Ten of Illinois' 11 state-run community-based coronavirus testing sites have reopened after being closed for two days over protests and unrest that gripped the state, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced Wednesday.
The sites returning to normal operations Wednesday include: Harwood Heights, Aurora, Rockford, East St. Louis, Bloomington, South Holland, Auburn/Gresham/Chatham, Champaign, Rolling Meadows and Peoria.
The site in suburban Waukegan will reopen on Thursday in a new location, 102 W. Water St., to accommodate the restoration of vehicle emission testing at the facility on Northwestern Avenue, IDPH said in a statement.
The closure of the state-run facilities was ordered by Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau on Sunday to “protect staff and those utilizing these services."
Part of the reason for the closure was the re-assignment of National Guard soldiers, hundreds of whom were deployed to assist law enforcement agencies across the state with civil unrest, looting and vandalism.
“It’s one of the unfortunate consequences of what’s happened,” Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said of the closures Monday. “Let me be clear: we would not have the kind of testing numbers that you have across the state if the guard wasn’t manning these posts, but unfortunately this situation has forced us to shut down temporarily.”