Travelers heading to Hawaii must either get a confirmed negative COVID-19 test from one of the state's trusted testing and travel partners within 72 hours of departure or quarantine for 10 days.
Alpha Xpress Labs in Tulsa is not one of those partners.
"Testing for Hawaii. Testing for Hawaii. Testing for Hawaii,” Alpha Xpress Labs vice president Nathan Gates said. “Unfortunately, we have to continue to tell them the same answer.”
Tulsa International Airport and Alpha Xpress Labs together receive between five and 10 calls a day from Hawaii-bound travelers wanting to get tested on-site for COVID-19.
Gates said he has called and emailed the state of Hawaii every month since December about becoming a preferred partner but was told the state is not taking on new testing partners.
"Their answer to us is they have enough testing partners for this area, but the reality is, there's not," Gates said.
Gates said vaccinations are working and traveling has both increased, causing would-be travelers to manage their time better.
Tulsa Airport Trust CEO Alexis Higgins has emailed on behalf of Alpha Xpress Labs and was given a similar response.
"The airport fully supports Alpha Xpress Labs' desire to become a certified lab recognized by the State of Hawaii as there are few reliable options for our Hawaii bound travelers today,” Higgins said in a statement.
"But we aren't going to give up," Gates said.
The State of Hawaii currently has 23 preferred testing partners for domestic travelers with a select few available in Oklahoma.
News On 6 reached out to the Hawaii State Department of Health for a statement but have yet to hear back.