Shawnee Co. opens new COVID-19 test site, changes quarantine protocol

Published: Dec. 3, 2020 at 6:38 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Shawnee Co. Health Officials provided some reassuring data regarding COVID-19 at their virtual news conference Thursday.

The number of new reported cases to the Health Department the week of November 22 was an 11 percent drop from the week before, to 936 cases.

“It is still an enormous amount of cases in one single week for a county like Shawnee a county of our size,” County Health Officer Dr. Gianfranco Pezzino said.

“We still have a long way to go before we can say this outbreak is under control.

Officials also said the amount of cases reported during the month of November was more than all the cases reported between March and October.

3,760 cases were reported last month compared to 3,717 cases in the seven months prior.

Officials from Topeka’s hospitals also reported a lower amount of COVID-19 patients Thursday than they have had in recent days.

In an effort to expand the county’s fight against the virus, county health officials announced the health department is expanding their test sites.

The county will launch a free COVID-19 test site at Hummer Sports Park beginning Friday which will last through the end of December.

It will be open to anyone who wants to get tested for the virus, whether they have symptoms or not.

“We’re excited to have this going on , we’re excited to see how this goes to get more people tested who want to be tested to be tested,” Health Department spokesman Craig Barnes said.

Additionally, the the county adjusted its quarantine protocol.

People exposed to a person who tests positive may be released after 10 days instead of 14, however, symptoms need to be monitored for the following four days.

It is in line with new CDC guidelines, but the county will not adopt a second part of the recommendations - shortening quarantine time to seven days with a negative test.

Pezzino said that would further strain testing services.

“The current demand does not include the addition of potentially thousands of new tests done on people in quarantine so they would be released early.”

The testing site at Hummer Sports Park can accommodate up to one thousand people a day.

An appointment is preferred, but not required.

To schedule an appointment, visit, provide a cell phone number and follow the instructions to select the Hummer testing site.

The site will be open Monday through Saturday 9:00 am to 5:30 pm.

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