KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas is making progress in its efforts to bring wider-spread COVID-19 testing to the state, Gov. Laura Kelly said Tuesday.
In September, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment began work on a unified testing strategy that would coordinate public and private testing efforts as well as increase testing in areas with known, high ongoing community spread.
Tuesday, Kelly said the department continues to make headway on the project.
Last week, KDHE posted applications for communities that want to secure a portion CARES Act funds earmarked for testing in the state.
“We're now that much closer to getting these funds out the door in the communities and facilities that need them the most,” Kelly said.
To strengthen efforts to remain up-to-date on best practices, the state of Kansas has joined a group which will share best public health practices in the era of COVID-19, Kelly announced Tuesday.
Kansas joins five states, 21 municipalities and two Native American tribes in the bipartisan Rockefeller Foundation COVID-19 Testing Solutions Group.
The group will provide advice for those working to scale up testing efforts in addition to guidance on contact tracing, reopening economies and safeguarding public health, Kelly said.
In a biweekly meeting, the group will meet with experts across the country, and Kansas officials will also have access to a collaborative platform to share resources in real time.
Kelly on Tuesday urged Kansans to continue following COVID-19 safety protocols.
“I say that as we go forward today with a renewed vigor and dedication to turning these numbers around and flattening the curve: We've done it before, and we can do it again,” Kelly said.
The governor said she believes the new testing strategy and other initiatives will be key in re-flattening the curve.
“With our new unified testing strategy well underway and more initiatives being explored all the time, I'm confident we can get Kansas back on track in the coming months,” Kelly said.