TOPEKA – Today, Governor Laura Kelly directed the Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Dr. Lee Norman, to issue an order requiring COVID-19 testing in all adult care facilities statewide beginning today, June 18. State-licensed adult care facilities were no longer required to continue COVID-19 testing for staff or residents following the expiration of the state’s disaster declaration.
“We have a responsibility to protect Kansans most vulnerable to COVID-19 – and that includes those working and living in adult care homes, which have been some of the hardest-hit populations,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “While we work to get Kansans vaccinated – we’ll continue to take these commonsense measures to keep our communities safe and healthy.”
The State Health Officer has the authority to issue health orders as medically necessary under K.S.A. 65-101 and 65-128. Under this order, vaccinated staff members at adult care facilities will not be required to get tested. The state strongly encourages all employees to get vaccinated to ensure the health and safety of all individuals.
“This order ensures that vulnerable populations in Kansas’ adult care facilities continue to receive the testing needed to continue combatting COVID-19,” KDHE Secretary Norman said.
The health order will align testing protocols for adult care facilities that fall under state jurisdiction with facilities regulated by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines. This order has no effect on facility visitation policies.
“Screening, testing, vaccination and good infection control all remain critical to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” KDADS Secretary Laura Howard said. “Dr. Norman’s order is important to maintain the health and wellbeing of residents and other staff members who work in long-term care and the tremendous progress we’ve made in reducing the number of people sick with COVID-19 and the number of facilities with active outbreaks.”
The order will be effective immediately and will remain in effect until otherwise modified or rescinded. Read the full order here.