BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
JOHNSTON – Gov. Kim Reynolds announced today that a new assessment and testing tool called TestIowa.com is now open and all Iowans should take the assessment.
At Tuesday’s daily press conference from the state’s Emergency Operations Center, Reynolds encouraged all Iowans to take the assessment to give the state more information about the spread of the COVID-19 illness.
“I encourage every Iowan to go to TestIowa.com to take the assessment,” she said.
The assessment can be accessed by clicking the following link: https://www.testiowa.com/
“The more Iowans who take the assessment, the more it will help us understand more about the virus, and the more we can to do mitigate and manage it.”
The new system is a public/private partnership that assesses Iowans, sets up testing for those that are eligible based on the assessment, and then can initiate contact tracing for those who test positive.
The state will be setting up drive thru testing sites that reflect TestIowa’s data on where hot spots and clusters are located.
Iowa is only the second state in the nation to use the system. Utah was the first state to work within the partnership and just this week hit 3,000 additional tests per day.
Reynolds said the new program will let the state ramp up to the additional 3,000 tests on top of what the state is currently doing.
Representatives from three private groups representing the partnership, were brought into the presser, who said all data provided is owned by the state of Iowa and is protected at all points of data transmission.
“This will be very helpful as Iowans go online and take the assessment and see where hot spots are, where clusters are, and where we’re healthy where Iowans were doing what they were supposed to do,” Reynolds said.
When Iowans visit the TestIowa.com site, they will take an assessment and provide basic information. Once the assessment is complete a follow up email will be sent, and if the assessment triggers a test, individuals will be allowed to pick a time at some point in the future to be tested, and then tracing will begin for anyone testing positive.
Health officials are going to focus efforts initially on first responders, health care workers, and other essential workforce, including the food supply chain and manufacturers.
Results from the drive thru swab stations are typically available in 48 to 72 hours and are at no cost to the individuals, according to Reynolds.
State health officials are setting the first drive thru site at a Tama long-term care facility Thursday, and the first public site will be at the Iowa Events Center parking lot in Des Moines.
Around the state in the past 24 hours, there were 482 new positive cases for a total of 3,641 total, Cherokee and Humboldt counties have seen their first positive tests to bring Iowas total counties to 84. There were 1,313 negative cases reported for a total of 23,974 negatives. Reynolds said 1 in 113 Iowans have been tested for the coronavirus and the state hygienic lab has 7,233 tests available.
There were also four additional deaths related to long-term care bring the state’s deaths to 83. More than half of the deaths were patients in long-term care centers.