Nearly 350 tested for COVID-19 at new site

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The Illinois National Guard says nearly 350 people were tested for COVID-19 today. It happened at the new, free testing site at Marketplace Mall.

Organizers say it was a smooth first day, despite the drizzle. The tests will all be sent to a Carle lab for processing. Patients will have results within 24 hours. It won’t be a quick trip for everyone. Some are spending two and a half hours waiting in line.

“Be patient and work with the personnel here, and we’ll get you through the testing site as quickly as possible,” said Officer in Charge Captain Kane Eubanks. 

The site is capable of testing 750 people a day. They will close after they reach that point or at 4 p.m., whichever comes first. “If individuals are through the red screening tent by 3:30 p.m. that gives them a better chance of being processed before we are closed for the day at 4 o’clock,” said Eubanks.

Illinois Department of Public Health employees at the first tent determine if someone meets the criteria to be tested. Some things that qualify you for a test are:

  • Having COVID-19 symptoms
  • Being an essential worker
  • Living with a confirmed case
  • Any other exposure to confirmed cases
  • Having a compromised immune system

There are other qualifications that may allow you to be tested. You will have to talk that through with public health officials at the site.

No one was turned away because of timing today. However, that could change. Those working the site say, as word spreads, more could come. They hope everyone who needs it will take the time.

“We encourage the citizens of Champaign-Urbana Illinois area to come out and get tested. That’s what we’re here for. That’s what we’re here to do,” said Eubanks.

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