October 5, 2020

Newman Regional Health and Lyon County Public Health Expand Testing to COVID-19 Asymptomatic Close Contacts

(Emporia, KS) — Newman Regional Health announces a partnership with Lyon County Public Health to test asymptomatic close contacts of COVID-19 positive individuals in outbreak situations, effective Monday, October 5, 2020.  The expansion to testing capabilities is made possible with $105,000 in Spark funds from the City of Emporia to cover costs associated with the increased testing that is being offered October 5th through December 24th.

“We recognize the importance of communication and collaboration and look forward to partnering with Lyon County Public Health in this endeavor,” said Dr. Alana Longwell, Chief Medical Officer for Newman Regional Health.  “We appreciate partnerships like this as we all work together to ensure public safety and the well-being of our community.”

“Testing is an essential tool in the fight against COVID-19,” said Jennifer Millbern, Environmental Health Director for Lyon County Public Health.  “This partnership allows us to quickly identify cases from close contact exposures and break the chain of transmission of the virus.”

In accordance with CDC recommendations, Lyon County Public Health’s disease investigation and contact tracing will identify situations that have the potential to turn into an outbreak.  Public Health, in collaboration with Newman Regional Health, will request that close contacts in these situations be tested on or after day 5 after the exposure occurred.  Individuals will be contacted by a Newman Regional Health representative to schedule a time for testing on or after day 5 of exposure.  Public Health will notify those being tested with their result within 24-48 hours along with any required next steps.

Ester Knobloch, Infection Preventionist for Newman Regional Health, reminds those in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 positive individual about the importance of remaining in quarantine regardless of the test result.  “A negative test will not release a person from quarantine.  They must remain in quarantine and take safety measures for the full 14 days.  It is possible for a person to become sick after the test was collected.”