Wapello County TestIowa site to close operations Wednesday

Published: Jun. 23, 2020 at 1:55 PM CDT
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - It’s official. After about six and a half weeks of coronavirus testing, Wapello County will be losing its TestIowa location.

The news was announced today by Wapello County Emergency Management Coordinator, Tim Richmond. Richmond explained that officials on the state level have examined the decline in county testing numbers; and decided Wapello County will be one of two Iowa communities shutting down testing operations.

“The governor has been looking at all the sites state-wide and she’s needing to shrink those to eight. We’re at ten now. So, she’s demobilizing two sites, Ottumwa being one of them. And that’s strictly based on numbers. So, she’s been studying the numbers that we’ve been turning out each day, and us and another community have the lowest numbers,” Richmond said.

Over the past couple of weeks, testing numbers have steadily declined in Wapello County. From roughly 200 tests administered a day at the site’s peak, those numbers have fallen all the way to 57 administered tests on June 17. However, Richmond explained that about ten percent of the county’s population has been tested for the virus.

Now that TestIowa is moving on, that doesn’t mean residents can’t get tested. Richmond explained that he and other local leaders in the medical community are working to provide readily available testing to those in need.

“We’re continuing to talk to the governor’s office about what kind of other options we can stand up, similar to that of TestIowa. Some sort of similar process and model, but through local clinics. More will be released on that when we figure it out,” said Richmond.

The Wapello County TestIowa location first went up at the Beach Ottumwa on May 13, before moving over to Evans Middle School.

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