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The Scarlet & Black

HyVee to offer free COVID testing

Customers using HyVee Pharmacy’s drive-thru. By Kaya Matsuura

HyVee has opened a free COVID-19 testing facility at their Grinnell location. This is one of 63 HyVee Pharmacy locations offering testing across Iowa, and 150 across the Midwest.

The Grinnell HyVee Pharmacy is holding testing hours on Tuesday and Thursday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. You do not need to show symptoms to get a test, and all tests are provided free of charge.

The Iowa Department of Public Health has contracted with eTrueNorth, in addition to a handful of other groups, to provide testing around Iowa. HyVee is one of the local pharmacies that is included in the contract. eTrueNorth provides test kits, conducts the test and follows up with patients. HyVee provides the facility and instructs the patient on how to do the test.

HyVee is initiating a companywide movement to offer more testing and make tests more accessible, so multiple small towns around Iowa already have HyVee testing in place. Samantha Folken, the Grinnell pharmacy’s manager, said that Grinnell is not considered high risk, nor does it have any other specific factors that prompted HyVee to place a testing facility in Grinnell.

The process to get tested and track your test has a few steps. First, you must go online to and fill out a form that asks for basic information, as well as a few other simple questions. You will then be given an ID number that allows you to track your test. After that, you go to the HyVee Pharmacy on the designated day. Folken said you do not need to come in at any appointed time as long as it is within testing hours.

As of Oct. 18, the Iowa COVID-19 Tracker reports that Poweshiek county has administered 4,477 tests with 414 positive cases in total. In the last month alone, the number of active cases of COVID-19 in Poweshiek county has nearly doubled. The cumulative positivity rate is now 9.21 percent, which is reaching dangerous levels. An ideal positivity rate is between zero and five percent.

There have been 11 COVID-19 related deaths in Poweshiek county, the two most recent being Oct. 6 and 11. 291 people have recovered from the virus.

According to, Iowa had 629 new cases on Oct. 18. There have been 107 thousand cases in Iowa in total, with a 9.6% positivity rate average since October 1. This is lower than last month, however it is still outside of the recommended.

Other locations are offering testing around Grinnell as well. TestIowa Higher Education has recently set up a new facility in town, which provides free testing to all College-related personnel.

During the pandemic, HyVee will also be providing flu shots during all pharmacy hours. Flu shots come highly recommended, as there is still little research about how COVID-19 and the flu interact. The flu shot is highly advised for everyone who is able.

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