TOPEKA – Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, along with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Secretary Dr. Lee Norman and Kansas Adjutant General Lee Tafanelli, director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management (KDEM) announced the state’s preparedness plan for COVID-19 today, according to a WIBW-TV report.
“There are no confirmed (coronavirus) cases in Kansas, but we are prepared,” Kelly said, adding that the overall risk of the virus in the state is low. Despite this, Kelly assured that authorities “can and will remain ready to respond swiftly and effectively” if the virus spreads to Kansas.
The KDHE and KDEM are in constant communication with local hospitals and health departments and coordinating with local, state and federal public health partners. They are also planning for emergency management situations and working to keep track of national and international COVID-19 trends and strategies.
The Kansas Health and Environmental Laboratories facility in Topeka was one of the first in the country to be certified by the CDC to test for COVID-19. When there is a Person Under Investigation, KDHE coordinates with the local health department and other stakeholders such as hospitals and clinicians to help coordinate sample collection and shipping to the KDHE Lab, which cuts the testing time for suspected cases down from days to hours.