Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced on Thursday an expansion of testing and testing sites for COVID-19 in the state.
According to a press release from the governor’s office, the State has partnered with Thermo Fisher to help improve testing capacities at Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) labs and across the state, and Thermo Fisher committed to prioritizing Illinois in its supply chain management. The State estimates that will lead over the next week to a new capacity of thousands more tests per day at State labs.
The governor also announced that Illinois Tech, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and the University of Illinois at Chicago and at Urbana-Champaign, as well as outside vendors, have committed to providing Illinois with viral transport medium (VTM) and swabs needed for the tests to stock State labs, as well as support additional labs throughout the state. Labs in need of supplemental VTM or swabs to boost their in-house testing capacities can send requests through their local Emergency Management Agencies.
With the new capacity, the governor announced that the State will be expanding testing through its statewide network of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FHQCs).
According to the release, sites that will be coming online include TCA Health in Roseland and Chatham; Howard Brown locations in Chicago’s Englewood, Hyde Park, Austin and Little Village; Heartland Alliance Health in Chicago; Aunt Martha’s in Chicago Heights, Harvey, Joliet, Kankakee, Danville, and Chicago’s South Side; the Erie Family Health Centers in the Evanston-Skokie region, Humboldt Park, and Waukegan; Quorum Health in Waukegan; VNA Healthcare in Aurora, Carol Stream, Romeoville and Elgin; Heartland Health Services in Peoria; and Christopher Greater Area Rural Health, which will have 9-12 sites across southern Illinois.
The release said dozens more are working to bring their operations online in the coming days.
For the most up-to-date list of these sites, visit coronavirus.illinois.gov. There residents can also find information on eligibility for testing and contact information for each testing site.
To further expand testing across communities, the governor also announced an expansion of the State of Illinois’ recommended testing criteria to include all those who are experiencing COVID-like symptoms. This new guidance will apply to State-run drive-thru testing centers and will be offered to medical providers across Illinois.