Five-minute COVID-19 tests on the Way to Iowa

Iowa News

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds updates the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak during a news conference at the State Emergency Operations Center, Thursday, April 9, 2020, in Johnston, Iowa. Weeks into the coronavirus outbreak, Iowa hospitals have been ordered to report daily statistics to the state on the number of patients they’re treating and whether they have enough resources. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, pool)

JOHNSTON, Iowa (WHO-TV) — Thursday at the daily press conference giving an update of COVID-19 in the state, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds confirmed that additional tests were headed to the state. And those tests could provide much faster results.

“Get the results in five minutes,” the governor said of the potential in the Abbott Laboratories tests.

Iowans have complained about waiting for days to get test results and others can’t get even get tested because demand far outnumbers available test kits.

During her briefing, Governor Reynolds announced 125 additional positives cases of the virus and 882 negatives tests. She added that the State Hygienic Lab in Iowa City had the capacity to test 2,530 people, more than twice as many as announced in recent weeks. That lab now has 15 Abbott machines for tests.

“We’re constantly looking,” she said of the efforts to find additional testing capacity, “We have a limited number of tests right now.”

Five additional Abbott machines were expected to arrive Tuesday, the governor’s office confirmed. However, they won’t immediately provide significant additional testing capacity. The governor’s staff said that each machine initially comes with testing supplies for 100 people.

The state has ordered testing supplies for 5,000 additional people but only expects to receive 2,000 for now as it battles other states for the critical supplies.

The governor didn’t provide specific locations of where the additional five Abbott machines would go but said they could go to parts of the state with COVID-19 outbreaks. “…especially some of these long-term care facilities,” she said, “They are mobile, so they can go to different places.”

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