Gov. Kim Reynolds announced at her April 22 press conference that a strike team will test employees at long-term care facilities in Tama County, and the first Test Iowa public drive thru site will open April 25.
Reynolds also announced 107 new cases in that state of Iowa, for a total of 3,748 positive cases. A total of 84 counties have positive cases of COVID-19, with no new counties being added in the past day.
There are seven new deaths from COVID-19 in Iowa, which brings the total number to 90. Among those, 51 percent of those deaths are among residents of long-term care facilities.
There has been new 522 negative cases, which brings the state total to 24,496 negative tests.
"Today, the Department of Public Health is sending a long-term care facility strike team to Tama county where increased virus activity is in the area, and [the virus] could increase the risk for exposure to residents in surrounding communities," Reynolds said.
Testing will take place in Tama County from 1 to 8 p.m. April 22 and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 23. This test strike force is specifically for those in the county who work with long-term care facilities.
“The goal of these teams is to provide support for long-term care facilities and their staff and to prevent the spread of the virus in order to protect the people who live and work in these facilities,” said Sarah Reisetter from the Iowa Department of Public Health.
For public testing, the first Test Iowa drive-through site will be April 25 at the Iowa Events Center in the north parking lot in downtown Des Moines.
Reynolds announced the Test Iowa initiative at her April 21 press conference and said that in the first 24 hours, more than 80,000 people completed the online assessment and more than 250 scheduled an appointment as a follow-up. For more information and to complete the assessment, visit testiowa.com.
At this time, testing is being prioritized through this system for people with current symptoms, people who have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or those who have visited a place with a large amount of cases. All essential workers on the front lines are encouraged to take the test.
With this increase in testing, Reynolds said there will be a spike in positive cases because more people are getting the tests they need.
"As you have seen in recent days, the more tests we conduct, the more positive cases that we are going to identify," Reynolds said. "It's just the way that it's going to be, especially as we are doing some of these large testing events at some of the processing plants."