Kansas working to ramp up coronavirus testing

Joplin Area Coronavirus

TOPEKA, Ks. — Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Lee Norman says Kansas will have up to 64,000 coronavirus tests within the coming weeks.

Secretary Norman says that Kansas was originally doing well when it came to social distancing, however, as time goes on, data shows Kansans are not staying home and away from others, as is necessary to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Because of this, Secretary Norman says there will continue to be more cases of coronavirus in the state, and while more tests are being provided, including some that take just 45 minutes to get results, there are still some essential supplies that the state is running low on, including test swabs and personal protective equipment, like masks and gowns, for health care workers. Once those tests and more supplies make their way to Kansas, the secretary says counties seeing larger outbreaks will be able to start testing both sick and healthy people through drive-thru testing sites.

Secretary Lee Norman, KDHE, said, “That will allow us to do very fundamental work, which is pushing analysis upstream, so preventing people from becoming ill from it. Until that time, social distancing is the name of the game.”

Both Governor Kelly and Secretary Norman are urging Kansans to practice social distancing.

Governor Kelly is recommending that churches forgo Easter services this year, if they cannot fulfill social distancing guidelines.

That means there can be no more than 10 people, and they must remain 6-feet apart.

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