TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The University of Kansas’ research departments loaned around 20,000 Qiagen columns to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) on Monday. These will be used for Coronavirus testing.
Erik Lundquist, associate vice chancellor for research, said Gov. Laura Kelly contacted the university due to a shortage of testing supplies in the state.
“We all thought that if we could help the state of Kansas with those tests, then that would be a very good thing for us to do and we had the ability to do so,” Lundquist said.
The nose swabs used for testing are placed into these columns, which can isolate the viral genome thus allowing it to be tested, Lundquist said.
These are commonly used in labs, and Lunquist said the university had many on hand.
“I think all of us as scientists want to understand this serious health concern and that was expressed in this outpouring of these columns for loan to the state,” Lundquist said.
The packages of columns were assembled on Monday, and transported to KDHE by the Civilian Air Patrol, Lundquist said.
KDHE will keep track of how many columns they use, and will reimburse the university in the near future. Lundquist said there is not a date, or amount, currently set.
These columns are sold by scientific suppliers, and usually cost around $100 for a package of 50, Lundquist said.