TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Shawnee County health officials will host drive-through operations to test for COVID-19 and the flu as respiratory viral infections continue to circulate.

The Shawnee County Health Department announced on Monday, Jan. 30, that it will provide a combination of COVID-19 and Influenza A and B rapid antigen tests to those who show symptoms of a respiratory viral infection through a drive-through testing operation.

“Symptoms to Covid and the flu are very similar,” said Craig Barnes with the Shawnee County Health Department. “So anybody who is exhibiting symptoms, this is just another great opportunity, you don’t need to go into urgent care, around other individuals and potentially expose other folks. You can do this all from the comfort of your own car. Drive up, get tested, drive away and then still get your results very quickly afterwards.”

SCHD noted that the operation will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays at 2701 SW E. Circle Dr. starting on Jan. 31.

Barnes said the decision to add Influenza testing was made due to high demand in urgent care and similar facilities.

“One of the things we had heard was how urgent cares and different centers had been very busy and people with long waits,” said Barnes. “So we looked at opportunities to provide a service free of charge that was easily accessible to community members and our drive through operation has been in operation now for almost a full year. We’ve kind of gotten the science behind how to get a quick test, you come through and then get your results the same day.”

Officials indicated that tests available will be rapid antigen and results will be provided on the same day - typically within one hour. Notification will be made via text or email. Registration is not necessary but is encouraged. To register, click HERE.

“Respiratory viruses continue to circulate throughout our community and as such we are expanding our testing options to Shawnee County residents and the surrounding region,” said Carrie Delfs, Clinical Services Division Manager. “We are excited to provide this resource to the community as part of our commitment to a healthier Shawnee County.”

Barnes said they will end the Flu testing at the end of Influenza season, typically late April. The county health department will then track the demand for influenza tests and determine whether to bring the test back for next season.

SCHD said test continue to be available and free throughout the community. To find a nearby testing location, click HERE.

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