How Sedgwick County Health Department will help with OSHA COVID-19 testing

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — January 4, 2022, is the day businesses with more than 100 employees have to have people vaccinated. That means those unvaccinated employees must get tested every week. So what does that look like in Sedgwick County?

The Sedgwick County Health Department director said with state funding ending this month for COVID tests, they will not have the capability to test every employee in the county, but they are in the process of trying to help out businesses.

“We’ve had some businesses reaching out to the manager’s office and definitely have had other congregate settings and other public health partners saying what are we supposed to do,” said Adrienne Byrne, the director of the health department.

In less than two months, large businesses in the county are figuring out how to health the federal OSHA mandate.

“There’s a lot of things going on and a lot of just anxiety about what to do,” said Byrne.

With state funds for testing ending, getting tests will no longer be free.

“It is going to be businesses looking at their own funding sources and how they’re able to comply with that testing,” said Byrne.

While the mandate said the cost for tests will fall onto the employees if employers do not comply with the regulations they could face up to a $14,000 fine for each offense.

But Byrne said they hope to make it as clear as possible for businesses.

“What we can do is sort through all the information that is out there. And some of the testing options that we have utilized that we really didn’t know were out there and get that into a document to at least provide that information to our partners.”

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