Test Iowa site scheduled to open in Cedar Rapids in May

View of Cedar Rapids from Mount Trashmore — Zak Neumann/Little Village

A Test Iowa site will be set up in Cedar Rapids in about two weeks, City Manager Jeff Pomeranz said during Tuesday’s Cedar Rapids City Council meeting.

The site will be at Kirkwood’s Continuing Education Training Center, 101 50th Ave SW. Linn County Emergency Management determined that this is the best location for the test site, Pomeranz said.

A soft opening is planned for May 11 and 12, with full operations following that. The site will be active for two weeks, according to Pomeranz.

“We’ll continue to keep the city council and the community updated on this very important task as we all know that the testing is a critical element of moving forward in a positive way on the COVID situation,” Pomeranz said.

The state will conduct all testing for COVID-19, Pomeranz said. The Iowa Department of Transportation will manage the flow of traffic in the testing site area, the Iowa National Guard will handle logistics and set-up, and local law enforcement will provide security. Linn County Public Health will conduct contact tracing.

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the new testing initiative last Tuesday. The state signed a $26 million contract with Nomi Medical, a Utah-based tech company, to make 540,000 tests available over the next four months.

The first Test Iowa site opened in Des Moines last Saturday and sites are planned for Black Hawk, Woodbury and Scott counties.

The Test Iowa assessment can be completed by going to the website and filling out a questionnaire that asks about health information, occupation and contact information. Users will receive a QR code, which will be used to identify them going forward.

“Testing, for now, is prioritized for essential workers or people who have symptoms of COVID-19 or been in contact with someone who has the virus or have recently been in an area where it’s more widespread, but anyone can take the assessment at any time,” Reynolds said during her press conference on Wednesday. She did not mention the Linn County site.

If an individual qualifies for testing through Test Iowa, they will be notified and contacted to schedule an appointment for a drive-through test.

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