide 7-day average for COVID positive cases reached into the triple digits week after week. Ham ensured that within the hours of operation they had enough test kits to meet the demand for testing.

“The daily tests being performed have significantly increased due to the surge of positive patients throughout the island,” said Ham. “We average about 120 to 150 tests a day.”

TF Med provided assistance to DOH and other state agencies at multiple venues across the island of O‘ahu, including prisons, healthcare centers, public schools, the Honolulu Zoo, and the Aloha Stadium. At each site, TF Med provided one or more services such as administrative, COVID testing, and inoculation support.

The pandemic has revealed Hawai‘i’s strong community values, with many willing to come together to do their part to protect themselves and others from the virus.

“It is a very humbling experience to be working alongside the DOH and HPD,” Ham said. “It’s great to see the community being proactive and showing concern for COVID-19.”


Like Us
Follow Us



Master the Jungle: Counter Insurgency in Nepal
In this file photo, a 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) Officer and his classmates learn route clearance operations by the Counter Insurgency Jungle Warfare instructor in Nepal, Oct. 27, 2021. The course allowed an opportunity to learn and share tactics with the Nepal Army while learning how to survive in a jungle environment.
Jan. 28, 2022 - NEPAL -- The legendary jungles of Nepal are known for their treacherous terrain and the nuanced socioeconomic dynamics that are nestled along its dense boundaries. Nepal Army Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare Course...

U.S, Philippine Forces Kick Off Marine Exercise 22
Representatives from the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, including U.S. military personnel, joined PMC Commandant Maj. Gen. Ariel Caculitan and Commander Combat Service Support Brigade Brig. Gen. Ruben B. Candelario in front of a Small Unit Riverine Craft boat inside the newly constructed boat repair and maintenance facility at Naval Station Rio Hondo in Zamboanga City.   U.S. Military Turns Over Boat Facility in Zamboanga
Jan. 28, 2022 - MANILA, U.S. Embassy in the Philippines -- The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps began training with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Jan. 27, as part of Marine Exercise (MAREX) 2022 to further the maritime security capabilities...

USS Ronald Reagan, U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka Sailors Administer COVID-19 Boosters to American, Japanese Base Employees
220128-N-SI601-1070 YOKOSUKA, Japan (Jan. 28, 2022) Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Andrew Quigley, from Wichita, Kansas, assigned to the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), administers a COVID-19 vaccination booster to a Japanese base employee on Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka. Ronald Reagan, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5, provides a combat-ready force that protects and defends the United States, and supports alliances, partnerships and collective maritime interests in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Daniel G. Providakes)
Jan. 28, 2022 - YOKOSUKA, Japan -- Sailors from the U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) worked side-by-side with their counterparts from U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka (USNHY) onboard Commander, Fleet...

Readout of Assistant Secretary of Defense Ely Ratner's Call with Mongolia Vice Minister of Defense Bayarmagnai
Jan. 28, 2022 - WASHINGTON -- Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, Dr. Ely Ratner, held a telephone call with his Mongolian counterpart, Vice Minister of Defense B. Bayarmagnai to commemorate the 35th anniversary...

U.S. and Thailand Inaugurate Elite Border Patrol Police Training Facility
U.S. and Thailand Inaugurate Elite Border Patrol Police Training Facility.
Jan. 28, 2022 - U.S. Embassy & Consulate in Thailand -- U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Michael Heath and Police Major General Varayuth Sukhawat, Border Patrol Police (BPP) Deputy Commissioner, Royal Thai Police, presided over the unveiling...