DES MOINES, Iowa – Gov. Kim Reynolds announced that the State Hygenic Lab in Iowa City completed the validation of the Test Iowa COVID-19 test kits.
She announced the launch of Test Iowa, a private-public partnership, three weeks ago. The initiative will give the State Hygenic Lab the ability to process 3,000 tests on top of the additional 2,000 tests the lab can handle.
Reynolds said that the validation process found the Test Iowa testing kits have a 95 percent accuracy for determining positive results and 99.7 percent accuracy for determining negative results.
She added in the 23 days since the initiative launched, over 400,000 Iowans completed the Test Iowa assessment, over 4,300 were tested, and more than 4,000 were notified of their results.
“The rapid implementation of Test Iowa was necessary so more Iowans could get tested as soon as possible. Now, we’re focused on process improvement as we continue to ramp up. We’re working on optimizing our operations and improving the overall Test Iowa experience,” Reynolds said.
“For those Iowans who have reached out to tell us that we’ve fallen short of meeting their expectations. We hear you. Now that the lab has completed the validation process, we expect more tests will be processed more quickly. And your results will be delivered on a timely basis,” she added.
Reynolds said that the state plans to provide a dedicated Test Iowa call center where staff experienced with Test Iowa can address questions and handle concerns. She also said that the state intends to broaden the testing criteria for Test Iowa now that the validation process is complete.
Sites in Des Moines, Waterloo, Sioux City, Cedar Rapids, Denison, Davenport, and Ottumwa are up and running. A new site at Storm Lake will launch this weekend.
She addressed the testing occurring at Iowa’s long-term care (LTC) facilities, noting that 35 of the state’s 444 LTC facilities have outbreaks and LTC facility residents account for 57 percent of the state’s COVID-19 deaths.
“Testing is provided to any long term care facility that requests it. They can be sent directly to the facility and administered by their own nurses, for staff and residents. We can also coordinate through local public health departments so they can also do that, or we have conducted countywide, long-term care strike teams to provide testing as well,” Reynolds said.
She added that the state sent 9,000 tests to 94 LTC facilities, strike teams have tested 1300 employees at 40 facilities, and 286 facilities representing 16,000 staff have the opportunity to test at a Test Iowa site in their county.
To date, one in 35 Iowans have been tested, with a total of 89,294 tests conducted. The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) reports that 386 additional Iowans tested positive for COVID-19 for a total of 13,675 cases in 95 counties. Approximately 79 percent of cases are between the ages of 18 and 60. Polk County leads the state with the most cases – 2,634 with Woodbury County reporting 2,073, and Black Hawk County with 1,533.
Twelve more Iowans passed away as a result of COVID-19 for a total of 318. Approximately 88 percent of the deaths have been among Iowans 61-years-of-age or older. IDPH also reports that 6,231 Iowa recovered for a recovery rate of almost 46 percent among those who tested positive.
There are 405 hospitalized in Iowa hospitals statewide, most of those hospitalizations are in south-central Iowa with 258. Statewide hospitalizations increased by 17 compared to Wednesday’s report. There were 42 new admissions statewide, compared to 36 reported on Wednesday. There are 134 patients in ICU, with 93 patients on a ventilator.
There are approximately 3,510 beds, 437 ICU Beds, and 705 ventilators available statewide.
Watch full press conference below: