Two New TestIowa Sites Coming To Sioux County

Sioux County, Iowa — There are going to be two new TestIowa sites in Sioux County where people can get tested for COVID-19.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds tells us why the state has decided to open these new test sites.

(as said:) “Over the course of the last two to three weeks, the Department of Public Health and local public health officials have been monitoring elevated positivity rates in rural counties, especially in northwest Iowa. Sioux County currently has the highest 14-day average positivity rate in the state at nearly 28%. Neighboring Lyon and Osceola counties are both above 20% and some other counties in the surrounding area top 15%.”

She tells us that what they’re seeing here is not the same thing as what they’re seeing in more populous counties.

(as said:) “Rather than positivity cases really being driven by young adults and those under the age of 40, new COVID cases in northwest Iowa and other small counties are more evenly- distributed across age groups. Over the last two weeks in Sioux County, more than 1750 people were tested resulting in 489 new positive cases. 31 percent of those cases were among adults 18 to 40 with over a third of those were attributed at 19 to 24-year-olds. 29% were among middle-aged adults, which is 41 to 60 years old. 21 percent were among older adults ages 61-80. 12% were children under the age of 18, and most of those were in the 15 to 18-year-old bracket and 7% were above the age of 80.”

She says eight long-term-care facilities in our area are also in outbreak status. But she says the higher community numbers are not tied to a specific event or activity, they’re just community spread.

State Public Health Medical Director Dr. Caitlin Pedati tells us that they also got some data from some Sioux County schools.

(as said:) “We were able to take a look at some of our own data from Sioux County, an area that’s, unfortunately, experiencing increased community spread right now, and we were able to compare a district that was using face coverings to three districts that were not. And the three districts that did not make use of those face coverings actually saw thirty to a hundred and thirty percent higher rates of new COVID cases.”

The governor tells us about the Test Iowa sites in Sioux County.

(as said:) “Test Iowa clinic sites are partnerships with regional health care providers to expand access in rural areas where there are fewer testing options. The state provides the testing supplies and equipment through the Test Iowa program and they are processed through the tests are processed through the State Hygienic Lab. Local healthcare providers staff and operate the sites in their communities. This week three new Test Iowa clinic sites are opening — in Dubuque the Grand River Medical Group Respiratory Clinic and two sites are opening this week in Sioux County — one with Orange City Area Health System, and the other was Sioux Center Health. Both providers are already providing… are participating in the Test Iowa’s Higher Education program, testing their students and staff at Northwestern College and Dordt University. So this really is an expansion of their operations, and this will allow them to serve the entire community and the surrounding area.”

The Governor and Dr. Pedati made their comments during a press conference on Tuesday.