Sep 21, 2021 - COVID

Concert testing requirements fill up Des Moines-area urgent cares

Illustration of an empty stadium filled only by the silhouette of an absent spectator

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Urgent care facilities are becoming inundated by COVID test-seekers as more events in Des Moines are requiring either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test, local health officials say.

Why it matters: Health care providers are already short-staffed and urgent care facilities in particular are meant for people with symptoms, illnesses or medical conditions that require immediate attention.

  • "That's just not a good use of urgent care," said Nola Aigner Davis, a spokesperson for the Polk County Health Department.

State of play: Last weekend, Michael Bublé drew in thousands of concertgoers to his tour at Wells Fargo Arena, where attendees were required to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test.

  • More than 50% of attendees were vaccinated, but there were "a lot" of unvaccinated people getting tested in the 72 hours prior to the show, said Chris Connolly, general manager of the Iowa Events Center.

Of note: The Iowa Events Center refunded more than 30 people who were unable to show vaccination or test proof at the Bublé concert, Connolly said.

The bottom line: Unvaccinated concert-goers should instead schedule tests through pharmacies like Hy-Vee or Walgreens, Aigner Davis said.


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