Sep 08, 2020 4:12 PM

Reno County Commission approves testing funding Tuesday

Posted Sep 08, 2020 4:12 PM

By NICK GOSNELL

Hutch Post

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — There was a large testing event Saturday at the Hutchinson Clinic. Reno County Interim Health Officer Karen Hammersmith let the county commission know about the tests during their meeting Tuesday and the commission approved the funding for that week and more funding through September.

"They tested right at around 250 people," Karen Hammersmith said. "Those were employees that got an email blast from Buhler and Hutchinson school districts. They included teachers, staff and spouses to come, if they would, on Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. to get tested. We did that. It was very successful, as far as getting people in and out and getting the tests sent in."

The County Commission approved funding for the month of September to do the testing for groups that do not have symptoms.

"To have an accurate positive test rate, you cannot just target your people that have symptoms," Hammersmith said. "Otherwise, that positive test rate could be 100%. If you're only testing somebody that has all the signs and symptoms that it's COVID, well then, you're really looking that that's what you're going to find out."

Both Commissioner Ron Sellers and Commissioner Ron Hurst agree that the county needs to do the testing necessary to give the school districts an accurate picture.

"The county needs to do whatever we can to help our schools be in business," Sellers said.

"We cannot afford to have kids miss school and try to put six or seven hours on the computer at home," Hurst added.

The commissioners approved one month's worth of tests at around 250 a week, with the projected cost for the month of $118,900.