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Iowa school district begins own COVID-19 testing program

FILE - In this Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, file photo, students wearing face masks walk past doors...
FILE - In this Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, file photo, students wearing face masks walk past doors marked with COVID-19 related warnings at the Seamans Center during the first day of in-person classes for the fall semester amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, on the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City, Iowa. More than 18 months after Iowa’s first coronavirus case, the state finds itself in a protracted argument over the value of wearing masks, especially in schools.(Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen via AP, File)
Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 10:42 AM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines Public Schools, Iowa’s largest public school system, will offer drive-through COVID-19 testing starting Monday, in an effort to curb rising virus infections since the governor discontinued a statewide testing program.

School officials say while students and staff will have priority, the public also may get a test.

The district entered a contract with Utah-based Nomi Health to begin offering tests starting Monday.

Gov. Kim Reynolds discontinued the widespread Test Iowa program in July saying demand had fallen and vaccines were widely available. But virus cases have surged in the past two months.

Since the school year started, the Des Moines district has had 149 positive cases among staff and 654 among students.

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