Drive up, asymptomatic testing available once again in county

By Harvey County Now staff

After a four-month hiatus, drive up, asymptomatic testing will be available once again in Harvey County.

The health department made the announcement Thursday evening that it was partnering with the the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and medical company WellHealth to open a COVID-19 drive-through testing site in Harvey County.

The testing site will be located in the parking lot of Newton High School, 900 W. 12th St. in Newton,” the release stated.

According to the release, testing is open to all individuals, regardless of county of residence. The site will test symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. Testing will be filed through an insurance provider if available, but is free to those who do not have insurance.

We appreciate the added resource in our community for COVID-19 testing,” said Harvey County Health Department Director Lynnette Redington. “We have a tremendous network of medical providers in Harvey County that individuals can continue to go to for COVID-19 information and care. This addition provides another valuable opportunity.”

WellHealth conducts saliva-based testing. Results are expected within 48-96 hours after testing, with notification of results sent by WellHealth to the individual through text or email.

The site will be open Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Appointments will be available beginning Friday, Dec. 4. The release recommended people make appointments to reduce traffic. However those without appointments can also get tested. To set up an appointment visit www.gogettested.com.

Individuals seeking a COVID-19 test are asked to drive north onto Boyd Avenue from 12th Street. From there, traffic will continue into the high school parking lot, and exit out of the parking lot onto 12th Street. Individuals can remain in their vehicle throughout the process.

The Newton testing site is one of multiple locations opening across Kansas in the coming days. The Newton testing site is anticipated to be able to conduct up to 1,000 tests per day.

Before the site, testing was only available by going through health care providers. Nearly all providers were requiring people to be symptomatic before testing.

Despite the lack of asymptomatic testing, confirmed COVID-19 cases have greatly increased in Harvey County in November. The county now has 494 active cases and a total of 1,574 total cases as of Dec. 3.

Asymptomatic testing was conducted earlier this year by Health Ministries, but ended in July after the company providing tests had trouble keeping up with demand.