KCK doctor at front line of coronavirus testing explains why we’re about to see spike in cases

Tracking Coronavirus
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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Kansas’ top health official said Wednesday the number of positive coronavirus cases could quadruple in the next five days.

And in Missouri more than 100 new cases were reported Wednesday, a 40% jump in 24 hours.

The co-founder of Southwest Boulevard Family Health Care, a facility that has been the epicenter for COVID-19 testing in KCK the past week, said two factors will lead to the spike in casing.

They're going to be testing more people, and more people are getting sick.

Shortly after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, Southwest Boulevard Family Health Care stepped up to start testing, trying to care for the rest of the community without primary health care providers.

Drive-thru tests first done in a tent have been replaced by a Heart to Heart Mobile Unit parked outside.

“Now a week later, we have a lot more help. We have volunteers coming in to staff the phone lines that are ringing off the hook right now,” Dr. Sharon Lee said.

Signs on the door instruct people not to simply walk in if they think they have the coronavirus, but call for triage.

“We’re using this site as the site where we see people who think they may have symptoms, and we have another site in Turner where we are doing the well-baby checks, women’s health care and diabetics,” Lee said.

Inside, you’ll find mostly empty waiting rooms by design. Patients are immediately escorted to examination rooms to avoid spread of the virus.

Lee said she’s sent people home without tests who may have COVID-19 because they didn’t have enough swabs and area labs didn’t have the resources to test them.

But that’s expected to change Thursday.

On Wednesday, the Kansas Department of Health announced its expanding testing to hospital patients with no alternative diagnosis, people over 60 with any symptoms and people with underlying health conditions.

Patients need a prescription for the drive-thru testing on Southwest Boulevard.

Even though people may be social distancing, interactions from a week ago or more will start to catch up with them.

“We’ve got both reasons for seeing a spike. We are going to see a true spike, and we are going to see a spike as the result of additional tests,” Lee said.

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