The University of Iowa

In the news: UIHC prepares for coronavirus response, cautions against spreading misinformation

March 5th, 2020

Charles Peckman, Daily Iowan

University of Iowa officials talk to reporters

Associate Provost and Dean of International Programs Russ Ganim speaks during a media availability event at the IMU on March 4, 2020. The University of Iowa officials spoke to reporters about the UI's actions regarding coronavirus. (Ryan Adams/The Daily Iowan)

The State Hygienic Laboratory based on the University of Iowa campus was slated to receive another shipment of kits to test for novel coronavirus on Wednesday, the lab’s director told reporters, adding to the roughly 250 test kits already on hand at the site.

The lab shared Feb. 27 it was prepared to test for COVID-19 using materials provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention upon the Iowa Department of Public Health’s request. So far in Iowa, tests of seven people have been negative and one person’s results are pending.

Lab Director Michael Pentella said the lab is prepared to administer the test whenever it’s needed, adding that it takes five hours to complete the technically challenging test.

“We prepare for emergencies as our colleagues do and part of our preparation is that we connect with every clinical lab in the state,” he said. “We are connected electronically and report results to the CDC.”

University and medical officials are seeking to assure the Hawkeye community that procedures are in place to test and treat the 2019 novel coronavirus amid concerns from health experts, government officials, and the public about mitigating its spread.