KDHE restricts coronavirus testing as supplies run low

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FILE – In this Wednesday, March 11, 2020 file photo, a technician prepares COVID-19 coronavirus patient samples for testing at a laboratory in New York’s Long Island. Wide scale testing is a critical part of tracking and containing infectious diseases. But the U.S. effort has been plagued by a series of missteps, including accuracy problems with the test kits the CDC sent to other labs and bureaucratic hurdles that slowed the entrance of large, private sector labs. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is putting new limits on who qualifies for coronavirus testing as Kansas runs low on testing supplies.

In order for someone to be tested for COVID-19, they must fit into one of these new categories:

  • Healthcare workers and first responders who have COVID-19 symptoms
  • Potential clusters of unknown respiratory illness, with priority given to long-term care facilities and healthcare facilities
  • Hospitalized patients with no alternative diagnosis
  • Individuals over the age of 60 who have symptoms of COVID-19 with priority given to people who reside in nursing homes, long-term care facilities, or other congregate settings
  • Individuals with underlying health conditions that would be treated differently if they were infected with COVID-19

Tests are being given only to people who are considered at risk by a doctor after completing a verbal and physical health screening.

If you have coronavirus symptoms, have traveled recently, or have been exposed to someone with the virus you have to call before going into your doctor’s office. Symptoms include a temperature of 100 degrees or higher, cough, and shortness of breath.

Coronavirus tests for people who do not meet the criteria will be sent to Quest Diagnostics laboratory in Lenexa, KS. Those tests take between 2 and 3 days to get results and cost $98, which may be covered by insurance.

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