Health officials want expanded testing in Kansas

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Coronavirus testing is expanding in Kansas, and state officials want that to continue.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is encouraging providers to begin testing anyone who is showing one or more symptoms of coronavirus. Previously the recommendation was at least two.

“We had more restrictive guidelines in the past, we’ve made those more liberal,” KDHE Secretary Lee Norman said.

That’s thanks to thousands of test kits arriving in the state.

The department is also looking to private labs to implement new methods of testing, instead of just nasal swabs. That includes a saliva test that wouldn’t have to go through your nose, as well as a new serum test that would measure the amount of antibodies in blood.

“What the goal is, is as we move into population testing, to have an antibody test that is quite specific to COVID-19,” Norman said.

He said getting more ways to test is important to pair with the number of test kits that the state already has.

“To get a really great understanding of the population dynamics with this particular illness, those test kits have started coming in the door already and so I’m getting more and more optimistic, but we would like to have a number of testing modalities available, so that’s why we’re looking at the future,” Norman said.

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