Gov. Laura Kelly announced a statewide testing strategy for the coronavirus during a press conference Thursday that aims to test approximately 2% of the Kansas population each month.
The United States Health and Human Services will provide testing supplies to the state in order to test about 60,000 individuals per month, as officials monitor the state’s testing capacity daily, Kelly said during the press conference.
“I know Kansans are anxious to return to many summertime activities, I am too,” Kelly said. “Today’s announcement will continue to aid Kansas in the progress that will allow us to return to normal, but we must do so safely so that these sacrifices that all have made will not have been in vain.”
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment also created an online map with each testing site in the state. The map provides the address of the testing site, as well as the capacity of the testing site and the available testing strategy.
Testing sites may provide molecular testing for the presence or absence of the virus, or serological testing for the presence of antibodies, confirming the individual had the coronavirus at some point.
The two KDHE testing facilities in Lawrence — Lawrence Memorial Hospital and a LabCorp location — provide only molecular testing.
Individuals testing through KDHE must meet the “person under investigation” criteria by showing symptoms of the coronavirus, KDHE Sec. Lee Norman said during the press conference.
However, mobile testing sites will test asymptomatic individuals if there is an outbreak in facilities with small living quarters, Norman said. These facilities include nursing homes and jails.
The announcement comes three days after Douglas County moved into Kelly’s third phase of reopening the state. Gatherings up to 45 people are allowed, and all businesses that maintain social distancing guidelines are allowed to reopen.
“I know this crisis has created hardship for many families, businesses, and our communities,” Kelly said. “Every lost job, every graduation missed, and every loved one who got sick through this unprecedented crisis must keep us focused on our careful guided path to economic recovery.”