The state of Illinois is opening its community-based testing sites to anyone to get tested, regardless of symptoms or other criteria.
As the state moves toward a full reopening, testing will be crucial to identify new cases and take immediate action to prevent additional spread.
“As we move forward, COVID-19 testing must be widely available and this is a step in that direction,” said Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. “The state-operated Community-Based Testing Sites currently have the capacity to test more than 6,000 people per day, and now there will be no restrictions to who can be tested for this potentially deadly virus.”
No appointment, doctor referral, or insurance is needed at state operated drive-thru sites and testing is available at no cost to the individual.
The Illinois Department of Public Health is recommending anyone who has recently been part of a mass gathering, including rallies and protests over the past week, get tested for coronavirus disease.
“As people gather in large crowds with varying degrees of social distancing, there is cause for concern about COVID-19 spread and outbreaks, especially if masks were not worn universally,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike (shown). “I urge anyone who recently attended a rally, protest, or other mass gathering to get tested for COVID-19 so we can identify any cases early. We recommend testing 5-7 days after participating in large group rallies, or immediately if symptoms develop. If there are known cases, we can make sure those people are quarantined and not exposing other individuals.”
The virus has been found to spread between people up to a couple days before people start showing symptoms. Because of this, the number of people an infected person could unknowingly expose can be exponential.
A list of public and private testing sites can be found on the IDPH website at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/testing.