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Farewell Test Iowa: As drive-thru COVID-19 testing ends, Pottawattamie County launches saliva testing

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 2:57 PM CDT
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COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWT) - For now, Iowa is saying goodbye to its drive-thru testing sites. When coronavirus first hit, tens of thousands of Iowans drove through to take the free test.

Iowans can still get a free COVID-19 test starting Friday, but it will be a different kind of test.

“It’s a saliva test, so once you get your test kit, there’s a diagram on top explaining to you what parts should be in the test. The most important piece will be the instruction pamphlet that’s in there,” said Matt Wyant, Pottawattamie County Director of Planning and Development.

The instruction pamphlet is written in Spanish and English. Once you take your sample, you put it in the mailing slip and drop it off at a UPS location.

“Go through the instruction pamphlet, make sure you understand everything. If you do have questions about it, you can call back and talk to the public health nurse here, they can walk you through the process.”

He said you should not eat, drink, or smoke up to 30 minutes before taking the test. Pottawattamie County Health Department officials want you to call ahead to pick up your test and they will bring it out to your car.

“We want to still protect not only the community members that may be here in our public health clinic receiving other services but also our staff and those individuals who are picking up the tests.”

Wyant said it’s still important to have testing resources in the community and there are health care providers in the area that still provide COVID-19 testing:

“But not everybody is able to use those healthcare providers, so this free testing service is really important still to a number of our public here in Pottawattamie County, City of Council Bluffs, and we’re just happy to provide that service for them.”

Test results will be sent out by email 24 hours after the samples are received by Iowa’s state lab. Homebound individuals can request a test to be sent to their homes.

Request a kit at Test Iowa or your area health department. In Pottawattamie County, the number to call for test kits is 712-242-1155.

The return postage for the kits is prepaid.

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