May 18, 2020 10:23 PM

McPherson County: 22 of 26 COVID-19 cases recovered

Posted May 18, 2020 10:23 PM

MCPHERSON -- The McPherson County Health Department shared more good news today.

Of the 26 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county, 22 people have met recovery guidelines set forth by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Additionally, one of the confirmed cases remains in the hospital, the health department noted in a news release issued this afternoon.

The health department also reminded McPherson County residents that "symptoms for COVID-19 appear 2-14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, shortness of breath, malaise, sore throat, chills, and diarrhea. If you develop any of these symptoms, contact your health care provider. You must stay home for at least 10 days after symptoms started or for 72 hours after fever is gone (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and with significant improvement in symptoms, whichever is longer."

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May 18, 2020 10:23 PM
Facility in Kan. will create 300 jobs, help COVID-19 testing

JOHNSON COUNTY — Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., the world leader in serving science, announced Monday it has received a contract from the U.S. government to provide highly specialized viral transport media (VTM) for COVID-19 sample collection.

According to a media release, the VTM is used during collection of patient samples for proper transport to laboratories that can test for the presence of the virus.

To ensure accuracy of COVID-19 test results, VTM must be manufactured and dispensed into tubes in an aseptic environment. Thermo Fisher currently produces VTM at its site in Lenexa, Kansas, which meets this requirement, and has ramped production from 50,000 to more than one million VTM-filled tubes per week.

Given the significant demand for COVID-19 testing and associated sample collection, Thermo Fisher will expand capacity in Lenexa with a new $40 million facility dedicated to VTM production and quality control. The added capacity and increased efficiencies will allow the company to scale production to more than eight million VTM-filled tubes per week.

The company plans to complete the new Lenexa facility in Q3 and expects that it will create approximately 300 new full-time jobs.

"Our production ramp-up in Lenexa has been impressive and our employees deserve recognition for their ingenuity and dedication to making this happen," said Marc N. Casper, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Thermo Fisher Scientific. "We have a proven blueprint for high-quality VTM production in Lenexa and look forward to bringing significant new capacity on line as quickly as possible to continue the necessary testing ramp-up in the U.S."

Casper added, "We're proud of our role in helping customers to battle the pandemic. With our leading scale and depth of capabilities, Thermo Fisher can support virtually every aspect of the COVID-19 response, which demonstrates what it means to be the world leader in serving science."