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An Iowa health organization is increasing its use of COVID-19 testing capabilities.

In the 24-hour period ending midnight on Monday, May 11, Governor Reynolds noted from the Iowa Department of Public Health that 539 new positive cases, including 18 new deaths, were reported bringing to over 12,000 Coronavirus-positive patients since the pandemic began. The rise in cases comes partly from more available testing.

Patients at UnityPoint medical facilities in Eastern Iowa are beginning to get tested for COVID-19, whether they immediately exhibit or claim symptoms or not.

KCRG says it is or will be happening in UnityPoint facilities in Anamosa, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and Waterloo. Those being tested are patients who have been admitted to the hospital, or transferred there, and were not tested for the virus in the prior 2-3 days.

The testing is done with a nasal swab and results for asymptomatic patients will be determined within 72 hours.

UnityPoint Health chief medical officer Dave Williams tells Iowa's News Now that the medical group will continue to take advantage of more testing capabilities on more patients, in particular as the ability to ramp up the operation of elective procedures begins.

The patients being tested under their new guidelines will include pediatric patients as well.

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