Asymptomatic adults can get a free COVID-19 test Jan. 8

University employees who aren't experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 but would like a free test following the winter holidays are invited to participate in a testing day Friday, Jan. 8. Results will be available within 48 hours. Companies, associations and communities in 15 states are participating in the testing event, a collaboration between Johnston-based Corteva Agriscience, which developed the testing process, and financial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Iowa State and the city of Ames signed on to participate, so any asymptomatic individual in Story County, 18 years or older, is welcome to be tested.

The university's COVID-19 response team is coordinating the campus testing day, with a goal of testing at least a thousand adults, said team member Julie Kieffer, conference planning and management. A self-administered and minimally-invasive nasal swab, the PCR test used Jan. 8 is similar to the one used by the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab and Test Iowa.

ISU employees and students who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should use the testing provided through Thielen Student Health Center or a health care clinic.

What do I do?

Testing will be offered at three campus locations, two of which reached their capacity earlier this week:

  • Scheman ground floor, 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (individuals who don't preregister online must use this location)
  • At capacity: 179 General Services Building, 7:30-9:30 a.m.
  • At capacity: 136 Union Drive Community Center, 10 a.m.-noon

Those who would like the free test are encouraged to preregister online by noon Thursday, Jan. 7, to expedite the process on testing day. Participants who meet that preregistration deadline will receive either an email or text from Corteva ( with next steps. The message will contain directions for testing and a unique link to complete their registration in the secure CareEvolve portal. (CareEvolve is a software company that links the testing event with test processing.)

Asymptomatic adults who don't preregister by noon Jan. 7 should go to the Scheman location on testing day and preregister on site.

On Jan. 8, participants will check in at their chosen location and receive their own testing kit. After swabbing both nostrils, they'll place their test swab in the tube, take a photo of their test label with their smartphone and use a web app to upload the photo to the CareEvolve site to marry their test sample and registration record. Within 48 hours, participants are alerted by email or text that their results are available on the CareEvolve secure website.

Secure, private process

Personal data and privacy are protected in this testing event, however positive test results will be reported to the Iowa Department of Public Health. As always, employees and students who receive a positive or "detected" result are asked to self-report to the university.

Questions about the testing event may be emailed to, or call 294-1775.