CORONAVIRUS

Iowa sending new rapid-test machines to rural hospitals

Map showing Abbott near-patient testing machine locations in rural Iowa
Map showing Abbott near-patient testing machine locations in rural Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa officials are sending machines that can conduct rapid coronavirus tests to hospitals in rural areas, including some that currently have few confirmed cases.

The office of Gov. Kim Reynolds said the machines are being stationed at hospitals in Osceola, Red Oak, Spencer, Mount Ayr, Manchester, Algona, Storm Lake and Boone.

Each of their counties has fewer than five confirmed cases and no deaths linked to the pandemic.

The machines are also being sent to the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown and hospitals in Waukon, Washington, Columbus City, and Independence. Some of those areas have been affected by outbreaks in workplaces and nursing homes.

A spokesman for the governor, Pat Garrett, says the Iowa Department of Public Health focused on communities that do not have other testing resources close by, have high populations of elderly citizens and could serve as regional hubs.

He said the machines currently have limited testing capability, so sending them to rural areas makes sense while the state awaits more cartridges and supplies.

Reynolds said Wednesday that the state was sending enough material for 900 more rapid tests to Louisa County. That’s the site of an outbreak at a Tyson Foods plant that has infected at least 148 workers and killed two.

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Our most important Coronavirus coverage is free to the public.

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