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COVID Testing & Rapid Testing
in Iowa

Get access to COVID testing in Iowa with Solv. Find and book same day appointments at participating testing sites across the state. To make it even easier, download the Solv app today.

COVID Testing & Rapid Testing
in Iowa

Get access to COVID testing in Iowa with Solv. Find and book same day appointments at participating testing sites across the state. To make it even easier, download the Solv app today.

<strong>COVID Testing & Rapid Testing</strong><br> in Iowa Illustration
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East Des Moines Family Care Center

East Des Moines Family Care Center

840 E University Ave, Des Moines, IA 50316840 E University Ave
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mercy-east-village-urgent-care-des-moines

Mercy East Village Urgent Care - Des Moines

Mercy East Village Urgent Care - Des Moines

1.0(1 reviews)
1350 Des Moines St, Des Moines, IA 503091350 Des Moines St
OpenSun 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Mon 7:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Tue 7:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Wed 7:00 am - 9:00 pm
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  • Fri 7:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
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obstetrical-gynecological-associates

Obstetrical & Gynecological Associates

Obstetrical & Gynecological Associates

330 Laurel St, Des Moines, IA 50314330 Laurel St
OpenSun 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Mon 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tue 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wed 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thu 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sat12:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Sun12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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mercyone-des-moines-laboratory

MercyOne Des Moines Laboratory

MercyOne Des Moines Laboratory

411 Laurel St, Des Moines, IA 50314411 Laurel St
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  • Mon 7:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tue 7:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wed 7:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thu 7:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Fri 7:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
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detect-lab

Detect Lab

Detect Lab

400 E Court Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309400 E Court Ave
OpenSun 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Mon12:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Tue12:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Wed12:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Thu12:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Fri12:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Sat12:00 am - 11:59 pm
  • Sun12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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midwestern-aids-project

Midwestern AIDS Project

Midwestern AIDS Project

607 Forest Ave, Des Moines, IA 50314607 Forest Ave
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  • Mon 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Tue 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Wed 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Thu 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
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walgreens

Walgreens

Walgreens

606 Walnut St, Des Moines, IA 50309606 Walnut St
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  • Mon 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tue 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wed 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thu 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • SatClosed
  • SunClosed
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concentra-urgent-care-dixon

Concentra Urgent Care, Dixon

Concentra Urgent Care

2100 Dixon St, Des Moines, IA 503162100 Dixon St
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  • Mon 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • SatUnknown
  • SunUnknown
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des-moines-va-clinic

Des Moines VA Clinic

Des Moines VA Clinic

1223 Center St, Des Moines, IA 503091223 Center St
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  • Mon 7:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Tue 7:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Wed 7:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Thu 7:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Fri 7:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • SatUnknown
  • SunUnknown
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unitypoint-health-des-moines

UnityPoint Health, Des Moines

UnityPoint Health

1415 Woodland Ave, Des Moines, IA 503091415 Woodland Ave
OpenSun 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sun 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
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cvs-pharmacy

CVS Pharmacy

CVS Pharmacy

215 Euclid Ave, Des Moines, IA 50313215 Euclid Ave
OpenSun 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Mon10:00 am - 2:00 pm
  • Tue 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sun10:00 am - 6:00 pm
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Iowa Health Walk-in Urgent Care

Iowa Health Walk-in Urgent Care

1530 E Euclid Ave, Des Moines, IA 503131530 E Euclid Ave
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broadlawns-hospital-urgent-care

Broadlawns Hospital Urgent Care

Broadlawns Hospital Urgent Care

1801 Hickman Rd, Des Moines, IA 503141801 Hickman Rd
OpenSun 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • SunClosed
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global-drug-testing-services

Global Drug Testing Services

Global Drug Testing Services

2417 University Ave, Des Moines, IA 503112417 University Ave
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polk-county-river-place

Polk County River Place

Polk County River Place

2309 Euclid Ave, Des Moines, IA 503102309 Euclid Ave
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  • Mon 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • SatUnknown
  • SunUnknown
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mercy-quick-care-clinic-ingersoll-des-moines

Mercy Quick Care Clinic - Ingersoll - Des Moines

Mercy Quick Care Clinic - Ingersoll - Des Moines

3425 Ingersoll Ave, Des Moines, IA 503123425 Ingersoll Ave
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  • Mon 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • Tue 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • Wed 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • Thu 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • SunClosed
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cvs-pharmacy

CVS Pharmacy

CVS Pharmacy

3151 SE 14th St, Des Moines, IA 503203151 SE 14th St
OpenSun 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Mon 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sun10:00 am - 6:00 pm
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walgreens

Walgreens

Walgreens

4555 Fleur Dr, Des Moines, IA 503214555 Fleur Dr
OpenSun 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Mon 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tue 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wed 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Thu 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Fri 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Sat 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sun10:00 am - 6:00 pm
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walmart-supercenter

Walmart, Supercenter

Walmart

5101 SE 14th St, Des Moines, IA 503205101 SE 14th St
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iowa-health-walk-in-urgent-care

Iowa Health Walk-in Urgent Care

Iowa Health Walk-in Urgent Care

6000 University Ave, Des Moines, IA 503116000 University Ave
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Latest COVID Testing updates

May 10, 2022
The nation's flu positivity test rate reached nearly 10 percent in mid-April, making it the first time such an increase has occurred so late in the flu season since 1982 (NBC News)
May 6, 2022
The Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV2 virus is intrinsically as severe as previous variants, according to a preprint version of a large U.S. study that counters assumptions in other studies that it was more transmissible but less severe. (Reuters)

COVID Testing FAQs

  • How much does COVID testing cost?

    COVID testing can be free in many circumstances. As part of their response to the epidemic, many Iowa health departments continue to provide free testing to community citizens. In some situations, commercially insured patients, as well as those on Medicare or Medicaid, may be able to get testing for free or for a small office visit fee. COVID tests can cost anything from $50 to $150 each test for cash-paying individuals or those who require speedy answers in under an hour. It's best to call your doctor before getting tested so you can get a better idea of how much the test will cost.

  • Where can I get free COVID testing?

    The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which covers testing for people without health insurance, makes COVID testing free nationwide. Check with your local Iowa health department for details since they are usually an excellent source of free COVID tests, or can at least lead you in the proper way. You can also ask your health care practitioner for a recommendation for a free COVID test location.

  • Where can I get COVID testing in Iowa?

    COVID testing is available at many outlets near Iowa including urgent care centers, retail clinics, primary care offices, health departments, and more. Different venues will have different types of tests available, many at different price points. Some testing sites are allowing walk-in patients, however, many are still requiring some degree of advance booking to control patient volume.

  • Where can I get a rapid COVID test in Iowa?

    Rapid testing—both PCR (molecular) and antigen tests—is offered through many Iowa-area urgent care centers and physician offices, usually at an additional cost ranging from $50 up to $150 per test. Usually this will allow you to get results back in under an hour, and require advanced booking through the provider. However, if you can wait 24 hours for your results, many labs are turning around send-out lab tests in that time frame, which could save you some money.

  • How to make an appointment for COVID testing in Iowa?

    Same-day and next day appointments for COVID testing in Iowa are bookable directly through Solv. Simply browse the list of healthcare providers conducting COVID tests above, find one with a “Book Online” button, and book a time that aligns with your schedule stating “COVID-19 Test” as your reason for visit.

  • Can I get tested for antibodies if I am sick with COVID-19?

    An antibody test for COVID-19 might inform you if you previously had a coronavirus infection. Because it can take between 1–3 weeks after an infection for your body to develop these antibodies, an antibody test during an active infection would not be successful. To see if you are currently infected, you need a viral test.

  • Do I need a COVID test if I have been vaccinated?

    Even if you have been fully vaccinated, scientists feel you should be checked if you have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, especially if you are suffering cold or flu symptoms that are usually associated with the coronavirus.

  • How long does COVID testing take?

    A COVID test is quick. A nasal swab is used for the majority of tests, and it takes less than a minute to swab both nostrils. This means you might be in and out of the testing center in as little as 10-15 minutes, depending on where you obtain your COVID test. Testing sites may be busier than usual during popular seasons, especially around holidays, and wait times may be higher.

  • How long does it take to get COVID test results?

    Most labs are sending out COVID test results via molecular (PCR) within 24-48 hours of the test. Some sites take longer, so call and ask if the reason for the test is proof for travel. Rapid tests are processed on-site and can provide findings in less than an hour, sometimes as quickly as 15 minutes.

  • Do COVID tests detect the Delta variant and Omicron variant?

    Regular COVID tests are able to detect both the Delta variant and Omicron variant in that they can determine whether or not you have the coronavirus. However, they can't tell which variation is involved. That would necessitate genomic sequencing, which is a different process from regular virus testing that not all labs can undertake. Sequencing is uncommon and can cost up to $100 per test. Since the treatment is the same for any variant, it is not clinically useful to an individual patient to know whether the infection was caused by a variant or not.

About COVID Testing

Types of COVID Tests

There are two types of coronavirus tests (COVID-19 tests) available, those that can test for a current infection (viral test) and those that can test for a past infection (antibody test).

Viral COVID testing can be done in a few different ways, the most common being nose swabs, but saliva tests are becoming more popular. Some tests are processed out on-site and can provide results in as little as 30 minutes. These are called rapid COVID tests. The majority of tests, on the other hand, are collected at the clinic on-site and then submitted to off-site labs for processing. Results can take up to 2-3 days to arrive. 

Antibody testing looks for a past infection and may not reveal if you have an active COVID-19 infection because antibodies can take up to three weeks to form in your body. The presence of COVID antibodies may help to prevent you from becoming infected with the same virus again; but, because the clinical understanding of COVID-19 is still developing, it's unclear how long that protection will continue.

Who should get tested for current infection

The CDC currently defines four instances where COVID testing is recommended:

  1. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 including fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.
  2. If you have been in close contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19. Close contact is defined as within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. If you have been vaccinated, or tested positive in the past 3 months and not experiencing symptoms, you do not need to be tested.
  3. If you are unvaccinated and participated in high-risk activities where distancing is not an option. This could include travel, large social or mass gatherings, crowded indoor settings, etc.
  4. If you have been referred to get a COVID test by your healthcare provider or local health department. 

How is testing done for COVID-19?

Most COVID tests are collected by a nasal swab. A member of the medical team puts a swab inside your nose for a few seconds on each side to collect the sample. After that, the samples are packaged according to CDC guidelines and tested on-site or transported to a facility for testing. The lab will test samples for the presence of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which causes COVID infection and either your care provider or the lab will notify you with the results as soon as they are available.

Molecular vs Antigen Tests

Viral COVID tests are available as molecular and antigen tests. The molecular test, also known as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, usually delivers results within a few days since most of these tests are sent to offsite labs for analysis. The average turnaround time for PCR test results is 48 hours, but in some instances may be significantly longer due to backlogs related to insufficient lab volume and capacity. Antigen tests are also known as rapid tests and have an average turnaround time of between 15 to 30 minutes.

Both PCR and rapid COVID tests can be used to test people exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, those who were close contacts to COVID-19, and those without COVID-19 symptoms who live or work in a high-risk setting (such as a nursing facility); or those individuals who are identified as part of outbreak detection and response. The rapid COVID test is also recommended for the screening of residents or healthcare workers at skilled nursing facilities along with a PCR confirmation, and for repeat screening for the early detection and prevention of outbreaks in congregate settings (such as schools, workplaces, and prisons).

COVID testing is available for free under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which includes testing for those without health insurance. To reduce the risk of facing extra costs related to COVID testing, ask your primary care doctor to recommend a free COVID test site, and confirm there are no charges or fees for the test that are not covered by your insurance plan. Additionally, avoid getting a COVID test at a hospital or free-standing emergency room, as these facilities may charge fees for COVID testing and related services.

Rob Rohatsch
Medically reviewed by Dr. Rob Rohatsch, MD

Updated on May 25, 22

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