(Council Bluffs) -- With winter's arrival, state and local officials are ensuring COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites are in warm locations.
Beginning Monday, the Test Iowa Council Bluffs testing location relocates to the Southwest Iowa Transit Agency at 3236 Nebraska Avenue. Since its opening in early June, testing has taken place in tents outside the Western Iowa Trails Center. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says the expectation of winter weather necessitated the relocation.
"As the seasons begin to change," said Reynolds, "we knew it would be critical to maintain operations of the five drive-thru sites located in some of our states most populated areas throughout the winter months. But, we recognize adjustments would be necessary to accommodate the weather, and protect Test Iowa staff, as well as those being tested."
Council Bluffs' testing site was the last of five state-operated testing locations moved because of winter.
"Over the last several weeks, four out of the five state-operated Test Iowa sites have been successfully relocated to enclosed buildings in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Waterloo," he said. "The sites range from industrial buildings, to a Windsor Lions' bus facility, to a former Sears auto center."
Reynolds praised Pottawattamie County and the Southwest Iowa Planning Council for their assistance in finding a new testing location.
"When they heard that we were having some challenges identifying an enclosed location for winter," said Reynolds, "they stepped up and generously donated the space for our use to ensure that Test Iowa would continue to be available to people in their surrounding communities."
The relocation comes as the number of Iowans tested has surged--along with recent COVID-19 case numbers in the state. Last week, about 19,100 Iowans were tested at the five drive-thru sites--even thought sites were closed on Thanksgiving Day. More than 6,700 Iowans were tested last Monday alone--the highest number of tests ever at Test Iowa sites in a single day. More information is available from the Test Iowa website.