PAOLA — Miami County has been designated as a free COVID-19 testing site as part of a statewide initiative to ramp up testing.

The expanded testing opportunities for those who live and work in Miami County will take place in the parking lot at the Paola Adult Education Center, which is located at 1710 Industrial Park Drive. Free saliva PCR testing will be available for adults and children — no symptoms required, according to the Miami County Health Department.

Testing at the Paola site will be offered from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. Friday, Dec. 18. Starting Wednesday, Dec. 16, appointments for a test at the Paola site can be made online at Appointments aren’t required, but encouraged. Testing will be available from Dec. 18 through the end of December.

This testing is being offered in collaboration with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), Miami County Emergency Management and Miami County Health Department. The COVID-19 Unified Testing Strategy for Kansas is designed to increase testing in Kansas as well as to coordinate the public and private sector testing, according to KDHE. The overall goal is to double the amount of testing by the end of 2020. Learn more by reading the Kansas Unified Testing Strategy and reviewing the presentation slides.

Mark Whelan, emergency management coordinator with the Miami County Sheriff’s Office, said in an email the tests are free and no insurance is required. No official ID is required, but the person’s name and phone number or email are required for notification purposes if the test comes back positive, according to emergency management.

An authorization and consent form will need to be signed.

A traffic flow chart for the education center’s parking lot accompanies this article.

Whelan said Emergency Management is grateful to Superintendent Matt Meek and Paola USD 368 for allowing the adult education center parking lot to be used as a testing site.

News Editor Doug Carder can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or

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