May 18, 2020 6:54 PM

🎥 KDHE Secretary updates battle against coronavirus

Posted May 18, 2020 6:54 PM

TOPEKA —Dr. Lee Norman, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment is updating the state's battle against coronavirus.

Governor Kelly is not attending Monday's briefing due to a scheduling conflict.

 The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Kansas increased by 454 since Friday to a total of 8340, the state health department reported Monday afternoon.  Coronavirus deaths were reported at 173.

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May 18, 2020 6:54 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."