Wichita State University COVID-19 Testing for Employers

Wichita State University’s Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory (WSU MDL) has received grant money to increase testing capacity which now allows them to provide COVID-19 testing for employers.  This could be an option for employers that need to test employees regularly (such as nursing homes) or to test a group of potentially exposed employees right away.  We do recommend following CDC guidelines on when to quarantine and when to return to work. Per their advice, in instances of exposure, this could help reduce the quarantine period from 14 days to just 7 days with a negative test conducted day 6 or 7.  And in instances of a positive case with no symptoms, guidelines say they may not have to quarantine a full 10 days if they get two negative tests at least 24 hours apart, so this can help there as well.

Employers are doing so much to keep employees safe and employed, maintain productivity, and comply with public health recommendations.  Having access to local saliva-based PCR testing with results turned around within 24 hours can be a huge benefit to keep certain quarantines as short as possible.  WSU MDL now has the capability to process up to 1,500 tests per 8-hour shift, and is operating 3 shifts per day 7 days a week.  So total capacity is 4,500 daily tests, or 31,500 tests per week, certainly not unlimited but a significant opportunity for employers to see if they can participate.

Information about this program can be found here.  Interested employers will want to:

  • Evaluate the program requirements
    • Most employers can order test kits with lab processing for free using code SPARK
    • However, the employer must collect test kits from WSU MDL
    • Employer must observe each collection (WSU MDL can provide training on how to be an observer and properly handle the saliva collections)
    • Employer must transport collections to WSU MDL (or arrange transportation via approved couriers)
  • If interested, complete the sign-up form
  • If approved, attend an online onboarding call held at 10am and 2pm M-F


IMA will continue to monitor regulator guidance and offer meaningful, practical, timely information.

This material should not be considered as a substitute for legal, tax and/or actuarial advice. Contact the appropriate professional counsel for such matters. These materials are not exhaustive and are subject to possible changes in applicable laws, rules, and regulations and their interpretations.