Kansas mulls virus tests for all in prison, care homes

Dr. Lee Norman says testing is important to determine the true extent of the virus. Kansas has one of the lowest testing rates of any state.

By

State News

April 23, 2020 - 9:24 AM

Dr. Lee Norman Photo by Jim McLean / Kansas News Service / kcur.org

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas’ top health official said Wednesday that the state is considering testing all prison inmates and residents of long-term care homes for the coronavirus, as such homes have accounted for more than half of the state’s COVID-19-related deaths and a prison has had a major outbreak.

Dr. Lee Norman, head of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said the state also is looking at testing all of those institutions’ employees. He said such testing represents population studies the state must do to determine the true extent of the virus. 

“We haven’t had the testing materials to do that,” Norman said during an Associated Press interview. “We’re just coming up to that now.”

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