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Sedgwick County Commission moves forward with saliva testing for COVID-19

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Sedgwick County Commission held a meeting Thursday related to COVID-19 testing.

Commissioners heard a presentation from Dr. Jennifer Ablah, the KU School of Medicine in Wichita, for more rapid testing in the county.

The county commission voted 5-0 on a motion to proceed with Clinical Reference Laboratory’s rapid response saliva test. CRL has a lab in Lenexa. The commission moved forward in a partnership Wichita State University for nasopharyngeal swab testing and saliva testing and will reimburse them $1.5 million for equipment in developing a lab locally for rapid results.

The goal is to be able to test 2,234 residents a day in Sedgwick County.

Currently, the health department continues to offer nasopharyngeal swab sampling to symptomatic residents and high-priority professions like healthcare professionals, corrections officers, first responders, and law enforcement officers.

The University of Kansas has made arrangements with the CRL to conduct the saliva testing for COVID-19 all students, faculty, and staff who return to campus for the fall semester.

Saliva tests have advantages that they are less invasive, quicker, and have less expense. The tests received Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA. It is not a recommended specimen by the Centers for Disease Control or the World Health Organization.

You can watch the special meeting on YouTube and Sedgwick County Government’s Facebook page.

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