Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Reynolds Forbids More Than 100 Tests Per Day

By way of introduction to this story, it's useful to provide at least one example of how Iowa's governor presided over gross under-reporting of COVID-19 infections. The Dubuque story, below, is what she moved on to do (curtail the actual testing itself) after mere manipulation of data proved politically inadequate.
The first confirmed coronavirus outbreak at an Iowa meatpacking plant was far more severe than previously known, with more than twice as many workers becoming infected than the state Department of Public Health told the public, newly released records show.

The department announced at a May 5 news conference that 221 employees at the Tyson Foods pork processing plant in Columbus Junction had tested positive for COVID-19.

But days earlier, Tyson officials told Iowa workplace safety regulators during an inspection that 522 plant employees had been infected ....
Ryan J. Foley, "Coronavirus outbreak at Iowa pork plant was larger than state reported," Associated Press/Des Moines Register, July 22, 2020

”Gov. Kim Reynolds orders reduced coronavirus testing at Dubuque site; Reynolds cuts number of COVID-19 tests to 100 per day as cases rise,” AP/The Gazette, July 22, 2020, p. A3

(If AP or The Gazette would like this post to be deleted from this blog just email me at

DUBUQUE — Coronavirus testing will be reduced to only 100 tests per day at a Test Iowa site in Dubuque, despite a sharp increase in cases in Dubuque County.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ office ordered the site to reduce its testing, Dubuque officials announced Monday. The site will be opened only from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday. The site had been testing 400 to 550 people per day, the Dubuque Telegraph Herald reported.

U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer, whose district includes Dubuque County, wrote a letter to Reynolds on Tuesday criticizing the decision and asking the governor for further explanation.

“This month, Dubuque County has seen its most staggering case counts of the entire pandemic, and one of the highest days was just last Thursday,” Finkenauer said in the letter. “Now is not the time to be ramping testing down anywhere in our state — in fact, testing is needed now more than ever to identify and contain the spread of the virus.”

Reynolds’ spokesman, Pat Garrett, said in an email to media Monday that the governor ordered the test reduction at Dubuque “to ensure their process is in line with others across the state of Iowa. We want to maintain consistency and high quality performance across all Test Iowa sites.”

Garrett did not respond to follow-up questions about what processes were being questioned at Dubuque. He also did not say how long the tests would be limited or whether other Test Iowa sites have been placed on similar restrictions, the Des Moines Register reported.

Daily coronavirus cases have more than doubled in Dubuque County since June, according to state data. At least 23 people in the county have died from COVID-19.

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