Gov. Kelly announced Kansas received additional PPE, expands COVID-19 testing in Kansas

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Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly answers questions about attempting to check the spread of the new coronavirus during an interview with The Associated Press in her office, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Governor Kelly announced on Sunday that Kansas has received additional personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies to expand COVID-19 testing in Finney, Ford, Lyon, and Seward counties.

“I want to thank our federal partners for their ongoing efforts to help our state response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kelly said. “I particularly appreciate the assistance from Senator Pat Roberts and Senator Jerry Moran.” 

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is working closely with the CDC to test and contain recent clusters of positive coronavirus cases in Kansas counties centered around food and meat processing plants.

“In order to fight this pandemic, collaboration at the state, local and federal level is paramount,” Dr. Lee Norman, KDHE Secretary, said. “Expanded testing and additional supplies from the federal level will equip and inform our state and local health officials as they work to protect the health of Kansans.”

The plants in southwest Kansas account for 25 to 30% of the country’s beef processing. “Agriculture is a facet of our state’s most critical infrastructure – Kansas doesn’t just feed the state, we feed the world,” Kelly said. “This is particularly true of our frontline workers in meatpacking plants across the state who process a significant portion of the nation’s supply.”  

The facilities have modified several production and shipping systems and have taken proactive measures including temperature and health screenings, enhanced sanitation and social distancing.  

The State received its allocation of the Strategic National Stockpile in late March. PPE received from the SNS was quickly distributed to counties throughout the state based on population.

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