Siouxland District Health Director Kevin Grieme

A new drive-through lab is opening today in the Sioux City area to test residents for coronavirus, but you can’t just drop by.

Siouxland District Health Director Kevin Grieme says the lab is in an undisclosed location so it’s not overrun by people who want to be tested. He says you need to see your doctor first. “Patients eligible for testing will then be sent a communication by a text or some other means that gives them the information on where to report and what time the testing appointment is,” Grieme says. “We ask that the public cooperates by not bogging down our location by showing up without the appropriate authorization.”

Those who are referred to the site will have been vetted through their medical provider. Grieme says people need to go through the proper channels. “First you call your primary care physician, they do an assessment of the symptoms and determine if you’re eligible for the test,” Grieme says. “They issue a paper called a set of orders which is transmitted to a central collecting entity, they then will be communicating out directly to the patients where and when they actually report.”

Grieme says people who have mild symptoms will not be picked for testing and they can likely recover at home in self-quarantine.
“Those are the situations where we would not be requesting testing,” he says. “Many people will not need to seek medical care or be tested to confirm they have it.”

Grieme says they don’t have an exact total of how many local tests have taken place, but they hope to share that information soon. State health officials say Woodbury County has two confirmed cases of COVID-19.

(Story and photo by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)