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COVID-19 Testing FAQ's

Please see below for Frequently Asked Questions about campus COVID-19 Testing.

What is the process for students, faculty, and staff to obtain a free COVID-19 test?

Test Iowa self-administered saliva PCR test kits are available at the Student Services Center in the Olmsted Center. Students, faculty, and staff can pick up a test kit at no cost, and no reason is needed to receive a test kit.

Students with COVID-19 like symptoms are asked to notify the Student Health Center before administering a test so they can help determine if a provider visit is needed.

Completed test kits should be returned to the Student Services Center. Important: Student Services will only accept returned test kits between 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Monday–Friday.

Public Safety will collect returned test kits every weekday at 2:30 p.m. and deliver the samples to Polk County Health Department for testing. Results will be available through Test Iowa within 24 hours after the test kit is received.

Students who receive a positive test result should email the Contact Tracing Team immediately at contacttracing@drake.edu. Faculty and staff who receive a positive test result should email chris.nickell@drake.edu.

Who do I contact if I test positive?

Students who test positive for COVID-19, whether vaccinated or not, should immediately notify the Contact Tracing Team at contacttracing@drake.edu.

Employees who test positive for COVID-19, whether vaccinated or not, should immediately notify their supervisor and Environmental Health and Safety via Chris Nickell, chris.nickell@drake.edu.

What information will the University share about the occurrence of COVID-19 within the Drake community?

Drake will communicate information on a weekly basis about the status of certain key metrics to campus via COVID-19 updates including the number of students in isolation, in quarantine, and the number of students who test positive for COVID-19 through surveillance testing. These updates will be published on this website every week under the heading Operational Updates. Those who need to know about individual positive cases will be notified during the contact tracing process.

Is the University conducting surveillance or random sample testing for COVID-19 during the semester?

Drake will not be conducting routine surveillance testing for the Fall 2021 semester at this time. Symptomatic individuals will still be tested at the Student Health Center.  Unvaccinated individuals identified through contact tracing have the opportunity to be tested as well.

What off-campus COVID-19 test locations are available in the Des Moines area, including for individuals not currently experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19?

The following test locations are available to those who decide to obtain a test for COVID-19 off-campus:

Were all students living in a residence hall be tested for COVID-19 during move-in?

Students moving into a residence hall on-campus, who have not submitted their vaccination record, will be tested prior to move-in. Unvaccinated students will have the opportunity to be vaccinated upon move-in.

If I am a student who tested positive but did not get testing through the University, who should I notify?

Students who test positive for COVID-19 from a test not administered on campus must immediately contacttracing@drake.edu

If I am a student who resides off campus and test positive, or someone living in my house or apartment tests positive, will the University provide on-campus or off-campus isolation housing?

No. The residence hall and campus properties designated for this purpose will only be made available to on-campus residential students who need to isolate.

How does contact tracing work at Drake?

Those who test positive for COVID-19, or are experiencing unexplained COVID-19 symptoms, will be contacted by a member of Drake’s contact tracing team. These calls will largely come from 515-271-2353, so please answer if you receive a call from this number or any number starting with the digits 515-271. The primary goal of the contact tracing team is to ensure you have the information you need, that our isolation protocols are followed, and any contacts are identified quickly.

For those individuals identified as contacts, the contact tracing team will promptly reach out to those individuals to inform them of their need to quarantine.

How is the University assisting the Drake community with daily screening?

It is up to every member of the Drake community to conduct daily personal screenings and report any symptoms that may indicate a COVID-19 infection. To facilitate this, the University has placed touchless thermometers in campus buildings—including all residence halls—so that students, faculty, and staff may easily monitor their temperature.

Will parents be notified if their student tests positive for COVID-19?

If the student is under the age of 18, parents will be contacted by email or phone of a positive test. Due to restrictions imposed by HIPPA, if a student is 18 or older, only the student will be notified and it is up to the student to determine if their parent(s) are notified.

Should students quarantine while awaiting test results?

Students should keep all interactions to a minimum while awaiting test results. Symptomatic students will be moved to an isolation room prior to results being known.

If I’ve come into contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19, what do I do?

If you are a student, please notify the contact tracing team at contacttracing@drake.edu. If you are an employee, contact Chris Nickell at chris.nickell@drake.edu. Unvaccinated individuals who are a primary contact with a known positive individual will need to quarantine. A primary contact is defined as someone who was within six feet of an infected individual for a minimum of 15 minutes during an exposure event, regardless of face covering usage.