How to Get a Free COVID Test Kit Through Test Iowa: Activate

How to Get a Free COVID Test Kit Through Test Iowa: Activate

Test Iowa is a partnership between the Iowa Department of Public Health and the State Hygienic Lab. The goal is to ensure all Iowans have access to free COVID-19 testing.


You can talk with your health care provider about your testing options. At-home test kits are available at no cost through the Test Iowa at-home program. To receive a free at-home test kit, request one at After requesting a test kit, it will be sent to you. You can also pick one up from a nearby location. Home test kits can also be purchased at various retailers.

Why is it important to get tested for COVID-19?

  •  Knowing your COVID-19 status can prevent you from spreading the virus to those around you.
  •  In addition to getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and staying home when you’re sick, testing is a proven, effective way to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Get started with five simple steps:


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. Watch request instructions video.

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Activate the test kit by providing your information and test kit ID. You will only receive your test result if your test kit has been activated.


Collect and package the sample by following instructions provided with the test kit or watching the instructions video.

Lab Testing


Return the sample at your nearest UPS drop-off location using a prepaid UPS label included with the test kit.
Other drop-off options may be available.


You will receive notification via email that your test results are available and accessible in the patient portal. Activate Card Customer Service: PaychekPLUS First Time Login

When will I get my results?

Results should be sent to you via the email you provided when you activated your kit within 24 hours after the sample is received by the laboratory. If you have not received your results within that time frame, please check your “Spam” or “Junk” folders. If you have checked your email folders and do not have your results, please call 1-833-286-8378.

How will I get my results?

You will receive an email notifying you that your results are available on the patient portal. This email will be sent to the email you provided when you activated your test kit. You will need the access code previously provided to you to access your results on the patient portal.

What happens if I am positive for COVID-19?

If you have a positive test result, you should contact your healthcare provider. Additional resources on how to take care of yourself if you test positive for COVID-19 can be found on the CDC website.

If you experience difficult breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, mental confusion, or bluish lips or face, you should call 911 or go to the nearest hospital or clinic immediately.

Contact the call center:


Hours of operation

Monday-Friday: 8AM to 5PM
Saturday: 8AM to 12PM
Sunday: Closed

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