DUBUQUE, Iowa — Gov. Kim Reynolds’ office has slowed coronavirus testing at the Test Iowa site in Dubuque County, despite a surge in cases in the last seven days.
The county released a statement Monday saying the governor’s office is now limiting the testing capacity to only 100 tests a day. A report from the Telegraph Herald says the site was previously collecting between 400 to 550 samples a day.
A spokesperson from the governor’s office said, “We requested this temporary change for the Dubuque location 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.”
The Dubuque County Public Health Incident Management Team acknowledged the site has already tested thousands in a short time. In response to the reduction in testing, they said, “While we believe more testing is needed rather than less, we understand that testing supplies and test processing capacity are limited resources … We realize we are going to need testing access for the unforeseeable future and want to have adequate testing supplies as we progress in this pandemic.”
Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer is the latest official to respond, sending a letter to the governor asking for specifics on the new limitation.
“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, according to the Associated Press. “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.”
The governor has yet to respond to Finkenauer.
The Associated Press reports 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.