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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Governor Laura Kelly Announces Contracts to Support COVID-19 Unified Testing Strategy

Robust testing strategy, wearing masks, social distancing, and limited mass gatherings key to keeping economy open, Kansans safe

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications.After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations.In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 94 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing. In 2018 he became the Studio Coordinator at the Cumulus Kansas City broadcast center for Kansas City Chiefs Football.

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly announced today that 11 contracts have been awarded in conjunction with the Kansas COVID-19 Unified Testing Strategy supported with SPARK funding.

“Kansas is at a critical point with COVID-19,” Governor Kelly said. “Our communities are continuing to experience a significant amount of cases. Until a vaccine is widely available, one of the most important strategies to protect Kansans and ensure a promising economy is to increase testing.”

“When combined with wearing face masks, extensive testing – along with isolating those who are positive and quarantining close contacts — poses the most probable fighting opportunity to stop the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as we head into the winter months,” according to Dr. Lee Norman, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

The Kansas Unified Testing Strategy will allow for broader routine screening to stop community spread of the virus and will ensure coordination between public and private testing efforts, including surveillance testing. The strategy includes sourcing the testing supplies and lab capacity, identifying appropriate populations to test, getting the samples and transporting them to the lab, processing and sharing the results, and ensuring that those who test positive are able to isolate.

Each of the 11 contractors will contribute to the overall strategy through implementing specific portions of the strategic plan and testing higher risk populations. Each entity will be responsible for testing in specific populations and counties, beginning next week.

Contracts have been awarded to:

  • 4M
  • Clinical Reference Lab
  • Freestate Logistics
  • MAWD
  • Medevac
  • NicUSA
  • Quest
  • Sinochips
  • University of Kansas Health System
  • WellHealth
  • Wichita State University

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