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Latest surge overwhelming COVID-19 testing clinics in Sedgwick County

Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 7:24 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - With COVID-19 cases and exposures spiking, Sedgwick County is struggling with a familiar problem: long lines at testing clinics and growing waits to get results.

Wichita State University’s lab is one option for free testing. The problem is, like every other clinic in Sedgwick County, the lab is busy, unable to avoid the long lines and extended wait times.

Until recently, COVID-19 testing dropped dramatically for over the last six months. The latest surge is overwhelming testing clinics in Sedgwick County.

Lauren Perkins, who recently tested positive for COVID-19, is among those who reported an extending wait to confirm the results. The Wichita other said she decided to also get her four sons tested.

Facing uncertainty with the latest surge has Wichita parents like Tylene Carter concerned.

“Every day I send my kids to school, I feels like I’m sending them off to war, I’m terrified,” Carter said.

The long lines and corresponding longer wait times for results are making it difficult for testing sites to keep up with demand.

“Every place I got to... I tried going to Sedgwick County Park. I tried signing up for their text registration. I signed up and they were already full,” Wichita resident Luke Rosenhammer said. “I tried going to CVS’s website, but they don’t have appointments. It’s kind of aggravating.”

While you wait to get test results back, doctors warn that you still need to social distance and not wait on results to take that measure.

“Even though I haven’t gotten my results back from my test, even though I’ve only really had headaches, I still don’t want to spread it,” Rosenhammer said.

Eyewitness News asked Sedgwick County how it is going to meet demand for testing. County commissioner Sarah Lopez said the county is working to ramp up testing at Sedgwick County Park, but testing does take some time. For now, the county recommends testing at the WSU lab, but again, the lines there are also long.

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