County approves CARES Act money for rapid COVID-19 testing

The Sedgwick County Commission on Friday approved reimbursing Wichita State University as much as $3 million for a new rapid COVID-19 testing lab.

The funds would come from CARES Act money. At full capacity, the new Molecular Diagnostics Lab lab would be able to process thousands of tests in less than 24 hours.

Right now, Sedgwick County samples are sent to out-of-state labs, with processing being both costly and slow. The lab expects to offer a 24-hour turnaround on both nasopharyngeal swab test and saliva test results – all delivered through a patient digital portal – in order to get residents back to school and work faster.

“Congratulations WSU, we look forward to some rapid, rapid testing in the real near future,” said Sedgwick County Commissioner Pete Meitzner.

WSU will host a grand opening for the lab on Monday with Governor Laura Kelly scheduled to attend.