As the number of cases in McLean County rises, the county is beginning a pilot program with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to offer testing to more people.
“We see so much value in being able to increase testing capacity in central Illinois through testing sites like this one,” Jessica McKnight, McLean Health Department Administrator said. “We know that access to testing in our area and across the country has been a source of frustration and confusion. And while testing will not be an instant solution for COVID-19, we hope it will allow us to have a more accurate picture of what is happening in our community and help us in our fight to stop the spread of this virus.”
The community testing site will be based out of the McLean County Fairgrounds and will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day of the week.
There is a daily allotment of tests, and the facility will remain open until closing time or that allotment is reached.
Individuals who meet certain criteria will be able to receive testing. As the pilot program expands, the criteria may be expanded to include more people. For now, healthcare workers, first responders, the elderly and those with underlying conditions who show symptoms will be given priority for testing.
"Due to the demand for this service, we anticipate there could be significant wait times associated with these drive-thru community-based testing sites," the release reads. "Please be patient."
Additionally, those being tested are to remain in their vehicle. Only one person can be tested per vehicle, and the must be seated near a window that can be opened. Those who are being tested must have a photo identification and healthcare facility or first responder badge, if they work those fields.
The newest case in McLean County is a woman in her 60s. She is in the ICU at a local hospital, but for privacy reasons it will not be shared which hospital she is at. The other is a woman in her 80s, she is also in the ICU.