The State Hygienic Lab is still working to clear a backlog of COVID-19 tests. Governor Kim Reynolds says due to a high volume of tests and the double processing required for “Test Iowa” kits, it wasn’t possible to eliminate the backlog this weekend.
“I want to again reassure Iowans that this is a short-term issue as we ramp up testing and processing,” Reynolds said this morning, “and complete the ‘Test Iowa’ validation process.”
The governor said the backlog should be resolved today. The kits from Des Moines and Waterloo drive-through “Test Iowa” sites are being processed twice at the State Hygienic Lab — first through the system, the lab has been using since March and then through the machines Utah companies have supplied for “Test Iowa.” Last week, the state lab processed and reported more than 17,000 test results.
“That’s a significant accomplishment and we’re working hard to improve the timeliness of processing and reporting results, so that Iowans know the results as soon as possible,” Reynolds said.
A third “Test Iowa” site started operating this afternoon in Sioux City. The Centers for Disease Control must sign off on the State Hygienic Lab’s validation process before samples from the “Test Iowa” sites may be processed just once, through the “Test Iowa” machines.
“Under normal circumstances, individuals should get their test results in approximately 72 hours,” Reynolds said during her daily news conference.
State officials reported 534 Iowans have been notified that they have COVID-19 — for a total of more than 97-hundred positive cases since testing began in early March. Eighty-five percent of today’s new positive cases are in the 22 counties where all the governor’s limitations on businesses and public gatherings remain in place. State records indicate 389 Iowans were hospitalized on Sunday for treatment of COVID-19 and 93 of them were on ventilators.