(KWWL) -- At-home test kits for COVID-19 are now available as the state shifts its focus away from drive-thru testing sites.
Test Iowa released a list of locations where the kits may be picked up. It's also possible to request that a kit be sent to a home.
Rather than a nasal swab, the test kits require a saliva sample that Iowans will collect at home before shipping the sample to the State Hygenic Lab. The video below demonstrates the process and what stipulations are required for an accurate result. It's recommended that the sample be taken early in the morning because eating, drinking, smoking, or tooth brushing will contaminate the sample.
This change in testing comes as cases continue to rise in Iowa, mostly among those not vaccinated against COVID-19. Disease Surveillance & Investigation Manager Josh Pikora says this is the case in Black Hawk County.
"Eighty-five percent of cases in the last 30 days have been unvaccinated. Another 8% had received one dose but weren't fully vaccinated when they were infected. We're only seeing about 5-6% were fully vaccinated," Pikora said.
National data shows about 51% of new cases in the US are the Delta variant. That's possibly higher in Iowa.
"In our health and human services region of Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri we're actually at 87% of cases were the Delta variant," Pikora said.
Black Hawk County is one of several counties still holding its incentive program which raffles off $500 gift card baskets. Pikora says they'll have two more raffles before the end of the month.
It includes gift cards to downtown businesses in Waterloo and Cedar Falls, as well as stores like Walmart, Target, Aldi, Fairway, Hyvee, and KwikStar.
"The more people vaccinated in our community creates a safer environment for all of us," Black Hawk County Public Health Director Dr. Nafissa CisseEgbounye said. "We can continue to enjoy the different events going on, but also be prepared for the fall and winter."
The incentive aims to increase the current 58.2% vaccination rate (BHC residents age 18+) to 75% by July 29, 2021.