COVID-19 Testing

Testing: Students

    • Thielen Student Health Center (TSHC) offers COVID-19 tests for students who are experiencing symptoms. Students can schedule a testing appointment online.
    • Rapid antigen tests are available for free. The test is a self-collected nasal swab and will show your result in 15 minutes. If you are not experiencing symptoms, but were exposed or need to test for travel, we ask that you consider other testing options. Antigen tests are available at the following locations: 
      • TSHC (7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays except Wednesday 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.)
      • Memorial Union information desk (7 a.m.-9 p.m. weekdays, 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday)
      • Union Drive Community Center mailroom (1-3 p.m. weekdays)
      • Maple Willow Larch hall desk (8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 1-5 p.m. Saturday/Sunday)
      • 2270 Veterinary Medicine (8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays)
    • Travel testing is not available at TSHC 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.
    • Test Iowa at-home tests kits are available at TSHC, the Memorial Union information desk, Union Drive Community Center mailroom, Maple Willow Larch Commons and Vet Med Room 2270. More information is available on the Thielen Student Health Center website.
    • Polk County Public Health has a list of COVID-19 testing sites in Des Moines/Polk County.

    Questions about which testing option is best for you? Iowa State's public health team developed a checklist to help you identify the best test based on symptoms and exposure. 

    Testing: Employees

    • Rapid antigen tests are available for free. The test is a self-collected nasal swab and will show your result in 15 minutes. If you are not experiencing symptoms, but were exposed or need to test for travel, we ask that you consider other testing options. Antigen tests are available at the following locations: 
      • TSHC (7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays except Wednesday 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.)
      • Memorial Union information desk (7 a.m.-9 p.m. weekdays, 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday)
      • Union Drive Community Center mailroom (1-3 p.m. weekdays)
      • Maple Willow Larch hall desk (8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 1-5 p.m. Saturday/Sunday)
      • 2270 Veterinary Medicine (8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays)
    • Travel testing is not available on campus. Check for pre-travel and passenger testing availability at airports, pharmacies, clinics and Test Iowa at-home testing kits.
    • Test Iowa at-home tests kits are available at TSHC, the Memorial Union information desk, Union Drive Community Center mailroom, Maple Willow Larch Commons and Vet Med Room 2270. More information is available on the Thielen Student Health Center website.
    • Polk County Public Health has a list of COVID-19 testing sites in Des Moines/Polk County.

    Learn more about reimbursement for at-home testing options

    Questions about which testing option is best for you? Iowa State's public health team developed a checklist to help you identify the best test based on symptoms and exposure. 

      Positive tests, close exposure

      If you test positive or if you've been in close contact with someone who tested positive, use this flowchart for isolation and quarantine guidance (Updated Jan. 18, 2022).

      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.

        Jan. 6, 2022: Iowa State moved to the updated CDC recommendations for isolation and quarantine. The CDC is expected to provide additional guidance for universities and school settings, so the following may be subject to change. If you test positive, you need to isolate for at least five days (day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed). After five full days:

        • If you still have symptoms and a fever, you need to continue to isolate for another five days (10 total).
        • If your symptoms have improved and you are fever-free, you can end isolation. However, you should continue to wear a well-fitting mask at home and in public for an additional five days. If you are unable to wear a mask when around others, you should continue to isolate for a full 10 days.

        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, studentassistance@iastate.edu.

        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.

        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 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.

        If you feel ill

        Stay home, limit contact with others

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        Contact your instructors and/or work supervisor

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        Schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 test

        (See testing options in the left column)

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        Stay home while waiting for your test result

        Wear a face covering in all public spaces

         

        If you test positive

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        Follow guidance of your health care provider

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        Isolate (follow isolation flowchart)

        On-campus residents: Schilletter Village apartments

        Off-campus residents: At home

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        Contact your instructors and/or work supervisor

         

        If you've been exposed

        Quarantine (follow quarantine flowchart)

        On-campus residents: Schilletter Village apartments

        Off-campus residents: At home

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        Contact your instructors and/or work supervisor