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Get the latest news about the novel coronavirus from Iowa Public Radio and NPR News.

In Woodbury County, People Can Get Tested For COVID-19 In Their Cars

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Katie Peikes
/
IPR file
Kevin Grieme, the health director for Siouxland District Health, speaks at a news conference on March 18.

Beginning Friday, people can be tested for COVID-19 in Woodbury County without leaving their cars, though health officials wouldn’t say where the drive-thru testing is being done, to keep people from “bogging down” the clinic. 
Woodbury County clinics will still do testing for COVID-19, but officials with Siouxland District Health Department and several Sioux City clinics wanted to make testing more accessible, with a drive-thru testing site. Health Director Kevin Grieme said during a Thursday news conference that health officials don’t want people who are sick sitting in a waiting room, near others who are less sick or asymptomatic.

“We’re looking at minimizing any sort of exposure to other audiences in the general public,” Grieme said.

Grieme wouldn’t share the location of the drive-thru clinic, saying that having lots of people show up would get in the way of the service. Only people with COVID-19 symptoms and a doctor’s authorization will be tested at the site. Once someone has seen a doctor and is determined to be eligible for the test, they’ll get a text message or another form of communication that says where to report and what time.

“We ask that the public cooperate in the aspect of not bogging down our location by showing up without the appropriate authorization,” Grieme said.

People outside of Woodbury County, including those in Nebraska and South Dakota, can be tested at the site as well, but they need to have a primary care physician in one of the six clinic networks that helped put the testing together. If someone from outside of Woodbury County is tested at the drive-thru site, their results would be reported for the county they live in.

Katie Peikes is IPR's agriculture reporter