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 at-home tests or over-the-counter (OTC) tests)

Self-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.

  • Every home in the U.S. is eligible for free rapid at-home COVID-19 tests. Households can order up to four rapid antigen at-home tests that are completely free, regardless of insurance. Orders can be made at www.covidtests.gov, and will usually ship in 7-12 days. 

Additional COVID-19 Testing

Crescent Community Health Center

Testing for symptomatic patients who need testing and a doctor's note to return to work

1690 Elm Street, Suite 300, Dubuque, IA 52001     563-690-2850
Walk-in appointments only on-site for a fee.  Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Epic Health & Wellness

Test results ready in 30-45 minutes 

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

Hy-Vee Pharmacy

Standard PCR test results ready in 3 - 5 business days

3500 Dodge Street Suite 1A, Dubuque, IA 52003
Free, drive-thru standard PCR 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