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Restaurant expresses frustration with testing delays after employees get COVID-19

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Connie’s Mexico Cafe is voicing concerns over requirements to get tested for COVID-19.

The restaurant closed its doors on Tuesday, June 23rd after its employee tested positive on Monday. The restaurant management asked all staff to go get tested to avoid spreading the virus, but many of them have had to wait just to get an appointment to get in.

“This is very important for us to get tested, so why are these services not available more urgently?,'” said Carla Banuelos, Connie’s Mexico Cafe manager.

Banuelos said and her husband went to three different testing sites to try getting in and were told they’d have to wait. She said delaying testing is hurting staff, as well as the business.

“We’re barely recovering from being closed and now this happens,” said Banuelos.

She said many of her staff members are feeling discouraged, even worried that they could potentially be inadvertently passing the virus on to their family members. She believes testing should be available for everyone in a timely manner.

Sedgwick County Health Department Director Adrienne Byrne said the county was not anticipating the big influx in requests for testing from people who are both symptomatic and asymptomatic. Now, the county isn’t even providing testing for those who are not experiencing symptoms.

“We prioritize those with symptoms, so if people want to get tested because they’ve been around someone, then that’s going to take longer,” said Byrne.

She said the county has brought in more staff to help with the high volume of testing requests and are now scheduling appointments for asymptomatic patients within 24 to 48 hours.

Connie’s Mexico Cafe underwent a day of being disinfected and thoroughly sanitized. Banuelos said she is still unsure of when the restaurant will be able to reopen.

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