TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas is planning to spend $53 million to expand coronavirus testing.

The federal coronavirus funding was allocated by the Kansas SPARK Task Force to be used for testing in the state. Communities can submit proposals to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment on why they need the extra money for testing. That money can be used for testing supplies, additional staff among other necessities that expand testing in the community.

“We’re now that much closer to getting these funds out the door and into the communities and facilities that need them the most,” said Governor Laura Kelly.

The recipients of the funds will be announced sometime in the next couple of weeks. The money will then be sent to those communities as soon as possible, according to the Governor.

But it’s not just additional funding that the state is using to expand testing, it’s also information. Kansas is joining a group of 5 states, 21 municipalities and two Native American tribes participating in the Rockefeller Foundation’s Covid-19 Testing Solutions Group.

The group meets every two weeks to discuss and exchange ideas and resources for coronavirus testing. Group members also have access to experts in the field to ask questions and seek guidance.

“By participating in this group, Kansas will create a strong web of Covid-19 testing information that stretches across the country,” explained Governor Kelly.

Previously, Governor Kelly announced Kansas’ new unified testing strategy. This plan will increase testing, through both public and private entities, in communities of high-virus spread. This includes nursing homes, prisons and even schools. The strategy also looks to test non-symptomatic individuals, which was previously not done.