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Here's where you can get tested for COVID-19 in central Iowa

Besides the Polk County Health Department, free COVID-19 tests can also be found at CVS and Walgreens.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Back in July, TestIowa shut down all of its COVID-19 drive-thru testing locations, leaving Iowans to either order test kits from the State Hygienic Lab or go to pharmacies or doctor offices to get tested. 

As COVID-19 activity continues to surge, Local 5 is compiling information on where residents can find tests in central Iowa.

416,794 Iowans have tested positive for the virus with 450,915 total tests across the state returning positive as of Sept. 8.

See the list below for a COVID testing location near you.

Broadlawns Medical Center

COVID-19 testing appointments can be made through any of Broadlawns Medical Center's urgent care clinics, but the hospital encourages patients to reach out to their primary physicians first. 

Contact information for the urgent care clinics can be found by clicking/tapping here


CVS Health opened six testing sites at select CVS Pharmacies across the state on Wednesday. These sites are targeting underserved communities that are at high risk of COVID-19 transmission. 

The tests are free since they are funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Patients must book their appointment in advance by clicking/tapping here. Results are processed in one-to-two days. 

Three of the testing sites are in central Iowa. Here is the full list of locations: 

  • 545 W. Washington Street, Council Bluffs
  • 2303 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines
  • 3151 SE. 14th Street, Des Moines
  • 2029 5th Avenue South, Fort Dodge
  • 2425 Muscatine Avenue, Iowa City
  • 205 Franklin Street, Waterloo

GS Labs

COVID-19 rapid testing is available through GS Labs in West Des Moines by appointment. Appointments can be made by clicking/tapping here

GS Labs says some insurance plans can cover the costs, but Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare are not accepted. Out-of-pocket testing prices start at $380, according to GS Labs's website. 

Test results are emailed to individuals "usually within 30 minutes," according to GS Labs

RELATED: IDPH reports 30 additional COVID-19 deaths, 39 additional hospitalizations


Hy-Vee offers COVID-19 testing at select pharmacy locations, according to its website. There are three different kinds of tests offered: rapid antigen, molecular PCR and rapid antibody. 

Testing is free for rapid antigen and PCR options, but it is $25 for a rapid antibody test. 

The link above will take patients to a site to register for an appointment. It's important to note patients are required to log in to Hy-Vee's website before they can sign up to get tested. 


MercyOne clinics in central Iowa are testing people by appointment only. The hospital system's website has several locations listed for where tests can be done for those who have symptoms.

That list can be found by clicking/tapping here. The website does not disclose how much the tests may cost.

Polk County Health Department

Folks can go to the Polk County Health Department to pick up test kits at the front desk Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

After the self-collect saliva test is done, individuals can drop their kits off at the State Hygienic Lab in Ankeny (2220 S Ankeny Blvd, Ankeny, IA 50023) or send the test kit back with the UPS label provided with the kit. 

Results are sent back within a few days, according to PCHD. These tests are free. 


While the drive-thru sites are closed, TestIowa is offering free at-home test kits free of charge to Iowans. Kits can be requested on TestIowa's website by clicking/tapping here

Keep in mind it can take several days for kits to be delivered for use. It also takes time for tests to be processed and for results to come back. TestIowa's website says results should be emailed to patients within 24 hours of the sample being dropped off at the State Hygienic Lab. 

RELATED: State shifting to at-home COVID tests as TestIowa comes to a close

RELATED: Des Moines hospitals swamped with recent influx of patients

UnityPoint Health

UnityPoint Health offers three different testing options for patients, ranging from $40 to $240. These costs are just for the tests and do not include other charges for hospital or clinic visits.

An order from a health care provider is required for all COVID-19 testing at UnityPoint. The hospital system encourages patients to contact their clinic or provider to get that order. 


Free drive-thru COVID-19 testing is offered through Walgreens by appointment. The pharmacy store chain has a map on its website that shows where testing appointments are available in the Des Moines metro. 

Patients can also type in cities closer to them to filter out where the nearest pharmacy is. 

Watch more coronavirus coverage from Local 5 on YouTube

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