The governor says some state workers are being reassigned to work as pandemic investigators.
Some Department of Human Services employees will help local public health agencies do “contact tracing” — tracking down people who’ve had contact with someone who’s tested positive for COVID-19. Governor Reynolds said the state’s daily testing capacity will increase by 3000 tests per day later this month.
“Our ability to provide more testing will allow us to capture more data about the virus and better understand its activity in Iowa,” Reynolds said this morning during her daily news conference. “The more we know about COVID-19, the better we can manage it until a vaccine is available.”
According to the governor, the State of Iowa also will be getting supplies for serology tests — blood tests that tell if a person has had COVID-19 and recovered from it.
“That will be just an important factor in making informed decisions about how we target our response,” Reynolds said, “and again reopen the state of Iowa.”
Reynolds did not disclosed how many state employees will be reassigned to track down Iowans who may have been exposed to COVID-19 by someone who has the virus. The State of Massachusetts is spending $44 million on its contact tracing program and has hired a thousand people for the project.