Governor Laura Kelly today announced that the State of Kansas exceeded its goal to conduct 1 million COVID-19 tests in 2020, which was set by the Governor in October.
“In October, we launched our Unified Testing Strategy with a goal of testing one million Kansans by the end of the year – and today, I’m excited to announce that we exceeded that number,” Governor Kelly said. “This coordinated partnership between state health officials and local providers, in addition to a majority of counties’ decision to adopt face covering requirements, led to the control of the spread of the virus in Kansas for the first time since the stay-at-home order was lifted in May.”
The State of Kansas conducted over 1,001,000 tests in 2020.
“Ramping up testing capabilities in Kansas has been critical to identify COVID-19 in our state and stop the spread,” Dr. Lee Norman, Secretary for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said. “ Reaching this milestone in Kansas shows great success, but we must remain vigilant and continue following proven public health measures as we move into 2021. Free testing is available through the end of January, and I urge you to utilize testing locations in your area this month.”
The Unified Testing Strategy was launched by Governor Kelly’s administration to coordinate COVID-19 testing statewide, keep Kansans safe and healthy, and accelerate the state’s economy.
“Although we are still working on making the process work better for Kansas consumers, we met the million test mark by the end of 2020, which took a great deal of teamwork from all of our partners in a very short time frame,” Marci Nielsen, special advisor to the Governor, said. “As we begin to vaccinate the public against COVID-19, it’s heartening to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But we can’t yet let down our guard. Testing for COVID-19 is still critically important to control the spread of the virus.”
The strategy includes a campaign called “Stop the Spread. It’s Up to Us, Kansas,” which directs Kansans to free testing locations across the state through the website GoGetTested.com/Kansas. Currently, there are 39 free testing locations on the site, which is updated regularly.
Governor Kelly’s all-of-the-above approach to virus mitigation also includes the “Kansas Beats the Virus” network, a statewide, bipartisan public health intervention, spearheaded by the Kansas Leadership Center, to increase local actions to slow the spread of COVID-19 and encourage Kansans to practice virus mitigation efforts.
“As we move into 2021, the Unified Testing Strategy – including the free testing program – will continue full steam ahead,” Governor Kelly said. “Additionally, the groundwork already put in place through our all-of-the-above approach to virus mitigation is, and will continue to be, essential infrastructure that will allow for the quick and efficient distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.”