CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – The Stephens Family YMCA in Champaign opened the doors to its new COVID-19 testing site on Monday.
Through a partnership with the Illinois Department of Public Health and SHIELD Illinois, the YMCA becomes one of more than 1,600 testing sites across Illinois to utilize the University of Illinois’ innovative saliva-based COVID-19 test.
Testing is free for everyone of all ages.
“When COVID-19 entered our lives 18 months ago, the Stephens Family YMCA was prepared to do our part to support our community and keep people safe,” said Jeff Dobrik, the YMCA’s chief operating officer. “Two pillars of the YMCA are healthy living and social responsibility. We feel it is our social responsibility to step up when times are tough and when our community needs us the most.”
The testing site will be open on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
These hours of operation are meant to be most convenient to individuals and families who need to be tested before or after school and the workday.
“With kids returning to school and many employees returning to their places of work, the chance of potential exposure increases,” Dobrik said. “So, when we were approached about expanding the University of Illinois’ COVID-19 testing program to a site at the YMCA, we jumped at the chance to partner with SHIELD Illinois and provide quick, free, reliable testing to the public.”
Appointments can be scheduled online, but walk-in testing is also welcome. People who wish to get a test must refrain from eating, drinking, tooth brushing, mouth washing and tobacco and gum use for one hour before submitting a saliva sample.