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Testing Criteria Loosened At Central Illinois COVID-19 Drive-Up Site

The Illinois National Guard is supporting a drive-up COVID-19 testing site in Bloomington.
Illinois National Guard
The Illinois National Guard is supporting a drive-up COVID-19 testing site in Bloomington.

More people will be able to be tested for COVID-19 at an underutilized Central Illinois drive-up site after federal officials relaxed testing criteria on Saturday.

The testing site is located at the McLean County Fairgrounds (Interstate Center) in west Bloomington. There are no residency restrictions on who can be tested there.

But until Saturday, there were strict criteria for who was allowed in. Since the site opened March 28, only symptomatic seniors (65+), healthcare workers, first responders, and those with underlying medical conditions could be tested.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has now relaxed those rules. In a statement Saturday, an HHS spokesperson confirmed that these additional groups can now be tested in Bloomington as resources allow:

  • Critical infrastructure workers with symptoms
  • Any individual with symptoms
  • Health care facility workers and first responders without symptoms
  • Individuals with mild symptoms in communities experiencing high numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations

County and state officials confirmed the change.

The state-run site has been underutilized since opening March 28. Around 726 people were tested in the past seven days—less than half of the site’s 250-per-day capacity.

The testing site is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. People will get results within three to seven days, state officials said.

Copyright 2020 WGLT

Ryan Denham started his career as a copy editor and later business and city government reporter at The Pantagraph in 2006. He later worked for WJBC radio in Bloomington. He now works in website development for Illinois State University and is a freelance reporter for WGLT.