KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Every afternoon, roughly 200 cars line up around the block in downtown Kansas City, Kansas, for free COVID-19 testing outside the Wyandotte County Health Department.
“It’s very intense. It does take a toll on you, physically and emotionally,” said Richa Jackson with the health department.
The testing, from 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, is free to residents and employees of Wyandotte County.
Health officials told FOX4 that about 15% of those who are tested come back positive.
“Our total average is not out of control, it’s not raging in Wyandotte County,” said Shana Lodder with the health department. “It’s very much manageable and controllable at this point.”
Everyone who lines up for the drive-thru testing is either symptomatic or believes they have recently been exposed to someone with the coronavirus.
The health department describes the process as an all-hands-on-deck daily ritual, with many unpaid volunteers pitching in to direct traffic.
“COVID is not part of anybody’s job description, but here we are in a pandemic,” Jackson said. “So it’s definitely teamwork. That’s our model around here. It takes a village, and that’s what we have to do to make this happen.”
Staffers also point out that many of the positive results come from age brackets and demographics that defy the perception that only the elderly are at risk.
“We see many in their 40’s and 50’s, but I wouldn’t call that elderly, and that’s kind of a lot of what we’re seeing in our positive cases,” Lodder said. “It’s hitting everyone. It’s out there.”