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Wichita State expands free COVID-19 testing in preparation of federal guidelines

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Wichita State University has expanded COVID-19 testing in Wichita with a drive-thru option at the Metroplex.

The reason is an increased need for tests following delta variant concerns and federal requirements. 

Rob Gerlach, WSU Tech Transfer and Commercialization executive director, said he heard stories about long waits and the challenges from people in the community finding a quick test. 

The option will allow people to drive up, take a saliva test, and be out in roughly 15 minutes. 

The drive-thru staff can test 750 people per day. Gerlach hopes this will also help area hospitals.

“People are going into ER rooms and trying to get tested, and we heard from our medical professionals that that’s not really the situation that they want to be involved in right now given the capacity issues at hospitals,” said Gerlach. 

Wichita State is also about to start running a lot more coronavirus tests for employees.

President Joe Biden’s six-step COVID plan includes weekly testing for those who are unvaccinated, specifically businesses with more than 100 employees. 

In preparation, Wichita State’s Molecular Diagnostic Lab has expanded its test collection services. The lab has even prepared a surge capacity, that way, more tests can come through the lab on a given day. 

They hope to open up more drive-thrus on the other sides of town. 

WSU also plans to add swab tests soon. The results are ready in 24 to 36 hours. Again, no appointment is needed, but you need to fill out a registration form online to make the trip fast. 

The Metroplex Testing Site (5015 East 29th St. N.) is open 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Don’t consume food, drink or tobacco for 30 minutes before testing.

There are three steps: Create a Patient Account at mdl.wichita.edu before coming to the testing location, bring your testing code to the Metroplex, and then you’ll receive your test results within 36 hours.

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