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Two thousand Kansans sign up administer COVID-19 tests to keep businesses open



TOPEKA, Kan. – More than 2000 Kansans have become registered users who are trained to collect and test for COVID.

Here’s how it works. Organizations can sign up on the WSU lab, go through about an hour-long training, test employees whenever needed at their organization, drive the tests back to the lab, and within 24 hours the results are in.

Businesses in the Wichita area and throughout Kansas are partnering up with WSU’s Molecular Diagnostics lab to test their staff, and even their friends and families.

Thrive Restaurant Group chief people officer Ryan Bond said with more than 100 restaurants, ensuring his staff and guests stay safe is key.

“Not only to keep our employees and our guests safe but to really help the community as well because when we know where the virus is we can do things to mitigate the risk,” said Bond.

The Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation President Patrick Jonas said he had to temporarily close their clinics across Kansas when their staff had a hard time finding rapid tests.

“We had an incident where we had a number of people testing and they were going all over the city to try and find a testing site and the results could be 3 days to a week or more,” said Jonas. “The key was the urgency of needing the results back and so the WSU testing lab was really a blessing.”

Jonas said having results in 24 hours helps the clinics stay open, especially with many clients who are at a higher risk at getting the virus.

The Workforce Alliance Vice President Amanda Duncan said it tests asymptomatic employees to help avoid any understaffing issues.

“That’s been a game-changer for us to be able to isolate and then bring people back if there is not a need for them to quarantine so that they can do there, be free to do their jobs,” said Duncan.
No matter the line of work, these groups said the testing keeps their doors open another day.

“We feel like we’re making the whole community safer,” said Bond.

“This is really the way to keep Kansas open,” said Duncan.

All three organization officials said WSU’s lab has been a blessing.