• Last modified 754 days ago (April 29, 2020)


False-positive virus test closes factory

Staff writer

A “positive” COVID-19 test from a Herington laboratory that caused the April 10 shutdown of a Salina pizza manufacturing plant turned out to be a false alarm.

Schwan’s Shared Services, told an employee had tested positive for the virus, closed its Schwan’s Pizza plant for sanitizing and cleaning.

The test given to the employee was a blood test, which is not approved by Kansas Department of Health and Environment because blood tests can show positive results for any of four other coronaviruses that cause the common cold.

“The employee at our facility in Salina who was originally suspected of testing positive for COVID-19 has received a follow-up state-approved and recommended test, which has come back negative,” said Chuck Blomberg, communication manager for Schwan’s Shared Services.

Herington Hospital earlier this month bought 500 blood-based tests they were told would bring quicker test results.

The state health department only counts laboratory-confirmed nasal swab tests as positive, not blood tests.

Last modified April 29, 2020