A worker looks at information at a Test Iowa site in Waukee, Iowa. (Photo by Kathie Obradovich/Iowa Capital Dispatch)
Des Moines Public School students and staff will have priority access at two new drive-through COVID-19 testing sites beginning next week.
DMPS and Nomi Health, a national healthcare company, will open testing sites at Hoover High School and the Kurtz Opportunity Center on Oct. 4.
The new sites will offer PCR tests, which can require several days to process, and antigen tests that deliver results within an hour. There will be no out-of-pocket cost for either test.
Members of the general public will be able to get tested at the two drive-through sites, but there will be a special line for DMPS students and staff, according to a DMPS news release.
Superintendent Thomas Ahart said the additional testing sites would be “another piece to our mitigation efforts” amid the pandemic.
“Our priority at DMPS throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been to meet the educational needs of our students while doing everything we can to keep them and our staff healthy and safe,” he said in a statement.
Over 600 students and nearly 150 staff members in the Des Moines school district have contracted COVID since the school year began in August. The bulk of cases have occurred in elementary schools, where students are not yet old enough to receive the vaccine: 269 Des Moines elementary school students and 57 elementary teachers have caught the virus.
DMPS is one of several Iowa school districts that reinstated a mask mandate after a federal judge temporarily blocked the state law banning mask requirements. That temporary injunction will last until Oct. 11, pending another extension from the judge.
Schools in Iowa have been given broad freedoms for how to handle the COVID-19 pandemic this year. The state does not require that school districts track or report positive COVID-19 cases. Some districts provide COVID-19 tests for students, while others do not provide any testing. Under the temporary injunction, school districts decide whether to require face coverings or other mitigation measures.
How to get a COVID-19 test from the DMPS drive-through sites
Location: Hoover High School, 4800 NW Aurora Ave., Des Moines or Kurtz Opportunity Center, 1000 Porter Ave, Des Moines
Hours: Mon – Fri, 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sat, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
DMPS student and staff should bring their school ID cards. People with insurance should bring their insurance card.
For more information, visit the Des Moines Public Schools website.
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