TB clearance exemptions expanded

Child care facilities licensed or registered by the state Department of Human Services will be exempt from tuberculosis clearance requirements due to a nationwide shortage of testing solution needed for skin testing, the department announced.

The emergency temporary suspension of TB clearance requirements will pertain to family care providers, group child care homes and centers, infant and toddler child care centers, and before- and after-school child care facilities licensed by the state, according to a spokeswoman for the department.

There are 163 licensed or registered child care facilities or homes on Maui, she added.

The announcement comes more than a month after the state Department of Health announced a temporary suspension of TB clearance requirements for school and health workers, which did not include child care facilities because they do not fall under the Health Department’s administrative rules.

TB testing at state clinics will be limited to:

* People who have had contact with another individual with infectious TB.

* People showing symptoms suggestive of TB disease.

* Newly arriving immigrants referred automatically through the federal immigration system Honolulu Quarantine Station.

* People who are infected with HIV.

* People who are immune-compromised due to disease or medical treatment.

All others seeking TB clearance are advised to contact their private health care provider.

The shortage involves Tubersol and Aplisol purified protein derivative solution. According to a Health Department statement last month, manufacturers seen production delays since November.

Officials expect adequate supplies of the solution will be available several months from now.

The Human Services Department’s temporary suspension of the TB clearance, which took effect May 20, will be effective for up to 120 days or until the shortage is ended. If supplies are still limited at the end of the 120-day period, the Human Services and Health departments will coordinate permanent amendments to requirements.

Public notice will be issued when the suspension is lifted.

For more information on tuberculosis or TB testing, call the Hawaii TB Control Program at (808) 832-5731 or go online to