More than 100 free COVID-19 health tests given in Pratt last week

Fran Brownell
Pratt Tribune
Despite swirling snow, a Pratt Regional Medical Center staffer, dressed in protective gear, prepares a free COVID-19 test last week at the former Pratt Rehabilitation and Residential Center, part of a two-day KDHE initiative undertaken by PRMC.

Pratt Regional Medical Center participated in the Kansas Department of Health and Environment “Go Get Tested Initiative,” offering free drive-through corona virus tests Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, December 22 and 23, at the former Pratt Rehabilitation and Residence Center parking lot.

PRMC Community Relations Manager Andie Dean said 111 tests were administered by PRMC staff over the two days of testing, which was promoted on the PRMC Facebook page.

“The tests were free and didn’t require a physician’s order,” Dean said. “They were available to anyone, first come- first serve.”

Dean said when she learned of the KDHE free-testing initiative to get as many Kansas residents as possible tested by year’s end, she immediately checked the KDHE website and discovered a giant bullseye opportunity for PRMC to get involved.

“No one was doing tests here,” Dean said. “It was a no-brainer for PRMC to get involved.”

With supplies and materials provided at no charge by KDHE and with free testing being made available to anyone, PRMC got on board, but had to find the right days when staffing would be available, Dean said.

Notification of the testing opportunity was posted on the PRMC Facebook site the days of the event and, despite cold and windy, snowy conditions, PRMC hospital staff administered 111 free tests during the two-day event organized by PRMC Safety Officer Sherry Besser and PRMC Director of Respiratory Care Bill Rea, according to Dean.

Participants were notified of how to find test results online.

“PRMC didn’t get any results,” Dean said. “Those participating were given instructions of how to go on line to get results.”

The possibility of future free drive-through testing will be announced on Facebook, if and when dates are secured, Dean said.