Sedgwick County to hire more staff for coronavirus response

Sedgwick County commissioners have approved a budget for the use of federal coronavirus relief funds, and it will include funding for testing and for additional staff to help with  testing, contact tracing and disease investigation.

Deputy county manager Tim Kaufman said the health department would hire up to 115 people, and they would be working on a full time basis through the end of the year.

Commissioners designated $25 million for testing.   County manager Tom Stolz said there have been delays in the testing process because local resources are being strained.  He said the process involves scheduling, testing and then notifying people of the results.  He said testing labs are “borderline overwhelmed,” and the county’s samples are going to labs that are also testing other states, so there is a delay in getting results.

Stolz said the county is also looking at technology that would allow people to schedule themselves for testing and then check for results online.   He said there are also efforts to find a local lab for testing.

Stolz is asking for patience from people who are experiencing delays in scheduling testing or getting results.   He said the health department is doing the best it can to manage the system.