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Sedgwick County starts mobile COVID-19 testing sites

KSN Digital Extra

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Sedgwick County began implementing mobile testing sites across the county on Thursday.

The first mobile site at the Clearwater Senior and Community Center opened from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday to provide free coronavirus testing opportunities to areas where residents are isolated or have a lack of transportation to other testing sites.

“I really think it’s so important for us to reach out to these communities. If they can’t come to us we need to go to them,” said John Lucero, Sedgwick County Health Department program manager. “We’re serving the citizens of Sedgwick County, not just the people in Wichita city.”

Lucero told KSN that he personally expected a little over a handful to show up given the late announcement, but was surprised to see many already in line for testing when he arrived at the Clearwater Senior and Community Center Thursday morning. Lucero estimates that over 60 tests were conducted on the first day.

The county says mobile testing will provide increased access to no-cost coronavirus testing for residents, including special populations made of the physically, intellectually, or developmentally disabled. The mobile test team will also focus on county residents over the age of 60 with underlying medical conditions who are at high-risk for severe disease.

Sedgwick County residents can call United Way of the Plains by dialing 2-1-1 in order to schedule an appointment to be tested by the SCHD at one of the mobile testing sites whether a person has COVID-19 symptoms or not.

Walk-ups are also permitted. The SCHD will take a nose swab and send it to a lab for COVID-19 testing. Generally, results are returned from the Health Department in three to four days. The results of the virus test show whether a person has a current infection. This is not an antibody test.

Residents with symptoms should be tested. Although symptoms are not required for testing, the most common COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills or shivering
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue or feeling more tired than normal

If you do not have symptoms, you should still consider testing if you have been in contact with sick people or if your work involves a lot of contact with the public. People who do not have symptoms do not need to be retested unless an exposure occurs. Social distancing, wearing a mask, and good hand hygiene will help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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