Coronavirus Testing: What To Expect in Illinois

On Friday, the state announced a one-day testing record as cases continue to rise

With more than 106,000 tests administered in Illinois within a single day Friday, the Illinois Department of Public Health said the state has broken a record.

This comes as coronavirus cases continue to increase to all-time highs.

Early Friday morning, cars were seen lined up outside of the state’s Arlington Racetrack testing site hours before opening. These sites have been known to run out of tests within minutes of opening.

At other testing sites, not run by the state, lines can be just as long but with appointments required, so it’s easier to spread out.

At Esperanza Health Centers in Little Village, Dr. Max Luna is administering hundreds of tests per day.

“We’ve got two people doing tests eight hours a day, every day,” Luna said. “We examine your heart, your lungs, we look in your throat and then I swab your nose.”

Luna said the testing process takes 15 minutes. Appointments are required but health insurance isn’t.

Last week, Illinois administered it’s 8 millionth test. Gov. J.B. Pritzker has repeatedly said Illinois is one of the country’s leading states in coronavirus testing.

"The earlier you test, the more likely you can limit the spread of this virus to your family, friends or coworkers," he said Friday.

Pritzker recently announced capacity increases at three state-run testing sites for this weekend. Community organizations are also pushing for more testing in underserved communities.

“Really making the access easier for populations and making it less alien. We want people to go in and get tested, particularly in populations where we know there’ve been high rates of COVID transmission,” Chicago Community Trust President Dr. Helene Gayle said.

Gayle says the trust has granted more than $2 million dollars to health services, like Esperanza Health Centers.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said the state broke testing records Friday, but are still looking to expand outreach. NBC 5's Chris Hush reports.

On the city's South Side, a Bronzeville church has partnered with CVS to help bridge a gap and offer walk-up testing with results in 20 minutes.

"Whether that means you don’t have insurance. You are undocumented. You don’t have a car. You don’t have the internet," said Alex Nguyen with the CVS COVID testing task force. "All of the barriers that could potentially stop you from getting tested, we wanted to make sure we removed it."

Those looking for a test can start with the IDPH website. You’ll find a number of testing sites that don’t require appointments. You’ll also find times and dates of operation.

You can also access community-based testing sites that do require appointments.

Some testing sites don’t require health insurance, according to the IDPH website.

You can expect results back within three to seven business days, although some have reported delays in receiving results.

Find more information about coronavirus testing in Illinois here.

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