TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Even as our state expands our testing capabilities there are still rules to who we’re testing.
Kansas, like everywhere else in the country, initially had problems getting enough testing equipment. Now health leaders like Dr. Lee Norman, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary, say that’s not the case.
“We have abundant, I would even characterize it now, testing capability throughout the state,” Norman said.
That doesn’t mean everyone in the state can get tested.
“You’ll recall we had more restrictive guidelines in the past, we’ve made those more liberal, but we still require symptoms,” Norman said.
We reached out to Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka to see what requirements they look for. They told us they’re testing anyone who has a fever or lower respiratory problems like a cough, or trouble breathing.
Also, if someone has two or more of the other symptoms then they qualify for testing. Those other symptoms are chills, shaking, muscle pains, lack of energy, headache, sore throat, loss of smell or taste, and diarrhea.
We also asked University of Kansas Health System Saint Francis Campus in Topeka about their testing requirements. They say they’re testing anyone who has a cough, trouble breathing, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, loss of smell or taste, or unexplained gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea.
Both hospitals said they’re also testing anyone scheduled to receive an elective surgery.
Additionally they’re testing anyone who comes to them from another hospital, nursing home, or a rehab center. Also if they’re discharging someone to a nursing home, rehab, assisted living or other inpatient facility then they’re testing them as well.
So if you think you qualify under these guidelines, the experts say you should get tested.
“If you are a symptomatic person we encourage you to reach out to your healthcare provider for testing,” Norman said.
As for someone who has come into contact with a person who is positive, the Shawnee County Health Department said they only get tested if they’re showing symptoms.
Health leaders have said they hope to be able to do mass community testing, but they haven’t given a timeline for when that could start.