Friday, Aug. 28, Update
Video Update: 'We're All Part of History Now'
Yesterday's video update from the Dubuque County Public Health Incident Management Team includes a summary of county and statewide statistics, a review of Governor Reynolds new emergency proclamation, news on modifications made to the CDC's travel guidance and the White House Coronvirus Task Forces new recommendations for testing, and thoughts on the overall impact of the pandemic, to date. Watch the video at https://youtu.be/9UfLvR1Ws9Y
IDPH Now Reporting COVID-19 Antigen Test Results
(IDPH News Release) The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) is now reporting positive and negative antigen test results following a steadily increasing volume of the rapid-result tests across the state.
While some states have chosen not to report antigen results, IDPH believes doing so will provide more complete information for Iowans. Updated data on coronavirus.iowa.gov now includes case counts for both PCR and antigen tests separately, and the combined total test results.
Antigen testing is a new type of COVID-19 diagnostic test that detects proteins on the surface of the virus and generates results faster than a PCR test, which detects the virus’s genetic material. PCR tests are considered the “gold standard” for clinical diagnosis of COVID-19, and is the test used by the State Hygienic Lab and Test Iowa.
On August 16, the CDC issued interim guidance for antigen testing, including regulatory requirements, collection and handling of specimens, and evaluation of results.
According to the CDC, the sensitivity of rapid antigen tests is generally lower than PCR tests, and clinical performance depends on the circumstances in which they are used. Antigen tests can be helpful for individuals tested in the early stages of infection when viral load is generally highest, or for known exposures to a confirmed case of COVID-19. They can also be used in high-risk congregate settings in which repeat testing could quickly identify positive cases to inform infection prevention and control measures, and prevent further transmission.
Currently in Iowa, antigen testing is being used in long-term care facilities, health care clinics, retail pharmacies and by a variety of other testing providers.
Antigen testing accounts for just 1.8% of all COVID-19 tests in Iowa at this time, but use of the test is increasing and expected to continue.
To date, antigen tests have been included in Iowa’s total case count, but individual test results have been classified as “inconclusive” rather than as positive or negative cases. Now that more is known about antigen tests, negative and positive results are now included in the state’s COVID-19 case reporting and calculation of positivity. The inclusion of antigen tests results in minimal change to the state’s positivity rate.
Public health has been conducting case investigations and contact tracing for all positive test results, including both antigen and PCR tests. All individuals who test positive by PCR or antigen testing continue to be directed to quarantine for 10 days from the start of symptoms, have symptoms improving, and be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to work, school or normal activities.
IDPH will continue to adjust its reporting to include new technologies, test types and information as the COVID-19 response evolves.
23 New Cases in Dubuque County, 2,579* New Cases and 11 Deaths Statewide
24-HOUR CHANGES & NEW TOTALS
(11 a.m. yesterday to 11 a.m. today):
- Dubuque County: 23 new cases (including 2 antigen tests). Total confirmed cases to date = 1,978
- *Iowa: 2,579 new cases (including over 1,350 antigen tests) Total confirmed cases to date = 62,075
TESTING & POSITIVITY RATEDubuque County:
- 28 more individuals tested. Total residents tested to date = 23,504
- Dubuque County Test Positivity Rate: 14-day average = 7.0%, average to date = 8.4%.
- 3,247 more individuals tested. Total Iowa residents tested to date = 618,259
- Iowa Test Positivity Rate: 14-day average = 10.3%, average to date = 10%
- Dubuque County: Hospitalized = 7 as of Aug. 26. Down 2 from Aug. 25).
- Iowa: Currently hospitalized = 299. Down 6 from yesterday.
NOTE: Due to severe weather conditions on August 10, 2020, some Iowans being treated for COVID-19 in a long-term care facility or at home may be transferred to a hospital or other health care facility for temporary treatment due to damage to their place of residence. This may cause hospitalization data or other data on the site to fluctuate in the short term.
- Dubuque County: New recoveries = 39. Total number of recoveries = 1,496
- Iowa: New recoveries = 4,529. Total number of recoveries = 49,907
A positive COVID-19 patient is considered recovered if it has been at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared, they have gone at least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication, and symptoms have improved.
LONG-TERM CARE FACILITY OUTBREAKS
- Dubuque County: No long-term care facility outbreaks.
- Iowa: 36 outbreaks (same as yesterday)
For the most current information on COVID-19, visit https://coronavirus.iowa.gov. For COVID-19 information specific to Dubuque County, visit www.dubuquecounty.org/COVID19.
Free Local Testing Opportunities
The Dubuque Test Iowa Clinic, operated by Epic Health and Wellness, continues to offer free COVID-19 testing for any Iowan. To be tested at this location, you must first take the Test Iowa assessment at www.testiowa.com. All testing at this location is by appointment, Monday through Thursday. After taking the assessment, appointments can be made by calling 563.583.6595 or scheduled online.
Hartig Drug Company pharmacies and Union Family Pharmacy are also offering free COVID-19 test collection, also by appointment, in Dubuque. This free COVID-19 test collection program is not affiliated with Test Iowa and is implemented in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and eTrueNorth, a laboratory services company focused on enhancing pharmacies’ access to diagnostic laboratory testing.
Test collection sites for this program can be found at DoINeedACovid19Test.com. The online portal helps patients make test collection appointments. Any individual, regardless of their state of residence, is eligible to test, even if they are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
Please note that advance registration is required and test collection schedules vary by site. To register, or for more information, visit DoINeedACovid19Test.com.