UI health official says UIHC plans to ‘triple or quadruple’ in-house testing by next week

University of iowa VP for Medical Affairs Brooks Jackson said the hospital plans to drastically scale up testing as the nation faces a shortage.

University+of+Iowa+Hospitals+and+Clinics+is+seen+on+Sept.+17%2C+2018.+

Katie Goodale

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is seen on Sept. 17, 2018.

Sarah Watson, Managing News Editor

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics plans to expand its in-house testing, announced on Friday, by three- or four-fold, UI Vice President for Medical Affairs Brooks Jackson said Wednesday.

“We believe we can triple or quadruple that testing probably in a week or so,” Jackson said during a press conference.

UIHC began offering in-house testing on Friday, and is prioritizing tests for those who are sickest, adults over the age of 60 and essential workers.

He said the Federal Drug Administration recently approved commercial tests from Cepheid that Jackson called “very quick”, and should also play a part in ramping up testing capabilities. He added that UIHC was waiting for parts for those tests to come in next week.

UIHC is operating three shifts to provide testing and “gearing up everyday,” he added. UIHC is currently following the criteria that Iowa Department of Public Health criteria for who can be tested, but makes some exceptions. 

Iowans can contact their medical provider to discuss symptoms and risk factors, and the medical provider can order a test. 

Jackson said UIHC is keeping within the guidelines set by the Iowa Department of Public Health, but that they will make exceptions.

  • All hospitalized patients (of any age) with fever and respiratory illness
  • Older adults (>60 years of age) with fever and respiratory symptoms (cough, difficulty breathing) and chronic medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, immunosuppressive medications, chronic lung disease, or chronic kidney disease).
  • Persons of any age with fever or respiratory illness who live in congregate setting (i.e., long term care facilities, dormitories, residential facilities, correctional facilities, treatment facilities)
  • Healthcare workers, essential services personnel, first responders and critical infrastructure workers with fever or respiratory illness (ex. healthcare workers, fire and EMS, law enforcement, residential facility staff) 
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