COVID-19 Q&A with Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment

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Our Kansas correspondent, Korinne Griffith with KSN-Topeka attended the Kansas Governor and Department of Health & Environment press conference Friday. Here are the questions she asked and the answers she received:

Q: Are you planning on releasing the locations of the coronavirus deaths in Kansas? 

  • A: They are still discussing this. The KDHE’s hesitation is with privacy concerns, especially in rural areas. I believe their thinking is, if someone dies in a small community and the family wants to keep the cause of death private, announcing that a coronavirus death occurred in said small community might create issues/stress for the family. They didn’t say no to releasing locations, just that they’re still considering.

Q: Some people are complaining of a testing backlog/having a test done and then not getting results quickly. Is this common? Why?

  • A: Yes, there is a testing backlog for some commercial testing clinics because they are sending their tests out to other state’s labs to get results. If you are tested through KDHE or other state-based testing clinics, those results will likely come back within a couple of days. For KDHE, it’s a one day turnaround, most of the time.

Q: Young people are more commonly the ones spreading the coronavirus because they don’t realize that they are sick (not showing symptoms or having minimal symptoms). What should young people be doing, if they aren’t even sure that they are sick?

  • A: Stay home! It’s best not to risk spreading the virus, so, if you can, stay home and keep away from people. 

Q: Secretary Norman says that with more test kits coming in (some that can have results ready in 45 minutes), the hope is to be able to start population testing, or testing all people in a community whether they are sick or healthy. When does he anticipate this beginning? How long will it take?

  • A: Hard to say when they can begin population testing. He said hopefully in the coming weeks, that could mean anything though, they really aren’t sure. Once they do choose to test an entire county population, Secretary Norman says that testing could be completed within a week. Then people would know for sure if they are sick (even without symptoms). 

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