COVID-19 Testing

Face coverings

    The Iowa Board of Regents has provided the following guidance for face masks for the regent universities:

    • Encouraged: All students, faculty, staff, and visitors to campus are encouraged to wear face masks in all indoor spaces when around others. Unvaccinated individuals are encouraged to wear a face mask anywhere they are around others, and to practice physical distancing when possible. 

    • Required: Face masks are required on CyRide, at Thielen Student Health Center, in areas of the College of Veterinary Medicine where face masks are normally required, and in Ames Laboratory facilities. Masks may also be required in research laboratories at the discretion of the principal investigator or lab supervisor. 

    • Personal choice: Faculty, staff, students, and visitors to campus may choose to wear or not wear a face mask anywhere they deem appropriate. 

    Mental Health and Wellbeing Support

      COVID-19 Processes


      • Students can schedule a COVID-19 test at Thielen Student Health Center if they are experiencing symptoms. Testing is not available for individual pre-travel requirements, except for students participating in the Study Abroad program. Check for pre-travel and passenger testing availability at airports, pharmacies, clinics and Test Iowa at-home testing kits. Students can schedule a testing appointment online.

      • Employees should schedule an appointment through their primary care provider, local testing options or Test Iowa at-home testing kits. McFarland Clinic also has testing options available.
      • Thielen Student Health Center has at-home testing kits available for students, faculty and staff. Kits are also available at the Memorial Union and Union Drive Community Center. Test Iowa has now shifted testing to at-home. More information is available on the Thielen Student Health Center website.
      • A drive-thru testing clinic is available to students, faculty, staff and the Ames community. The clinic, a partnership between the university and Hy-Vee, offers both lab (free) and rapid ($119) PCR testing. It's located in Lot F, west side of Stephens Auditorium. Hours are 9 am.-1 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday each week, until further notice. Schedule your appointment (required) online. 

      If you test positive, use this flowchart for isolation guidance.

      If you've been in close contact with someone who tested postive, use this flowchart for quarantine guidance.

      Positive case notifications

      As the COVID pandemic has shifted, Iowa Department of Public Health guidance has transitioned to reduced case investigation and contact tracing. Accordingly, Iowa State is no longer providing case investigation or contact tracing for the campus community. If you test positive or need to quarantine according to CDC guidance, it’s your responsibility to contact your instructor or supervisor and make arrangements for class or work. Faculty will not be notified of students in their class who test positive. 

      • Faculty members or supervisors made aware of a positive case in their classroom or work area should not share this information with others. This parallels how we handle other medical information about an employee or student and protects the privacy of the individual. Furthermore, faculty and supervisors may not have all of the details to make accurate notifications.

        Isolation and Quarantine

        Isolation prevents the spread of an infectious disease by separating people who are sick from those who are not. It lasts as long as the disease is contagious. 

        Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. It lasts long enough to ensure the person has not contracted an infectious disease. 

        I'm a student. What are my options for isolation or quarantine? 

        • Students living in residence halls may choose to isolate/quarantine in designated on-campus areas or at home with their families. 
        • Students who live off campus or in campus apartments will be responsible for their own isolation/quarantine living arrangements. 

          Academic Questions and Resources  

          Students who cannot attend class due to isolation or quarantine need to contact their instructors to coordinate making up any missed material. If a student is unable to communicate with instructors due to symptoms caused by COVID-19, students can contact the Office of Student Assistance,

          Health Monitoring

          To limit the spread of COVID-19, individuals should monitor their health every day before coming to campus and stay home if not feeling well. According to the CDC, symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. 

          If you have COVID-19 symptoms: 

          • STAY HOME.
          • Limit contact with others. 
          • Contact Thielen Student Health Center or your personal healthcare provider. 
          • Notify your instructor or supervisor. 

          If you test positive for COVID-19:

          • STAY HOME except to seek medical care. 
          • Follow guidance from your health care provider. 

            If you feel ill

            Stay home, limit contact with others

            Arrow pointing down

            Contact your instructors and/or work supervisor

            Arrow pointing down

            Schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 test

            Students: Thielen Student Health Center

            Employees: Primary care provider, other local testing options

            Arrow pointing down

            Stay home while waiting for your test result

            Wear a face covering in all public spaces


            If you test positive

            Arrow pointing down

            Follow guidance of your health care provider

            Arrow pointing down

            Isolate (follow isolation flowchart)

            On-campus residents: Linden Hall

            Off-campus residents: At home

            Arrow pointing down

            Contact your instructors and/or work supervisor


            If you've been exposed

            Quarantine (follow quarantine flowchart)

            On-campus residents: Linden Hall

            Off-campus residents: At home

            Arrow pointing down

            Contact your instructors and/or work supervisor