A new coronavirus testing site that opened at the Chicago Premium Outlets mall in Aurora was forced to close early Thursday afternoon after reaching capacity in a matter of hours.
The new drive-thru facility, run by the Illinois National Guard with help from the Aurora Police Department, stopped taking patients around 12:30 p.m., according to the Auroral Police Department.
The site was expected to remain open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., or until supplies were exhausted.
Aerial footage Thursday morning showed dozens of cars lined up and waiting for tests within an hour of the facility opening.
Thursday marked the "official first morning" since the governor announced the new facility Wednesday, according to a spokesperson for the police department.
The location will test anyone who may be experiencing coronavirus symptoms, defined as cough, shortness of breath or a fever, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. According to officials, a doctor’s note is not required to be tested.
“Greater testing capacity is needed so that healthcare workers, first responders and those who continue to be on the job can be tested before they unknowingly spread the virus,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said. “Testing is essential to identify those who are infected. More testing will help us end this pandemic sooner.”
The Aurora site is one of two new drive-thru testing centers opening this week in Illinois.
The University of Illinois College of Medicine in Rockford will open its facility Friday.
Both facilities are set to be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week, or until supplies are exhausted, according to the press release.
Those wishing to be tested must be seated at a functioning window in their vehicles. Once in line, patients are not permitted to exit their vehicles. Patients will be asked to show photo identification.
The new facilities are part of the state’s project to increase testing capacity. Over the last 24 hours, more than 9,300 tests have been performed in the state, a new single-day high since the pandemic began.
“We’re working every day to expand testing in the state, and you’re starting to see some success,” Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said. “I want many more tests in the state, and you shouldn’t be surprised if that testing number continues to grow.”
Community-based testing facilities are also open in Bloomington, Harwood Heights and Markham.
For a full list of Illinois facilities performing COVID-19 tests, click here.