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Drive-thru COVID-19 testing facility opens in McLean County

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Bloomington (HOI) – Illinois' second drive-thru COVID-19 testing facility opened Saturday in McLean County at the McLean County Fairgrounds.

Health care workers from the Illinois Department of Public Health along with the National Guard, state and local law enforcement and emergencies and fire services, are all working together to ensure testing runs smoothly.

Testing is limited to four individuals per vehicle and each person must be in a seat next to a working window. When a patient arrives at the facility, they are screened at station one to find out if they meet the criteria to be tested.

The State of Illinois has determined that the following individuals will receive priority for COVID-19 testing under the HHS community-based testing site program:

• Healthcare workers with respiratory symptoms and a temperature of 100.4 or greater First responders *with* respiratory symptoms and a temperature of 100.4 or greater.

• Seniors (65+) with respiratory symptoms and a temperature of 100.4 or greater.

• Patients with underlying medical conditions with respiratory symptoms and a temperature of 100.4 or greater.

Those who have taken fever-reducing medicines within six hours before arrival at the testing site will not be eligible to be tested. Testing criteria may be expanded beyond the initial pilot program.

At station two, patients will fill out an informational form. Lieutenant Brooke Davis works to provide a well trained medical team to help assist patients.

“Our medics are properly trained to administer the tests and proper packaging to ensure verification to the patient is correct, because at the end of the day if that’s not all put together then the mission fails,” Lieutenant Davis said.

The third and final station is where the patient will be tested with a nasal pharyngeal swab. Once the patient is swabbed, the swab is packaged and sent to a testing laboratories. Test results can take up to seven days to come back.

Lieutenant Davis added having this testing site available to the community will help get answers and relive the anxiety some people may be feeling about COVID-19.

“"It helps with the information of how we combat this virus. Do we need to stay quarantined? When is this state, this area going to peak? And how infiltrated is this area? As we know, the numbers are going to climb because we're getting more tests but we need this to quantify to see when we can start stepping back on some of the measures," Davis explained.

"We can combat this whole thing with hand hygiene and social distancing," Davis added.

Those looking to get tested will be required to show 1) photo identification and 2) healthcare facility employee or first responder ID/badge. Walk-up individuals will not be accepted.

The McLean County testing site will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or until the daily amount of 250 tests run out. You do not have to live in McLean County to get tested at this location.

Gabi Guerrero

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