Reynolds aims to ramp up testing

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Gov. Kim Reynolds announced at her April 21 morning press conference attempts to get more people tested for COVID-19, in an effort to see who is eligible for testing and identify areas of the state that should require more attention and resources.

Reynolds is partnering with private organizations in an effort called “Crush the Curve”, using a similar process that has already been used in Utah. The State is launching a new website, www.testiowa.com, to collect voluntary assessments of risk levels for Iowans who participate.

On the website, you are asked to provide your name, address, cell phone number, email, etc. You are then asked a series of questions to identify whether you have shown symptoms, been around people who have shown symptoms, number and age of people living with you and more. All data collected will be destroyed by the State when it is no longer needed. If you are not eligible for testing, the site will tell you before the session ends.

The State intends to open testing sites for COVID-19, beginning with the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines on Saturday. Drive-through testing will soon be available as well.

As for today’s Iowa statistics regarding COVID-19, there are 482 new positive cases in the state for a total of 3,641. Of the new cases, surveillance testing at meat packing plants account for 33 percent of them. There are also 1,313 negative tests into the state today for a total of 23,974 tests that have come back negative.

Of those who have tested positive, 2,193 have recovered, or 35 percent. Iowa’s death toll, attributed to COVID-19, now stands at 83, with four more today. Outbreaks in long-term care facilities account for 51 percent of all of Iowa’s COVID-19 related deaths.

There are 214 people hospitalized with the virus (23 new admissions in the last 24 hours), 89 of whom are in intensive care and 60 are on ventilators. Over 4,000 hospital beds remain available, 553 ICU beds and 693 ventilators.

At last report, Marion County had five positive cases of COVID-19, and of those, three have recovered.

Reynolds will hold another press conference on Wednesday, April 22, at 11 a.m.