The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is partnering with Battelle, a leader in the field of science and technology, to provide rapid self-delivered COVID-19 testing to all licensed child care providers in Kansas.
Battelle has been selected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to manage the logistics of administering COVID-19 tests for millions of Americans in 16 states through the Midwest Expanded Testing Coordination Hub.
“Until vaccines are approved for our kids, testing is one of the best tools we have to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and child care centers,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Child care providers have done excellent work throughout the pandemic to keep our children safe. With this extra assistance, our providers can ensure Kansas families maintain access to safe, quality child care.”
KDHE recognizes how important it is to provide access to easy, reliable, and rapid testing to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and control outbreaks. Testing in child care settings helps identify individuals who have the virus but do not have symptoms and who may be contagious. This testing can support organizations with maintaining normal operations and keeping children, staff, visitors, and volunteers safe.
“Child care providers across the state have continued to provide this vital service to Kansans,” said Lee Norman, M.D., Secretary of KDHE. “We are excited to partner with Battelle to provide another tool for child care providers to use. Through COVID-19 testing, positive cases will be identified earlier to reduce the amount of spread of this virus.”
Outreach for the Midwest Coordination Center is ramping up this month. Battelle has an extensive team on board ready to assist organizations who serve children in group settings to administer the complete testing process from registering and collecting samples to receiving the results. Saliva testing is now available for children as young as 3 years old, and nasal swab testing is available for children as young as 5 years old, both with a 24 to 48-hour turnaround time for results. Testing supplies, shipping, and technical assistance are available at no charge.
These services are also available to other congregate settings in Kansas such as schools, organizations that provide group services for children, homeless shelters, group homes, or detention centers.
For more information about the Midwest Coordination Center and the testing program overview, visit the website at www.testedandprotected.org.