IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Two lawmakers said Thursday that Iowa’s coronavirus testing program mishandled their samples when they tried to get tested after the recent legislative session concluded.
Sen. Zach Wahls and Rep. Dave Jacoby, both Coralville Democrats, said they traveled separately to Cedar Rapids to get tested through TestIowa, the $26 million program touted by Gov. Kim Reynolds.
Both wanted to make sure they were virus-free after interacting with colleagues and the public during the session.
Their samples were taken on different days last week. They were each informed several days later that their samples were “damaged” or “unusable” and therefore had to be retested.
Wahls and Jacoby eventually tested negative after getting new tests. They said their experience illustrates some of the problems described by their constituents.
A farmer from Iowa City who also was tested in Cedar Rapids last week, Molly Schintler, said that her first test also turned up “damaged” or “unusable” and she had to travel again to get retested. She called the experience “a big run-around.”
TestIowa has faced a range of criticism, from the lack of accessibility of the drive-thru sites to poor communication. At the same time, it has helped increase Iowa's testing capacity.
Reynolds spokesman Pat Garrett said a “very small percentage of individuals” can expect to experience problems with their samples and will have the opportunity to be retested.