National Guard leaves Expo, new organization takes over coronavirus testing

Judd Weil
Dodge City Daily Globe
Wellhealth is the new organization testing for the coronavirus at the Western State Bank Expo Center. It was sent to Ford County by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Coronavirus testing has changed at the Western State Bank Expo Center.

According to Ford County physician adviser R.C. Trotter, the National Guard is no longer testing in Ford County.

"The National Guard has left the Expo but the state has hired a company to do testing," Trotter said. "It will not be the rapid testing but will have quick turnaround."

Trotter added that testing is free.

Testing times are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

It previously had been stated that only people with COVID-19 symptoms were able to get tested at the Expo while the National Guard was in town.

"I don't think there are any parameters, but they haven't said anything to me directly," Ford County administrator J.D. Gilbert said.

In partnership with GoGetTested, WellHealth, a Texas-based primary care clinic, has set up shop at the Expo Center to fulfill testing needs in place of the National Guard.

“We’ve been hired by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to provide free public testing on their behalf,” said Tamer Elashyi, lead medical assistant for WellHealth. “So, we’re here to test anybody who wants to get tested. They could be asymptomatic or symptomatic, it doesn’t matter to us.”

Those needing to be tested may visit the testing site to make an appointment for later that day or make an appointment at www.gogettested.com.

Tests will be administered car-side by WellHealth staff via oral swab.

People are asked to not eat 15 minutes before testing.

“We’re here until KDHE says they don’t want us here to do testing anymore,” Elashyi said.

GoGetTested also has set up testing locations in Garden City and Liberal.