COVID-19 Testing

At-Home Test Kits

Free COVID-19 (PCR) testing kits became available through Test Iowa when drive-through testing clinics closed on July 16, 2021. Test Iowa is a partnership between the Iowa Department of Public Health and the State Hygienic Lab (SHL). There are many ways to get your free COVID-19 home testing kit.  

Where can I get a free COVID-19 test?

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Pick up your free at-home COVID-19 test kit at a registered pick-up site:

  • Linn County Public Health - 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Located in the lobby at 1020 6th Street SE, Test Iowa kits are available for anyone to pick up without an appointment or calling ahead.
  • Community Health Free Clinic, another registered pick-up site in Linn County.
Request a free COVID-19 test kit directly to your residence at www.testiowa.com or over the phone by calling 1-833-286-8378.

I've completed my at-home test kit, now what? 

There are many ways to return your specimen to the State Hygienic Lab. Completed kits can be shipped by UPS with a prepaid label to the State Hygienic Lab, dropped off at Linn County Public Health for delivery to the State Hygienic Lab, or dropped off directly to the State Hygienic Lab. 

  • Completed kits may be dropped off at Linn County Public Health in the first floor lobby, located at 1020 6th Street SE. Please use the brown drop-off containers under the windows. The building is open Monday thru Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm, excluding holidays. The courier picks up samples Monday thru Friday at 2:00pm. Kits must be packaged per directions included in the kit.
  • Completed kits can be dropped off directly to the State Hygienic Lab at 2490 Crosspark Road in Coralville, Iowa. Sample Receiving Window Hours: M-F: 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM; Sat: 8:00 AM to Noon; Sun: CLOSED

Once at the lab, it generally takes 24 to 48 hours to receive testing results. Linn County residents who have received a positive COVID-19 test result can complete the COVID-19 Investigation Form online hereCompleting the online investigation form will improve efficiency of contact tracing efforts by Linn County Public Health.

Additional Testing Options

Testing for COVID-19 is an important tool in preventing spread of the virus. Other testing options, including rapid COVID-19 testing, are available within the community from healthcare providers and pharmacies. Rapid COVID-19 tests are not available at Linn County Public Health. 

Contact your healthcare provider to check on availability of testing. You can also schedule a COVID-19 test at the following pharmacies:

The type of viral COVID-19 tests offered may differ by location. A viral test tells you if you have a current infection. Two types of viral tests can be used, PCR and antigen tests. An antibody test (also known as a serology test) might tell you if you had a past infection. Antibody tests should not be used to diagnose a current infection.

Who should get tested for current infection?

People who have symptoms of COVID-19.

Most people who have had close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone with confirmed COVID-19.

  • Fully vaccinated people should be tested 3-5 days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
  • People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months and recovered do not need to get tested following an exposure as long as they do not develop new symptoms.

Unvaccinated people who have taken part in activities that put them at higher risk for COVID-19 because they cannot physically distance as needed to avoid exposure, such as travel, attending large social or mass gatherings, or being in crowded or poorly-ventilated indoor settings.

People who have been asked or referred to get tested by their healthcare provider, or state, tribal, localexternal icon, or territorial health department.

CDC recommends that anyone with any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 get tested, regardless of vaccination status or prior infection. If you get tested because you have symptoms or were potentially exposed to the virus, you should stay away from others pending test results and follow the advice of your health care provider or a public health professional.