covid testing

Where to Find Rapid, Drive-Up and Appointment-Free COVID Tests Near Chicago

Hands of a laboratory worker holding positive test tube for COVID-19 coronavirus
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With increased COVID-19 testing across Illinois, more residents have been searching for convenient ways to receive a coronavirus test in the Chicago area.

The Illinois Department of Public Health provides community-based testing sites, which are open to all residents regardless of symptoms and do not require appointments.

Here are the locations in the Chicago area:

2450 N. Farnsworth Ave.
Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Harwood Heights
6959 W. Forest Preserve Rd.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Arlington Heights
Arlington Racetrack; 823 Wilke Rd.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

102 W. Water Street
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

University of Illinois shield saliva testing is also open through IDPH to all residents and do not require an appointment. Here's where to go:

Harper College; 1200 West Algonquin Rd.
Monday from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Joliet Junior College; 1215 Houbolt Rd.
Monday and Thursday from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon

Northeastern Illinois University; 3601 W Bryn Mawr Ave.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.; Thursday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

College of Lake County; 19351 W. Washington St.
Monday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Oak Forest
South Suburban College; 16333 South Kilbourn Ave.
Monday and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Blue Island
Affordable Recovery Home; 13811 Western
Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Though appointments are not required at the above locations, you can still sign up for a time by clicking here and using Agency Code: df5brbrj, according to IDPH.

Walgreens is also offering free, drive-thru COVID-19 testing at various locations across the Chicago area for people ages 3 and up.

Here's how the process works, according to the company's website:

  1. Complete a questionnaire
  2. Choose a location and time for the test
  3. Go to the location and stay in the vehicle with the window rolled up
  4. Show a confirmation email, valid ID and insurance card or voucher
  5. Perform a nasal swab yourself. Patients ages 3 to 18 will need a parent present while they self-administer the COVID test
  6. View test results on PWNHealth

To see a list of drive-thru locations nearby, click here and search your ZIP code.

CVS Pharmacy offers both PCR and rapid-result COVID testing free of cost at select locations through an appointment-only basis. Patients are required to fill out a questionnaire beforehand to ensure they are qualified, citing "limited supplies."

To see if you qualify for a COVID test nearby, click here.

Those living within city perimeters can use options from the Chicago Department of Public Health's website:

  • At-home: Some private companies will send tests directly to your home. The following tests have been authorized by the FDA. They include: a nose swab from Pixel by LabCorp , everywell or LetsGetChecked and saliva options like Vault or Vitagene. "This is not an exhaustive list and CDPH does not necessary recommend any specific private company," the department's website reads.
  • Your health care provider: According to CDPH, this is the best route for testing "because your health care provider is familiar with your medical history and can provide counselling that helps you understand exactly what your test result means."
  • Community health centers: According to CDPH, there are roughly 165 community health centers throughout Chicago. Find one near you at "No patient will be turned away because of inability to pay. Community health centers provide services regardless of patients’ immigration status and charge for services on a sliding fee scale," CDPH states.
  • Testing Map: Use the City of Chicago’s interactive testing map to find a testing site near you. According to CDPH, the map is updated frequently, but different testing sites might have different requirements. "We recommend calling in advance or checking online first," the department states.
  • City of Chicago testing sites: Chicago offers several community-based testing sites at no cost. To pre-register and schedule an appointment, click here
  • Traveler testing: PCR testing is available at O'Hare and Midway airports for travelers and airport/CDA employees, but it does cost money. The Rapid Antigen Test is $120, with patients receiving results in about 20 minutes. The PCR Test is $145, with results in about 24-72 hours. Anyone getting a test at the airport will need to show proof of flying (within 72 hours before their flight or five days after) or proof of airport employment.
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