Local COVID-19 Testing Options

The CDC recommends anyone with signs or symptoms of COVID-19 get tested, regardless of vaccination status or prior infection. Also, most people who have had close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone with confirmed COVID-19 should get tested. For more on testing, rely on  additional guidelines from the CDC.

Please do not go to a hospital or emergency room to be tested if you are experiencing mild symptoms, are asymptomatic but were exposed, or need proof of a negative test. If you are having difficulty breathing while you are at rest, or any of the following symptoms, go to your nearest medical facility immediately, or call 911.

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • Mental confusion
  • Bluish lips or face

Viral tests for COVID tell you if you have an infection at the time of the test and include PCR tests and antigen tests. Viral tests use samples that come from your nose or mouth and there are two types of viral tests: rapid tests and laboratory tests.

Laboratory Test

  • Sample can be either a nasal swab or saliva 
  • Results usually in 1-3 days
  • Results are reliable for people with and without symptoms
  • No follow-up test required
  • Common example: PCR Tests (such as self-administered Test Iowa test kits)

Rapid Test

  • Sample is usually a nasal swab
  • Results usually in 15-30 minutes
  • Results may be less reliable for people without symptoms
  • Follow-up test may be required
  • Common example: Antigen Tests

Self-tests(also called home tests or over-the-counter (OTC) tests) are rapid tests that may be used if you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed or potentially exposed to an individual with COVID-19.

  • A positive self-test result means that the test detected the virus, and you are very likely to have an infection and should stay home or isolate and inform close contacts.
  • A negative self-test result means you may not have COVID-19, but it does not rule out infection. If you have a negative test but have symptoms, you should repeat the test within 2-3 days (with at least 24 hours between tests) to increase the confidence that you are not infected.

Free Laboratory Tests (Self-Administered)

Test Iowa Test Kits

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) is providing at-home COVID-19 test kits which are available free of charge to all Iowans. For details, or to order a kit or kits to be delivered to your home or business, visit the Test Iowa website

Results ready in 24 - 48 hours

  1. Call the test kit pick-up location of your choice prior to arrival to receive site-specific pickup instructions.
  2. Provide saliva sample as directed. Watch Demonstration Video
  3. Drop off your concealed at-home test kit at your nearest UPS drop-off location. (No postage/shipping fee is necessary.)

You will receive an email notifying you that your results are available on the patient portal. This email will be sent within 24 hours after the sample is received by the laboratory. Results are usually available within 24-48 hours of the lab receiving the test kit.

Find a Test Iowa Pick-Up Location (JPG)

Free Laboratory Tests (In-Person)

Hartig Drug Pharmacy

Test results ready in 2 - 5 business days

Free, drive-thru standard PCR COVID-19 testing is available at the following Hartig Drug locations:

  • Hartig Drug Co 3, 2255 John F Kennedy Rd, Ste. 16, Dubuque
    Testing available Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 8 - 10 a.m.

  • Hartig Drug Co 4, 2225 Central Ave, Dubuque
    Testing available Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 8 - 10 a.m.

  • Hartig Drug Co 8, 1600 University Ave, Dubuque
    Testing available Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 8 - 10 a.m.

Schedule Appointment Online

Hy-Vee Pharmacy
Test results ready in 3 - 5 business days

3500 Dodge Street Suite 1A, Dubuque, IA 52003
Free, drive-thru standard PCR COVID-19 testing is available Tuesday - Thursday, 8 a.m. - 9 a.m., and Saturday 9 - 10 a.m. Approved for ages 3 and older. | Schedule Appointment Online.

Rapid Testing

Epic Health & Wellness
Test results ready in 35-40 minutes

1075 Cedar Cross Road Suite 1, Dubuque, IA 52003
Rapid antigen and rapid PRC testing is available on-site for a fee.   |  Schedule Appointment Online 

Test results ready in 20 minutes

698 Central Ave. Dubuque, IA 52002  |  Monday - Friday: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Free, rapid antigen testing is available.