WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment says a variant of coronavirus known as the Brazilian or P.1 variant has been detected in Cowley County.
The variant is known to be more infectious, may cause more severe disease, and may affect children more than common strains of the coronavirus.
The KDHE does not know how widespread the variant is in the community, so it will offer free COVID-19 testing this Saturday, May 1, at the Cowley County Health and Safety Fair. The testing will be from 9 a.m. to noon at the Arkansas City Agri-Business Center, 712 West Washington Avenue, Arkansas City.
The KDHE says a $25 gift card will be offered for participation in testing, with one gift card per household for the first 100 families.
“I encourage people from across Cowley County to visit the KDHE Mobile testing facility this Saturday morning at the Health & Safety Fair and if possible, be tested,” said Tom Langer, Cowley County public health officer. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to help us see if we are keeping COVID-19 in all of its variations under control.”
The Brazilian variant of coronavirus was reported in Sedgwick County earlier this month. Two other variants of concern have been identified in Kansas, including the UK variant, B.1.1.7, and the South African variant, B.1.351. Find variant information regarding Kansas on the COVID-19 dashboard under the “Variants” tab.
Coronavirus testing is available and free for all Kansans. To find a location near you, visit www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/280/COVID-19-Testing.