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The original item was published from 12/9/2021 4:10:00 PM to 12/21/2021 12:00:02 AM.

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Posted on: December 9, 2021

[ARCHIVED] COVID-19 Update: Testing Options Update and Omicron Confirmed in Iowa

Know Your COVID Testing Options; Omicron Variant Case Confirmed in Iowa

COVID-19 Countywide Response

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Know your COVID-19 Options

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 are sick, testing is a proven, effective way to combat the spread of COVID-19.

When should I get tested for COVID-19?

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

Dubuque County COVID Testing Options

Additional details on the following options, including links and contact information for test providers, are available at

Self-Administered Test Kits
Free Test Iowa self-administered test kits can picked up at 15 locations in Dubuque County (complete list here) OR ordered for delivery to your home or workplace.  Completed kits can be dropped off at any UPS drop-off location. There is no postage/shipping fee.  Most results are received in 24-48 hours.  For more information, visit or call 1-833-286-8378. See the demonstration video below.
 Some pharmacies sell take-home antigen test kits that provide immediate results but supplies are limited and vary among pharmacies.
Free In-Person PCR Testing
Hartig Drug, Hy-Vee Pharmacy, and Walgreens in Dubuque all offer free, in-person, drive-thru testing at their Dubuque County locations. Appointments are required. Most results are received in 2-5 days.
Rapid Testing
Epic Health and Wellness in Dubuque offers rapid antigen testing and rapid PCR testing on-site for a fee. Results are available in 30-45 minutes and appointments are required.

Walgreens at 55 JFK Rd. in Dubuque offers free, drive-thru rapid diagnostic testing. Results are available within 24 hours and appointments are required.
For more information on these COVID testing options, contact the test provider or visit

COVID-19 Home Test Kit Demonstration


Omicron Variant Case Confirmed in Iowa

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the State Hygienic Lab (SHL) have confirmed detection of the first case of the COVID-19 variant, Omicron, in an Iowa resident.
 The case involves an unvaccinated individual under the age of 18 who resides in Black Hawk County. The individual remains asymptomatic; however, because of travel exposure, the family sought testing based on public health guidance.
 Black Hawk County Public Health acted quickly to initiate contact with the family and remain in contact to monitor the health of the individual. Proactive measures taken by the involved family, leadership of the county health department along with support provided by SHL underscore the strength of our public health process. It is because of this process that Iowans are informed about virus activity in the state. As always, COVID-19 infected individuals are advised to isolate in accordance with IDPH and CDC guidance.
 SHL maintains a strong statewide genomic surveillance program and the lab will continue to prioritize sequencing of test samples that look suspicious for the Omicron and other variants.
There is emerging evidence that a booster dose of vaccine offers protection against Omicron, which is great news. Vaccinated Iowans who have not yet received a booster should do so as soon as possible,” said IDPH interim Director Kelly Garcia. “I want to emphasize how grateful I am to Iowans who have chosen to get vaccinated, thank you. To those who haven’t been vaccinated for COVID-19 yet, I urge you to speak with your health care provider about the vaccine’s benefits for you and those around you.”

For current information on Dubuque County vaccination opportunities, visit or call 563-690-MAKE(6253).  Sleeves Up! Dubuque County (PNG)

The CDC and FDA are operating a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).  To report a reaction or view data, visit

Please do not reply to this message.  If you have questions, please call 563.556.6200.  

 For current statewide data, please visit

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