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Iowa City School District partners with Nomi Health to open COVID-19 testing site

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Iowa City School District partners with Nomi Health to open COVID-19 testing site

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa (KWWL)- The Iowa City Community School District launched a new drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in North Liberty this week. The district partnered with NOMIHealth to open the site at Liberty High School to expand access to COVID-19 testing.

"All over the nation, we are seeing long lines, we are seeing long waits," NOMI Field Operations Director Carolina Herrin said. "We want to make sure that we're able to keep that down and give people different options. So they're not stuck in, you know, long lines and having to take a long time to get that test result."

In recent weeks, as COVID-19 has surged in Eastern Iowa, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics CEO Suresh Gunasekaran said the demand for tests has risen along with it.

He said UIHC and surrounding providers are having trouble keeping up.

"We have never seen this kind of demand for COVID testing during the entire pandemic. It is at an all-time high, and it has been high for weeks, and it's unending," Gunasekaran said. "Over the last several weeks, many times, tests were delayed in terms of people being able to get in to see us by multiple days."

NOMI is working with local health departments and communities across Iowa to set up COVID-19 testing sites. NOMI currently operates several testing locations throughout the State.

"Not only do we have the sites and different locations to help serve the community, but we have the supplies to meet the demand," Herrin said. "We want to make sure we're there to help and assist all those people that need to come to get tested."

While the site was designed for students, staff and families of the Iowa City Community School District, it is open to the general public.

"Everyone is going through the process of needing to feel safe and needing to know if they're positive or not, or if that little cold symptom is COVID," Herrin said. "The more sites we can have available for the public in general, the better because, the quicker you can get tested, the safer you're going to be. It was important to make it available for everyone, so everyone has the opportunity to know right away."

The drive-thru site opened this week. It offers both rapid antigen testing with results in about 30-minutes and PCR testing, which takes between 24 and 48 hours for results.

If you are interested in getting a COVID-19 test, you are asked to register online in advance at nomihealth.com/iowa/. If you cannot register for an appointment online, you can register at the site.

There are no out-of-pocket costs for the tests, but they ask those with insurance to bring their insurance card.

"We ask for your insurance, but by no means are you required at all to have that. So please come in and come get tested," Herrin said. "Even if you don't have ID, if you don't have insurance, if you don't have any other means, we will still take care of you."

The testing site is at Liberty High School at 1400 South Dubuque Street in North Liberty. 

The site is open Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Starting on Saturday, January 22, it will be open on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.