Fire department testing closed for holidays

Chad Frey

The McPherson Fire Department will be taking a little break for the holiday — at least from COVID-19 testing. 

The department has been hosting a COVID-19 testing site, launching the testing the week of Christmas. As many as 50 tests have been adminstered in a given day. 

"It has been going fairly well," said TJ Wyssmann, fire chief for McPherson. "We did have to close during the holiday, the lab is closed during the holiday. We will have to close it for holiday hours again." 

Wyssmann said he hopes the department receives more tests before the department's current stock runs out. 

"We have had a good community response," Wyssmann said. "We are trying to schedule them every five minutes to get everyone in." 

Those wanting a test can call 620-245-2505 to check availability and to schedule a COVID-19 Test.

The City of McPherson Fire Department will be operating a COVID-19 testing site 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. This week the lab will not accept tests on Dec. 21 or Jan. 1. Testing will resume Jan. 4. No Doctor order is required, and the test is free of charge. The results will be sent to you within 24 to 36 hours after the specimen is collected.

Call 620-245-2505 to check availability and to schedule a COVID-19 Test.

The department will collect patient information and explain the guidelines of the testing with the patient requesting the test.

An area  is  identified by signage and cordoned off for parking. The designated area is in the rear parking lot of the Fire Station located at 312 E. Kansas Avenue in McPherson.

Once parked those receiving a test should  stay in their vehicle until further instructions are given by calling 620-245-2505.

The department will place the test kit in a staging box and explain the instructions to the patient. There will be an observer present, DO NOT approach the observer.

Please follow the 6-step process:

1. Go to the Staging Box in the designated area.

2. Remove the collection tube out of the biohazard bag in the box, take the lid off.

3. You will then proceed to pool saliva (spit) into the collection tube until it goes to the 1ml mark. (Fill the cone of the collection tube).

4. Once done, replace the lid securely on the collection tube. (Failure to properly secure the lid may result in specimen rejection or delayed testing).

5. Place collection tube into biohazard bag and securely seal it.

6. Place biohazard bag back in the collection box and return to your vehicle. The collection has concluded, and you are free to leave.

Do not eat, drink, smoke, chew gum, or brush teeth for at least 30 minutes prior to the test.

Any questions or concerns please call the City of McPherson Fire Department at 620-245-2505. Please frequently check the McPherson Fire Department Facebook @McphersonFireDepartment and the City website for updates concerning testing hours and availability.