Kansas covid tests coming in too slowly

Joplin Area Coronavirus

KANSAS — The state’s top doctor says coronavirus test results are coming in too slow and it’s affecting the spread of the virus in Kansas.

Thousands of Kansans get their tests done through commercial sites that can take longer than a week to get results.

State labs are running about 1,000 tests per day with a quick turnaround time of one to three days.

But they only run tests from health departments and low cost facilities, or for possible cases in a cluster.

Slow commercial testing is impacting how quickly health officials can start contact tracing to see who an infected person has been around.

Sec. Lee Norman, Dept. of Health & Environment, said, “It doesn’t do us a lot of good if somebody is having mild symptoms we’ll say. They get tested and then they don’t get the test results for 8 days. We tell that person because you might be infected with COVID-19, you should isolate and quarantine until you get your test result. People are not patient, and I don’t blame them. We’d like to have an answer much quicker than that.”

KDHE Secretary Lee Norman says the department is working to get more commercial partners to run tests in order to speed results.

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