More testing options for ISU community

January 19, 2022

 

Dear Iowa State Community,

With the surge in COVID-19 cases on campus and in our community, we have increased our testing capacity and options for Iowa State University employees and students.

Testing options

Starting Thursday, Jan. 20, rapid antigen tests will be available at several campus locations while supplies last. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you can pick up a free antigen test with instructions at the following locations:

  • Thielen Student Health Center front desk (8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays, except Weds. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.)
  • Memorial Union information desk (7 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon-Sat, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.)
  • Union Drive Community Center mailroom (8 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon-Fri, Sat 1-5 p.m.)
  • Vet Med room 2270 (8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays)
  • New location: Maple Willow Larch hall desk (8 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon-Fri, Sat/Sun 1-5 p.m.)

ISU is using rapid antigen tests that have a sensitivity of 93-94%. These tests are most effective for detecting infection in symptomatic individuals. The test is a self-collected nasal swab and will show your result in 15 minutes. The university continues to have the following test options available:

  • Test Iowa: Free at-home Test Iowa kits are available at the same locations listed above. These are self-collected saliva tests that are mailed to the State Hygienic Lab for processing.
  • Hy-Vee clinic: Hy-Vee has increased its testing capacity for the drive-thru clinic in Lot F, west of Stephens Auditorium. The clinic is a partnership with Iowa State and open to employees, students and members of the Ames community. Both lab (free) and rapid ($119) PCR testing are offered. Schedule an appointment (required) online. 
  • Order free test kits: You can order free at-home test kits through the COVIDtests.gov website. Up to four tests are available per household. The university is working with its insurance providers on reimbursement for at-home testing and will provide more information when available.
  • Testing for symptomatic students: Students can schedule a COVID-19 test at Thielen Student Health Center (TSHC) if they are experiencing symptoms. TSHC has the capacity for 200 PCR testing appointments daily and provides results by email within 24-48 hours. Students can schedule a testing appointment online.

Seeking medical care. Community and campus health care resources are highly strained given the current infection rate of COVID-19 in Story County and the state. Last week's campus COVID-19 positivity rate was 38% and Story County was nearly 27%. 

To ease some of the pressure on our community health partners, we ask that you follow the guidance provided by McFarland Clinic, Mary Greeley and UnityPoint Health to determine if medical care is required.

Free surgical and N95 masks available

The university has surgical and N95 masks available for employees and students while supplies last. You can pick up a free mask at the campus locations listed above where test kits are offered. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing well-fitting masks, regardless of vaccination status, in public areas.

We encourage you to wear a mask in classrooms, shared office settings and other common areas to limit the spread of illness. Masks are required in certain spaces, such as on CyRide. More information about face masks is available on the Cyclones Care webpage.

Vaccination clinics

In partnership with Hy-Vee, Iowa State will offer three COVID-19 vaccination clinics at State Gym. Dates are Jan. 26, Feb. 9 and March 2. Find more information and links to schedule an appointment on the university’s COVID-19 vaccination webpage. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and is working effectively to prevent serious illness. We encourage everyone to get the vaccine and a booster shot when eligible.

We know that many of you have concerns as we start the spring semester. We ask everyone to do their part to support their personal health and the health of our community – get vaccinated and a booster shot, wear a face mask indoors around others and follow the Cyclones Care behaviors.

Instructors and supervisors, please provide flexibility for students and employees who are not feeling well to limit the spread of all illness. Our public health team is monitoring and providing us with daily updates. Please continue to follow the COVID-19: Moving Forward website for updates and public health information.

 

Wendy Wintersteen

President

Jonathan Wickert

Senior Vice President and Provost

Toyia Younger

Senior Vice President for Student Affairs

Pam Cain

Senior Vice President for Operations and Finance

Erin Baldwin

Associate Vice President for Student Health and Wellness and Director of Thielen Student Health Center