OTTUMWA — Indian Hills Community College now has an on-site Test Iowa site for students regarding COVID-19.
The site, which went live Tuesday on the main campus at Wapello Hall, offers daily testing for the novel coronavirus from 8-9 a.m. Monday through Friday in either a drive-up or walk-through fashion.
With students returning to class earlier this week, the college felt it should do its part to try to get in front of the virus, which many higher-education schools in the state have been unable to do.
In the days since welcoming students back to campus, one student has tested positive, said Matt Thompson, who took over as president of the college Thursday, though “we’ve set aside residence halls and placed a group of students in quarantine. We haven’t had any additional students test positive, so it’s gone really well.”
“It’s part of an Iowa Department of Public Health initiative, and it is a part of Test Iowa,” Thompson. “We jumped on a webinar to see what this was going to look like. It’s been been a multi-faceted endeavor with the department of public health and Iowa Department of Transportation.”
The college has contracted with All Ages Pediatrics in Ottumwa to conduct the tests, a relationship Thompson said had already been established.
However, though Thompson said students “have the chance to get tested,” not everyone will need it. Currently, the college has approximately 500 test kits available and will continue to receive test kits and personal protective equipment from the state as part of the initiative.
“Though we have the capacity to test more, we don’t recommend testing everyone,” he said.
Thompson said the initial phase of the testing begins with a questionnaire of potential symptoms, and if students believe they have had exposure to someone who has tested positive.
Though the site opened last weekend, ahead of schedule, testing at the campus began Tuesday. Thompson said four people were tested both Tuesday and Wednesday.
“We’ll just see where things go,” he said. “We will remain open as long as we need to be. We can request additional supplies as long as they are needed.”