Dubuque County hopes targeted COVID-19 testing program will be a model for other counties in Iowa

A medical worker places a swab in a vial while testing the homeless for COVID-19 through the...
A medical worker places a swab in a vial while testing the homeless for COVID-19 through the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, during the new coronavirus pandemic, Thursday, April 16, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)(KCRG)
Published: May. 5, 2020 at 11:57 AM CDT
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Gov. Reynolds, during her Tuesday COVID-19 press conference, announced the state is sending more than 1,000 test collection kits to Dubuque County.

While the TestIowa initiative has drive-through testing sites in Des Moines, Waterloo, Sioux City, and a new site opening in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, as well as strike teams deployed to long term care facilities across the state, Reynolds acknowledged that more counties have requested testing assistance.

Patrice Lambert, Executive Director of Dubuque County Health Department, said that with the outbreak at Dubuque Specialty Care (15 cases) and an increase in cases across the county (156 confirmed cases and five deaths), she had reached out to the state for testing assistance, but resources were unavailable.

Lambert said that while Dubuque County won’t be getting a TestIowa site or a strike team yet, the county planned its own targeted COVID-19 testing program for long-term care facilities and individuals identified through contact tracing as having possible exposure to the virus.

She said that with resources within the county and the test collection kits provided by the state, the county will be able to test around 1,000 people from May 6 to May 8.

This testing is not part of the TestIowa initiative and will not be open to the public.

Lambert said she hoped that the testing program Dubuque County is implementing can be a model for other counties and the state while dealing with limited resources.

However, Gov. Reynolds still urged Iowans to go to

and take the assessment.

This comes after

for a backlog of tests at the state lab causing a delay in Iowans receiving test results.

More than 306,000 Iowans have already taken the assessment since the launch of TestIowa. Reynolds said even if you don’t qualify at first, you can always try again later if your health worsens.

For more information from Tuesday's press conference