As COVID-19 testing decreases, Linn County Test Iowa location closes
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Test Iowa’s Linn County location performed its last COVID-19 test on Thursday. It shut down Thursday after the state announced it will end its Test Iowa Program.
Test Iowa is the state’s free, large-scale COVID-19 testing program. The state originally paid $26 Million in a no-bid contract to give people access to free COVID-19 tests during the pandemic. The program was also highly controversial because it took more than 46 days to test 3,000 Iowans a day.
Iowa also couldn’t track the number of positive, negative or inconclusive tests performed by Test Iowa. Nomi Health, who is a Utah based company running Test Iowa, is also performing a similar service in Utah and Nebraska. The Salt Lake Tribune uncovered Nomi Health’s tests in Utah were getting positive results at a dramatically lower rate than tests done elsewhere in the state.
The Salt Lake Tribune also reported on Thursday the federal Securities and Exchange Commission investigated the program. The Iowa State Auditor also said TestIowa has delays in its ability to report data and takes pointless risks.
Tests performed at Test Iowa locations have decreased since the vaccine was released. According to state data, the Linn County location at its peak did 719 COVID-19 tests in a day. On Thursday, it did around 13 tests. Black Hawk County’s Test Iowa location tested 496 people at its peak in a single day. Lately, it’s been testing fewer than 30.
The Black Hawk County Test Iowa location will close on Friday. The two other state-operated drive-thru locations will close when testing concludes at 4:00 P.M. on the following days:
- Friday, July 16th: Polk County (4475 NE 3 rd St., Des Moines)
- Friday, July 16th: Scott County (North Park Mall, 320 W. Kimberly Rd., Davenport)
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