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EFFECTIVE as of January 19, 2021

TST / IGRA TESTING FOR TB CLEARANCE – POST COVID VACCINATION

Due to the unknown effects of the COVID vaccine on TB Skin Tests (TST) and TB Blood Test (IGRA) for TB clearance purposes, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended delaying administering these TB test for 4-weeks after the second COVID vaccine.

For those who need a TB clearance as soon as possible or cannot delay TB screening, the Hawaii DOH TB Control Branch at Lanakila Health Center advises the following:

  • Screen with TB Risk Assessment:

If person’s risk assessment is negative, then no testing is needed until 4 weeks post-vaccine.  A temporary TB clearance with expiration date (post 4 weeks) can be issued.

If person’s risk assessment is positive , then person can have a chest X-ray (CXR) to assess risk for pulmonary TB.

  • Persons who are part of the screening population groups listed below can have their chest X-rays done at Lanakila Health Center, they are:  Food handlers, health care workers, Day care/ Day care employees, Students, School employees, Foster parents, Care/Foster Home Operators, Recent Arrival Immigrants (B1), Housing or Shelter Clearance, Care/ Foster Home Residents
  • Persons, who do not belong to any of the above screening population groups, can request a chest X-ray from their Primary Care Provider.

If the individual’s chest X-ray is negative, the Primary Care Provider’s can give a temporary TB clearance x 4 weeks.  Primary Care Provider can write in the expiration date of the TB clearance.

Having just the negative risk assessment screen or having just a Chest X-Ray does not constitute completion of the TB clearance process.

NOTE:  For those persons who are issued a temporary TB clearance or delayed TB Clearance after the 4 weeks post-vaccine period will need to return to undergo a TB Skin Test or TB Blood Test (IGRA) testing in order to be issued a permanent TB clearance.

Contact, the TB Screening Office at 808-832-5731, if you have further questions regarding this matter.

AS of August 3, 2020 – The Department of Health, Tuberculosis (TB) Control Branch has restarted issuance of TB Clearances – Post COVID-19 quarantine (see revised operational updates below):

  • Annual clearance for healthcare workers
  • Annual clearance for patients in long-term care facilities
  • Children entering childcare, preschool or school (K-12th grade) and children/school employees
  • Post-secondary school students and employees
  • Food handlers

The Lanakila Health Center TB Clinic (1700 Lanakila Ave., Honolulu) will still accept walk-ins with new procedures to maintain social distancing.   Individuals seeking TB clearance will need to wear a face covering and be screened prior to entering clinic.

NOTE:    Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00-2:30 pm, priority for testing will be given to accommodate Kupuna’s (Senior citizens) and healthcare workers before other clearance categories.

NEW:  To encourage social distancing, the TB program has developed an E- process to request your TB clearance, as an alternative to a face-to-face office visit, for the following:

  • Children entering childcare, preschool or school (K-12th grade) and school employees
  • Post-secondary school students and employees
  • Food handlers

The following types of TB Clearance cannot use this process, they are:

  • New and annual TB clearance needed for healthcare workers and long-term care residents and employees.
  • Emergency requests.  If request is urgent, please call 832-5731 and speak to a TB staff.

How to use the E-process, start with the following:

  1. Send in your TB request using the e-mail address provided.
  2. E-mail to:  [email protected]
  3.  In the e-mail message provide the following information:
  • Your Name(s) (first name, last name, (aka, your maiden name) of individuals seeking TB clearance
  • Indicate relationship: (for example, self, children (0-17 years of age).
  • Primary phone number: (needs to be a number we can reach you during the day)
  • Date of Birth
  • Reason TB clearance is needed

A response will be made within one business day either by phone or by e-mail.  Upon telephone interview with you, we will determine whether we will be able to process your TB clearance electronically or if you need to be seen in office.

The Public Health Nursing (PHN) Offices Statewide, have made operational changes to Public Health Nursing Offices Statewide for TB Testing procedures due COVID-19.  They will no longer conduct walk-in clinics.   Any individual seeking TB clearance at these sites will now be required to call for an appointment for a TB skin test.  However, some individuals may be able to receive clearance over the phone.

Calls can be made during business hours7:45am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday, except for holidays.

Oahu:

  • Central Oahu (Pearl City)        453-6190
  • East Honolulu                            733-9220
  • Leeward Oahu (Waipahu)       675-0073
  • Windward Oahu (Kaneohe)    233-5450

Hawaii Island

  • Hilo:                   974-6025
  • Kailua-Kona     322-1500
  • Waimea             887-8116 or 887-8117

Maui and Lanai    984-8260

             Molokai      553-7880

                Kauai       241-3387

 OUR MISSION

To reduce the incidence of tuberculosis in the state by providing effective prevention, detection, treatment, and educational services.

Program Services and Activities

  • Offer diagnosis and treatment of TB.
  • Ensure that all cases and suspected cases of TB are identified and that appropriate therapy is provided.
  • Provide preventive therapy for patients at high risk of developing TB disease including contacts of active cases, persons who are HIV positive, and those with evidence of untreated TB.
  • Conduct direct TB services including chest X-ray, sputum smear and culture for mycobacteria, tuberculin skin testing, treatment with anti-tuberculosis therapy, and directly observed therapy (DOT) through TB clinics on the four most heavily populated islands.

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https://health.hawaii.gov/tb

This page last updated:  April 7, 2021