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Polk County drive-thru COVID test site closed Wednesday-Friday due to cold weather

The River Place test site has served hundreds since opening Monday. The county has confirmed it will reopen Saturday.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Polk County Health Department's new drive-thru test site will be closed Wednesday, Jan. 19 through Friday, Jan. 21 due to extreme cold weather.

"We regret that we must take this action at this time as there is clearly a demand for COVID testing with the surge in Omicron cases," the county board of supervisors wrote in a release. "However, it is unsafe to keep staff outside in the predicted dangerously low temperatures for an extended period of time. We hope to get the site reopened as quickly as possible."

The new site opened Monday to high demand and wait times of approximately an hour.

The test site is located in the west parking lot of Polk County River Place (2309 Euclid Ave.). It offer both PCR tests—with results available within 48 hours—and rapid tests. There is no cost for patients who are symptomatic or have been exposed, but you should bring an ID and insurance if you have it.

"It's gonna take a little time, you need to be patient," said Polk County Supervisor Angela Connolly.

The wait time could be alleviated later this week or early next week when the county opens two additional drive-thru sites, according to Connolly: one on the west side and another on the east side.

"Once they get supplies, that's been the issue," she said.

Connolly pointed out that unlike at other test sites, patients do not need appointments to get tested at Polk County Riverplace.

"We are trying to just get everybody that is symptomatic, so they don't clog up the clinics and the hospitals, to come here to get tested," she said. "It's easy. You know, it's a drive up, and we really want you to stay out of the hospitals and the clinics."

The drive-thru test site is open every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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