By: Kristie Clark MD FAAP
John Fales DMD FAAP, a pediatric dentist in Olathe, and Dr. Kory Kierkegaard DMD, a general dentist in Overland Park, 3D printed approximately 25,000 nasopharyngeal swabs for the KDHE’s lab in the last two weeks of April. Their efforts sustained and expanded Kansas’s capacity to test for COVID-19.
On May 5th the KDHE was able to loosen testing criteria to include all symptoms of COVID-19, encouraging providers to begin testing anyone who is symptomatic. Symptoms of COVID-19 include: fever of 100.4 F or higher, chills, rigors , myalgia, malaise, headache, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, new olfactory and taste disorders, as well as diarrhea. Persons with two or more of these symptoms, who do not have an alternate more likely diagnosis, may be tested for COVID-19 through the KDHE. Persons with only one symptom or who have been exposed to COVID-19 may be tested through private labs. To report a Person Under Investigation (PUI) or to consult with an epidemiologist about testing please call the KDHE Epidemiology hotline at 877-427-7317. Towards the end of April, Governor Kelly announced that an order for 500,000 test kits (swabs and VTM) was ordered from an international supplier with approximately 10,000 kits expected to arrive each week. With both Kansas and supply chains reopening, Dr. Fales and Dr. Kierkegaard have returned to their dental practices. Thank you to Dr. Fales and Dr. Kierkegaard for their ingenuity and efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.