Chances are you know someone right now who's tested positive for COVID. You also may have tried to buy yourself a test kit only to find stores are out of them. Even if you found test kits in stock you know, they're expensive.

Here's how you can get free test kits through Test Iowa.

If you're experiencing cold symptoms, you might have thought about testing yourself at home and avoiding the long lines at our local hospital testing centers. I went in search of tests recently and had a tough time finding kits in stock. When I finally found a kit at my local drug store it was $40. Ouch. Test Iowa was out of kits earlier this month, but now they're available to Iowas and test kits can be mailed to your home. 

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According to the official Test Iowa website, "Test Iowa is a partnership between the Iowa Department of Public Health and the State Hygienic Lab," whose goal is to provide Iowans with free COVID tests.

Here are five simple steps to get your free test kits:

1. Have an at-home test kit sent directly to your residence by submitting a request or picking up a test kit at a nearby pick-up site. You can even watch a request test kit instruction video.

2. Activate the test kit by providing your information and test kit ID.

3. Collect and package the sample by following the instructions provided with the test kit.

4. Return the sample to your nearest UPS drop-off location using a prepaid UPS label included with the test kit.

5. You will receive notification via email that your test results are available and accessible in the patient portal.

In Scott County, we have two locations that offer test kit pick-up and drop-off services.

Scott County Health Department

600 W 4th St
Davenport, IA 52801

Drop sample off by 3:30 PM Monday-Friday for same-day delivery to the lab. 

You can pick up a test kit here, but you'll need to get results by mail at a different drop-off or mail-in location.

Center for Active Seniors, Inc. (CASI)

1035 W Kimberly Rd
Davenport, IA 52806

Find all the locations across the state HERE. You'll also find helpful videos on each step of the process to guide you through easily. 

If you're wondering how long it may take to get results, Test Iowa says it should take 24 hours from the time the lab receives your sample, but it may take longer based on high demand. Request your Test Iowa COVID test kit here if you live in Iowa.

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