Kansas plans to increase testing soon in fight against coronavirus

Kansas expects an influx of coronavirus tests in the coming weeks that should help with efforts to bring the pandemic under control, the state’s top health official says.

Dr. Lee Norman, Kansas secretary of health and environment, said Wednesday that he expects to have up to 64,000 test kits that can produce results in 45 minutes, the Lawrence Journal-World reports.

“Very clearly we need to do population studies, meaning testing people who are well,” Norman said. “It’s very fundamental work and will push the analysis (of the virus) upstream. But until that time, social distancing is the name of the game.”

Social isolation has taken a financial toll, though. New unemployment benefit data released Thursday show that claims in Kansas increased to 54,739 for the week ending March 28, up from 25,563 the prior week.  That’s a sharp spike from last year when there were 1,508 new claims for the week ending March 30, 2019, and 1,271 the week before that.

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