TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today announced that the State of Kansas has exceeded 2 million COVID-19 PCR tests conducted to date, while over 1.1 million Kansans have been tested at least once.
“While vaccinations have placed an end to this pandemic in sight, testing remains a critical part of the toolbox to keep Kansans safe and protect our economy until we have eradicated this virus,” Governor Kelly said. “The partnership between state health officials and local providers through our Unified Testing Strategy has allowed us to set up critical testing infrastructure, get Kansans tested, and reach an important milestone of 2 million tests conducted. I thank all those involved in the testing process statewide.”
Testing options across Kansas continue to expand as the Kansans Department of Health and Environment builds partnerships with local community testing partners and organizations. In addition to the 35 sites that are provided by our external partners on GoGetTested.com/Kansas, over 60 community testing partners have signed up to sponsor testing sites and provide greater access to testing.
KDHE is also launching pilots with its new, state of the art mobile labs to help stem outbreaks and to augment testing for the general public and vulnerable populations.
In 2021, the State will continue to refine the testing process to make getting a COVID-19 test more convenient and improve the testing experience. Turnaround times at mass testing sites have been reduced by approximately 50% relative to the end of December, speeding identification of positive cases and contact tracing. Additionally, KDHE is adding new testing approaches including volunteer testing events in partnership with faith-based organizations.
For example, KDHE is now partnering with United Methodist Church to pilot free COVID-19 testing at multiple locations across the state and plans to grow the program further over the coming weeks.
Rapid testing is also being used in Kansas schools to help mitigate spread. To date, 36 Kansas school districts have been onboarded for a rapid testing program. Testing of students and staff offers early detection and peace of mind to high risk school populations, such as school lunch staff and bus drivers, and enables a safer return to school.
“Even if you have already been tested before, I urge all Kansans to continue to get tested to and assist my administration’s efforts to keep our communities healthy, protect our economy, and get our kids back in school,” Governor Kelly said.