COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 tests are available that can test for current infection or past infection.  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?

  • Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status should receive a test.
  • Most people who have had close contact(within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) to someone with confirmed COVID-19.
    • Fully vaccinated people with no COVID-19 symptoms do not need to be tested following an exposure to someone with COVID-19.
    • People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months and recovered do not need to be tested following an exposure, as long as they do not develop new symptoms.
  • 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.

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.

At-Home Test Kits

Test Iowa drive-through testing clinics closed on 07-16-21. However, free COVID-19 testing kits are now available through Test Iowa. Test Iowa is a partnership between the Iowa Department of Public Health and the State Hygienic Lab (SHL). Learn more.

Where can I get an at-home test kit? 

There are many ways you can get a test kit.

Call 18332868378 for a test kit to be mailed to youOrder a test kit at testiowa.comPick up a COVId-19 test kit at Linn County Public Health
Call the Test Iowa Call Center
for a kit to be mailed to you:
1-833-286-8378.
Order a test kit to be mailed to you by registering at www.testiowa.com.Pick-up a test kit at Linn County Public Health - 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday or pick-up at another registered pick-up site.
(You will still need to register your test kit at www.testiowa.com or by
calling 1-833-286-8378)

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

  • Completed kits can be shipped by UPS to the State Hygienic Lab. Each kit will come with everything needed to mail it back, including the prepaid label. CLICK HERE for a shipping location.  
  • Completed kits can be dropped off at Linn County Public Health for delivery to the State Hygienic Lab by using the brown drop off container in the parking lot under the overhang. Kits must be packaged per directions included in the kit. Results may take longer as the courier service to State Hygienic Lab is on Tuesday and Friday afternoon.
  • 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

More Testing Options

Contact your healthcare provider or closest urgent care to check on availability of testing. You can also schedule a COVID test at the following sites: 

The type of viral COVID-19 tests offered may differ by location.