Online Assessment making strides to increase Coronavirus testing

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Karleigh Nading

A question from the TestIowa assessment used to increase the amount of testing in Iowa.

Karleigh Nading, Opinion Editor

With the many hardships that are encompassed in testing for Coronavirus cases, a new online assessment is helping Iowa keep track. 

TestIowa is a new program started by state leaders and other private corporations to fight the spread of the pandemic. TestIowa’s goal is to increase the amount of testing in Iowa. Iowa is one of few states to implement programs to make testing more accessible. Others include Utah and Nebraska as a part of the Crush the Curve movement. 

There are three steps to TestIowa. The first, to access. The new testing system offers an assessment to determine and report public health to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). 

The assessment asks a series of questions. It questions whether the user has had symptoms, been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Coronavirus, had any preexisting conditions or allergies, the demographics of their home life, social distancing and more in order to determine if the user qualifies to get tested for COVID-19.

If the test determines the user does not need to be tested, TestIowa continues to check in via email and text on whether the user has developed any symptoms. 

Second, if the assessment determines a need for a Coronavirus test, TestIowa will secure a time and place for the user to get a COVID-19 test. 

After the first two steps have been taken, TestIowa will ask some follow up questions on the possibility of others being infected by the user.

Recent early graduate Addie Even took the TestIowa assessment. “I’ve had a cough in the last week,” said Even. “TestIowa helped me determine if I should get tested or not through this assessment,” she said.

Information given to TestIowa will be kept safe with HIPPA and the IDPH. Through TestIowa, the state will be able to better determine where Coronavirus cases may have fluctuated and additionally prevent spread of the virus from those who may be infected by determining the need for tests and identifying where ‘hot spots’ may be. 

TestIowa is increasing the amount of testing available for Iowa residents and helping those unsure determine if they should receive a COVID-19 test.

For more information and FAQ on TestIowa, go here