State could run out of coronavirus tests by weekend

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The state of Kansas is running low and could be nearly out of coronavirus tests as early as this weekend.

KDHE Secretary Lee Norman said the department has 300 COVID-19 tests on hand after testing has ramped up in Kansas.

The state has confirmed over 40 coronavirus cases.

Norman said 10 days ago, the state was running about seven tests a day, but in the recent week, that number has substantially increased.

“We’re running at right about 150-200 samples a day, so we’re precariously low, we’ve put out appeals to our supply chain, and by the way, this is not unique to our state, everybody is struggling with this,” Norman said.

Commercial labs are also running tests for Kansans, but those tend to take longer and cost more than the state labs which are free.

“Their turnaround time is not as fast as ours, so there’s been a lot of interest in continuing to use our lab,” Norman said.

Norman said it takes about a day to find out if a person has coronavirus.

Norman said it’s possible that the state could receive more tests in the coming days, but if it doesn’t, KDHE will likely hold back tests to diagnose the sickest people showing symptoms.

He also said if it is clear that the virus is spreading by community transmission, like in Johnson County, there is less need for a test, because if you have the symptoms, it is much more likely it is coronavirus anyway.

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