As coronavirus testing sites in Illinois continue to reach capacity, with cases surging across the state, Gov. J.B. Pritzker advised residents to "come early."
"These tests are free and fast and available to anyone who shows up – though some of our most-visited community based testing sites are hitting capacity before the end of their normal operating hours, so come early," Pritzker said during his daily coronavirus briefing Friday. "Please, use our testing resources: The earlier you test, the more likely you can limit the spread of the virus to your family, friends or co-workers."
Pritzker on Thursday announced plans to increase capacity at three locations this weekend, which he described as the "most-visited sites" - Aurora, Arlington Heights and Harwood Heights.
"We continue to build on our testing capability, but as always, we are limited by the speed at which existing public and private lab capacity can grow and by the physical layouts of these drive through locations," Pritzker said. "Still, we intend to remain among the best in the nation in testing."
Pritzker noted that testing will be in increasing demand ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
"Testing is also critical for those gathering, and it should come as no surprise given our current rates of spread that we are now seeing a soaring demand for tests across the state," he said.
Long lines have been reported at several testing sites in the states.
On Thursday, a drive-thru coronavirus testing site in DuPage County reached its 600-test limit within minutes.
A total of 106,540 new tests were performed in Illinois over the last 24 hours, which marked a new one-day record, according to state health officials. In all, 8,871,640 tests have been performed during the pandemic.
"Our 7-day testing average has now surpassed 93,000 tests per day – more than 10,000 higher than the next best testing state and more than 35,000 higher than the next best testing Midwestern state," Pritzker said Friday. "That is good news and we are continuing to build on that as our capacity allows."