Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a new expansion of mobile coronavirus testing teams, with a dozen now available to move around the state to help hard-hit areas cope with the virus.
The mobile sites will offer drive-thru and walk-up testing services, and will be free of charge to Illinois residents seeking coronavirus tests.
Sites are up and running at Coles Elementary School, located on Chicago’s South Side, and in Rock Island, Cicero, Brighton Park, Springfield and East St. Louis.
“(These) mobile teams can be moved anywhere on any given day to mitigate and suppress emerging outbreaks, including places like meatpacking plants, nursing homes, migrant worker housing and other communities less able to access traditional testing clinics,” Pritzker said in a statement. “That puts us on the cutting edge nationally in flexible testing to meet the demands of a more open economy – and I’m thrilled that Illinois is leading the way.”
The state’s 11 testing clinics will also remain open as part of the program, the governor said.
Those clinics will see some changes in coming weeks, however, as more than 500 members of the Illinois National Guard, who have been providing support at the testing sites, will conclude their missions, according to Pritzker.
National Guard troops have helped clinics administer more than 200,000 tests since they were activated on March 23, according to state health officials. Approximately 100 Guard members will remain on duty through the end of July.
“The hard work and dedication of our troops during this historic mission makes me proud to be a member of the Illinois National Guard and to lead this world-class organization,” Brig. Gen. Richard Neely, adjutant general of the ING, said in a statement.