Ashton Kutcher got Iowa coronavirus testing kits, here's how

Governor reached out for coronavirus PSA, actor had another idea

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The actor Ashton Kutcher played a key role in Iowa’s deal for COVID-19 tests.

Gov. Kim Reynolds said she’d been talking to Kutcher, an Iowa native, about recording a coronavirus public service announcement for the state when he asked if she was familiar with the TestUtah public-private partnership, telling her that it “looked very promising.”

Ashton Kutcher (Michael Kovac/Getty Images for WeWork)

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Kutcher, who apparently knows someone involved, set up a meeting. The actor has connections to a number of companies as a venture capitalist.

They “were able to start that conversation and ramp it up, also working with the University of Iowa,” Reynolds said Thursday.

Iowa ended up signing a no-bid $26 million contract with the Utah-based Nomi Health to supply the state with 540,000 COVID-19 tests over six months and run a website offering assessments of whether a resident qualifies for testing, the Associated Press reported.

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“Iowa is now the second state in the nation to deploy this ambitious initiative, and starting today I am encouraging Iowans to go to testIowa.com to complete their own health assessment,” Reynolds said earlier this week. “This type of information will help Iowans assess eligibility for testing and further inform the state’s response to COVID-19.”

The company has launched similar websites for Utah and Nebraska.

Iowa has seen more than 3,900 cases of COVID-10 so far, officials said Thursday. The virus has killed 96 people in the state. Across the U.S., more than 856,000 cases have been confirmed and more than 47,000 people have died from the virus.

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