Photo by Matt Stamey / Wichita Journalism Collaborative
COVID-19 is hitting Wichita hard. In the past two weeks, approximately 12,177 residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19. As of Jan. 3, 209 of those patients have been hospitalized and 62 have been placed in the intensive care unit.
The need for tests has also risen. Last week alone, 18,500 residents were tested at Christi St. Joseph Hospital on E. Harry. Before Christmas, that location performs about 350 tests per week.
As of this week, 50.59% of Sedgwick county are fully vaccinated and an additional 12.66% are waiting to receive their second vaccination.
With COVID-19 cases rising at an extreme rate, testing appointments are filling quickly. Locations such as Walgreens are completely booked for their appointments for the next two weeks.
Many testing sites are pausing vaccination and booster shots including the WSU Wellness Center. The WSU Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory and the Guadalupe Clinic have stopped giving COVID-19 tests due to the increase in cases and limited number of testing kits and staff.
However, some local testing locations remain open to the public. Here’s a list of free testing sites that do not require proof of insurance.
CVS has eight locations in Wichita. Individuals need to set up an appointment to be tested. Click here to schedule. Testing is available from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Dandurand Drugs has three locations in Wichita. They offer both COVID-19 nasal swab testing and vaccinations from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday by appointment only. Testing is only done in a patient’s car and vaccinations are administered in the building. To make an appointment, click here.
The Wellness Center, located in the Steve Clark YMCA, offers free COVID-19 testing. To make an appointment, log into your myShockerHealth portal or call 316-978-4792. Usually, the Student Health Center offers free vaccines, but with the rise in COVID-19 cases, they have halted all vaccination appointments to lower the risk of exposure.
Hunter Health offers drive-through COVID-19 testing appointments from 9 a.m. through 11 a.m. Monday through Friday. These are not rapid tests and patients must wait two to four days to receive results. To make an appointment, click here or call 316-262-2415.
For those in Wichita who do have proof of insurance, two additional testing locations are available.
MedExpress Urgent Care offers the PCR ($199 without insurance) and antigen ($189 without insurance) tests. They are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Saturday. They have two locations in Wichita and one in Derby. To make an appointment click here.
The Little Clinic, located inside Dillons, offers PCR ($94 without insurance) and antigen ($144 without insurance) tests, as well as the Moderna vaccine and booster. They are open from 8:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Sunday through Saturday. To make an appointment, click here.