The state is shutting down “Test Iowa” sites in Waterloo and Sioux City and opening drive-thru testing for COVID-19 at three new locations.

One will be in Marshalltown, on the community college campus. Marshall County Emergency Management Coordinator Kim Elder says with the announcement that allows everyone to be able to get a test, it could initially be a double-edged sword.

“We probably will see more people because more people will be eligible to get that test,” she says. “…That also creates a traffic issue, maybe, so that’s why we worked with the state on some different traffic ideas and routes and they will work on signage for us.”

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Marshall County is now closing in on 400, but Elder says she hasn’t heard from anyone saying: “It’s about time a test site is coming here.”

“But I’m sure there’s that feeling out there,” she says. “I can’t blame people when you don’t want to have to drive somewhere, but opening it up I think is really the most important thing, so once the Governor released that information yesterday, I think we had a lot of people kind of sigh a breath of relief that, ‘Oh, I can finally go and get tested if that’s what I want to do.'”

A “soft open” of the Marshall County test site will take place next Thursday and Friday, the 28th and 29th. Two other “Test Iowa” sites are being set up in Sioux and Pottawattamie Counties.

(By Ken Huge, KFJB, Marshalltown)