This graph shows the percentage of positive tests by age group over the past seven days in Webster County. Source: State coronavirus website

This graph shows the percentage of positive tests by age group over the past seven days in Webster County. Source: State coronavirus website

The need for COVID testing in Webster County and across Iowa has increased in recent months as school started, residents gathered for events, and people traveled and took vacations.

According to the Iowa state dashboard, 152 positive tests have been reported in Webster County in the past seven days. Over 11,500 tests have been reported nationwide in the past seven days.

Local testing for COVID-19 is still available in Fort Dodge at the Community Health Center, UnityPoint Health, and the Iowa Specialty Clinic.

These local clinics have seen a significant increase in traffic from sick residents, as well as worried, asymptomatic people exposed to COVID and people seeking a test for travel authorization, according to Webster County Health Department.

With the aim of reducing asymptomatic traffic to clinics, the Webster County’s Department of Health is now offering COVID-19 testing specifically for those applying for travel authorization or who are asymptomatic but have been exposed.

“We are an option for those who are not sick” said Kari Prescott, director of the WCHD. “Our doctors on site must be able to take care of the sick, so we offer to take over some of this traffic to make this possible.”

Freedom to travel tests are a takeaway saliva test that is sent to the state hygiene laboratory, with results usually emailed directly to the patient within 48 hours. Rapid antigen tests usually do not meet the current qualifications for travelers. Therefore, it is recommended that when traveling, you carefully read the requirements for your destination and plan ahead for the tests that may need to be sent to the state laboratory.

People who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and would like to be tested should wait five days after exposure before making an appointment for the test. WCHD offers same-day antigen testing for exposed individuals if they are asymptomatic.

Any resident in need of a test for travel authorization or who is asymptomatic after exposure should call WCHD at 515-573-4107 or register to schedule an appointment at

Anyone with symptoms should be evaluated by their GP, Community Health Center, or UnityPoint Health Express Care.

Before paying an invoice in connection with COVID tests – regardless of where you got the tests – please also inquire about the coverage with your insurance provider. If you were not insured at the time of your test, you should not be billed as COVID tests are fully covered by a Health Resources and Services Administration funding program. If you have received an invoice for a COVID test, please contact the test provider.

Webster County COVID-19 statistics reported

In the past seven days, 152 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported in Webster County, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

That’s more than the 122 positive cases the state agency reported in the previous seven days.

The Ministry of Health reported that over the past seven days, 8 percent of the tests performed were positive.

The new cases mainly affect younger people. The ministry’s statistics show that 28 percent of the most recent cases are in people aged 17 and under.

The age group of 18 to 29 year olds and the age group of 30 to 39 year olds each accounted for 20 percent of new cases.

There have been 6,647 COVID-19 cases in Webster County since the pandemic began.

The health ministry said there were 102 deaths in the county due to COVID-19.

State statistics show that 60.5 percent of the county’s residents eligible for a vaccine have been vaccinated.

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