Drive-through COVID-19 test site opens in North Liberty

Cars lined up at the North Liberty COVID-19 testing site at Liberty High School, 1400 Dubuque St NE, Jan. 18, 2022. — Emma McClatchey/Little Village

Free rapid antigen testing and PCR testing are available through a new drive-through COVID-19 test site set up by the Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD) at Liberty High School in North Liberty.

“There are no out-of-pocket costs, but those with insurance are asked to bring their insurance card,” the district said in a statement on its site.

ICCSD opened the site in partnership with Nomi Health, one of the Utah-based companies behind Test Iowa.

Although the site is intended to be a testing resource for district staff and students, it is open to the public and testing is available for everyone. Results from the antigen tests have “an average 30-minute turnaround time” and results from the PCR test will be available in 24-48 hours, according to the district.

The testing site is the northside parking lot of Liberty High, 1400 S Dubuque St. The school’s electronic sign advises people to “Look for the big white tent.”

The site’s operating hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The district is encouraging anyone who wants a test to schedule an appointment and register online to avoid having to wait, but people can also register in-person at the site.

The Iowa Department of Public Health closed its Test Iowa drive-thru sites in July, citing low demand for testing at the time “since vaccine is now widely available and virus activity has significantly decreased.” As cases began to surge during the past several months, and new cases reached near record levels in the state, the department has not opened any new testing facilities, instead relying on people to pick up free at-home test kits.

Signage outside Liberty High School guides locals looking for free in-person COVID-19 testing to the white tents north of the school and its football field. Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. — Emma McClatchey/Little Village