Testing for COVID-19
There are laboratory tests that can identify the virus that causes COVID-19 in respiratory specimens. State and local public health departments have received tests from CDC while medical providers are getting tests developed by commercial manufacturers.
Testing at Greater Regional
Greater Regional does have the capability of testing patients at our facility. Those who meet the criteria will be tested. Remember that decisions about testing are at the discretion of state and local health departments and/or individual providers. We receive test results in about 5-7 days.
Greater Regional is now testing surgery patients prior to each surgery so numbers will be increasing day-to-day.
Patient and employee safety is one of our top priorities. That is why we want to be so transparent with the community regarding the spread and testing of COVID-19. We will continue to post Union County's positive case numbers as soon as they are verified to us by Iowa Department of Public Health but due to many variables like patient privacy, wide demographic of patients and the public's confusion, we will not be posting Greater Regional's testing numbers. We want our patients to feel respected and safe when getting their healthcare here. Thank you for your support & stay safe.
Union County's confirmed cases:
Requirements for testing placed by the IDPH as of May 28, 2020
- Hospitalized patient (of any age) with fever or respiratory illness for diagnosis or any hospitalized patient prior to discharge to a long term care facility or other nursing care facility
- Older adult (> 60 years of age) with fever or respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, difficulty breathing) and chronic medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, immunosuppressive medications, chronic lung disease, or chronic kidney disease)
- Person of any age with fever or respiratory illness who lives in a congregate setting (i.e., long term care facilities, dormitories, residential facilities, correctional facilities, treatment facilities)
- Healthcare worker, essential services personnel, first responder or critical infrastructure worker with fever or respiratory illness (e.g., healthcare worker, fire, EMS, law enforcement, residential facility staff, food supply and water plant operators).
- Children receiving care in and staff working in childcare homes and childcare centers with fever or respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, difficulty breathing) without alternative diagnosis.
- Symptomatic and asymptomatic close contacts (defined as spending more than 15 minutes within 6 feet) of persons who test positive for COVID-19 infection using PCR viral testing (close contact testing should not occur until at least 48 hours after the earliest exposure to COVID-19 positive persons)
How to get tested
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to get tested, please call our help desk at (641) 782-1194 first. They will advise you on what your next step is.
What to do after you are tested
If you test positive for COVID-19, your local county public health nurse will contact you for more information.
If you test negative for COVID-19, you probably were not infected at the time your specimen was collected. However, that does not mean you will not get sick. It is possible that you were very early in your infection at the time of your specimen collection and that you could test positive later, or you could be exposed later and then develop illness. In other words, a negative test result does not rule out getting sick later.
Testing can take place at any facility but if that patient is confirmed, the county they live in will be notified.