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Gov. Reynolds launches new testing initiative “Test Iowa”

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(KWWL) - Governor Reynolds announced in her press conference a new testing initiative to help increase broad-scale testing in the state.

"Test Iowa" is a public-private partnership between the state of Iowa and multiple health and data companies.

According to Reynolds, the initiative will make available 540,000 tests to increase the state's testing capacity by up to 3,000 additional tests per day.

The state has set up an online assessment and will be setting up drive-thru testing tents across Iowa. Reynolds is encouraging all Iowans to take the assessment, and if qualified for a test, testing locations will be available soon.

Even if you do not have symptoms, the online assessment can help give data for hot-spots in the state.

The steps involved:

  1. Go to testiowa.com and complete assessment on information including symptoms or underlying health conditions, occupation, address
  2. Get tested, if you currently have symptoms, have interacted with someone who has symptoms, or been in an area where the virus is widespread
  3. If you test positive, the state will do contact tracing to determine who you've been in contact with

During the first stage of testing, the initiative will start with testing first responders. Then they are looking to test highly symptomatic people. The third stage of the initiative is to get non-symptomatic individuals able to be tested.

This system was first implemented in Utah several weeks ago.

A Utah-based tech company named DOMO is partnering with Iowa on the initiative. DOMO CEO Josh James says they've been able to increase daily COVID-19 testing by 3,000 in their maiden run of the program.

"The peace of mind that comes from being able to get tested is pretty meaningful and dramatic," James said.

James said Utah has nearly 10 drive-up testing sites as part of the program and hopes to get a similar number set up in Iowa's case.

"It's safer for the frontline workers certainly," James said. "It's also safer for the patients coming through; everything's self-contained in a car."

Mercy Iowa City set up Eastern Iowa's first drive-up testing site at the end of March.

The Iowa Department of Public Health worked with the website developers to focus its questioning on things like symptoms and travel to gauge who gets a test.

Take the online assessment and learn more about the initiative here.

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Andrew Pearce

Social Media & Digital Content Manager

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