As COVID-19 cases continue to strain our city’s hospitals and medical staff, the Kansas City Health Department is shifting its resources to bring thousands of free and convenient tests to our community for three straight weeks, including weekends.

The health department’s COVID testing clinic will be located inside the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center, 3700 Blue Parkway (Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.). It will run seven days a week, Monday through Sunday, through Tuesday, March 1.

This clinic is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. To secure a test, appointments should be made on the Do I Need a COVID19 Test platform.

“We know walk-up testing sites are easier for people to take advantage of,” said Director of Health Marvia Jones. “Those without internet, computers, cell phones or reliable transportation benefit from walk-up clinics. For those who are unable to make an appointment, we will still make every effort to test them.”

Appointments are preferred, so if you need help making one, call 1-800-635-8611. There will also be signs posted at the clinic that will have a QR code that people can scan. That will allow them to register on the spot.

The test is not a rapid test, but a more sensitive PCR test, which means results will be sent to a lab. People will self-swab their own nasal passages. Parents will need to swab young children, and there is no age limit. As soon as test results are available on the Do I Need a COVID Test platform, the individual will receive an email with instructions to log into the site to view their results. Those without email can call the 1-800 number.

The health department recommends you be tested for COVID if:You have COVID-19 symptomsIt has been 5 days since you were exposed or in close contact with someone with COVIDYou have been in a crowd where there was not masking and social distancing“Like vaccination, masking and social distancing, testing is an important tool to interrupt transmission and reduce all the pain, trauma, and disruption to our jobs and livelihoods,” said Frank Thompson, deputy director. “By getting tested, you can have the knowledge you need to protect yourself and those you love who may be especially vulnerable to the worst COVID can do.” 

The Kansas City Health Department is thankful to city employees at the Public Works Department, the Neighborhoods and Community Services Department, and Parks and Recreation, who will help staff the clinic for three weeks. The City also coordinated with the following partners: Department of Health and Human Services, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Office for the Assistant Secretary of Health, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.