COVID-19 Testing Continues At Rockford Site, Despite Delays In Receiving Results

May 7, 2020

Coronavirus testing will continue at a drive-thru testing site in Rockford this morning, after the state health department and the Governor’s office intervened in a problem with receiving test results.

Credit University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford

Winnebago County Board chairman Frank Haney asked for help from the state, saying 2,100 tests taken at the site at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford were “missing.” Haney said test results were not available after nearly two weeks when they should have taken only a few days. He announced Wednesday evening that testing would be suspended at that site.

However, the state determined the tests were never missing, but the laboratory the state had contracted with to process the samples used a paper system to report results, significantly delaying them. The site will now be served by a different lab, which can report results to the county electronically.

The Illinois Department of Public Health told the Winnebago County Health Department late Wednesday it developed a work-around using the original lab’s paper results and will report them to the county soon. The governor’s office said the county never had the authority to suspend testing at the College of Medicine site, and testing will continue as scheduled Thursday morning at 8:00.

Anyone who was tested at that site will still receive their results, according to the county health department.

Accurate COVID-19 test reporting is key to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s plan to reopen businesses and services in the state gradually and by region.