DES MOINES — As the rate of new COVID-19 infections remains high in Iowa, the state’s top health official says they are working on more rapid testing options.
Interim Department of Public Health Director Kelly Garcia says testing is widely available across the state — but the department is seeing some issues for those who need rapid testing. “It’s not that there’s supply chain issues. But there do seem to be some kinks in the pipeline in terms of folks being able to access testing quickly when ill and that is most important,” Garcia says.
Since mid-July, the state’s Test Iowa program has offered mail-in testing kits that can be requested online or picked up at certain locations. But the mail-in option creates a longer turnaround time for results for Iowans experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. “So the lab processing is not the constraint at the moment. But the mailing time is and so we’re working to solve for that,” she says.
Garcia says if you need a rapid test you should check options at local pharmacies or urgent care facilities. But you should avoid seeking tests at hospital emergency rooms.