Iowa State ramps up COVID mitigation measures


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Iowa State has increased their testing capacity to cope with the surge of COVID cases.

Jack Mcclellan

Iowa State is increasing its testing capacity in response to the recent surge of COVID-19 cases that has been affecting the nation. In an email sent from the Office of the President on Wednesday, the university announced the availability of free antigen tests for symptomatic students and free N95 and surgical masks at various locations on campus.

The announcement came in the midst of the greatest surge of COVID-19 to hit campus yet, with Thielen Student Health Center reporting a 38.2% positivity rate on campus the week before classes began. 

To cope with these high numbers the university is ramping up its testing and preventative measures. Iowa State offers a free at-home rapid antigen testing kit to symptomatic students. These tests are most effective when detecting infection in someone already experiencing COVID-related symptoms but are also effective with a-symptomatic cases. 

On top of the free testing kit, Iowa State is hoping to encourage more mask usage by offering free N95 and surgical masks. Both the free masks and testing kit are available at the following locations:

  • Theilen Student Health Center Front Desk

  • Memorial Union Information Desk

  • Union Drive Community Center Mailroom

  • Vet med Room 2270

  • Maple Willow Larch Hall Desk

Iowa State is also continuing to offer alternative testing options. Free at-home Test Iowa Kits are available in the same locations as the rapid test but need to be mailed in to the State Hygienic lab for processing. Iowa State has collaborated with Hyvee, who offers both rapid and lab tests in Parking Lot F, near Stevens Auditorium. Finally, tests can be administered in Theilen Student Health Center by appointment only, with results sent through email within 48 hours.

To help reduce the spread of COVID Iowa State is also hosting several vaccination clinics this spring. The clinics will take place in State Gym on Jan. 26, Feb. 9 and March 2.

For more information on Iowa State’s vaccination clinics visit Iowa State’s COVID-19 vaccination webpage. For more information on the availability of masks please visit the Cyclones Care Webpage. To schedule an appointment to take a COVID test at Theilen Student Health Center go to their webpage.