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Go Get Tested! KDHE Secretary Dr. Lee Norman answers key questions about testing campaign

Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 5:46 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - You’ve seen the ads urging you to “go get tested” for COVID-19, but what does it mean?

We’ve long had sites for people who had symptoms to get screened for the virus, but the expanded testing is for anyone - regardless of symptoms.

Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment Secretary Dr. Lee Norman answered some frequent questions about the campaign for 13 NEWS Eye on NE Kansas.

As far as who should get tested, Dr. Norman said, first and foremost, anyone with symptoms should be tested. Without symptoms, it may not be as clear.

“Anybody that has been in gatherings, particularly anybody that has maybe shown some indiscretion in terms of being exposed. Anybody who’s been exposed to anybody or anybody who is just worried, go get tested,” Dr. Norman said.

However, he cautioned against having a false sense of security. A test captures only that moment in time and, if a person is newly infected, the test may come back negative because not enough virus is in their system. Therefore, Dr. Norman said asymptomatic testing isn’t just a one-and-done thing.

“I’d recommend every few days, particularly if a person has been in a risky situation whether it’s socially or with family or church or other kinds of gatherings, go every few days and have it done,” he said.

Test or not, Dr. Norman said everyone must continue to follow other precautions, including wearing masks, social distancing, and avoiding gatherings.

He explained the idea for asymptomatic testing is not new.

“We would’ve loved to be doing asymptomatic testing all along. We just didn’t have the resources and the federal government didn’t have a cohesive plan. We didn’t have the allocated resources to do it,” Dr. Norman said. “I think that’s one of the reasons why we’ve seen continued growth in the number of cases and the number of deaths. I think this will help us to do more containment activity.”

To find a free testing site near you, visit www.gogettested.com/kansas.

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