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New Peoria COVID-19 testing site opens Saturday

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Peoria is getting another COVID-19 testing site that opens on Saturday.

The federally funded and state run testing site, which will be drive through and walk up, will be located at the Peoria Civic Center parking lot on Fulton and Monroe.

The director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency announced the site will be open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. testing up to 250 people a day.

"Remember testing is free. You don't need an appointment, you don't need a doctors referral, and insurance is not a requirement." said Alicia Tate-Nadeau, the Director of IEMA

The site will be using a less invasive swab technique.

"We're not using the nasopharyngeal swab , which poke all the way back to your brain practically. These are going to be just the nasal swab. You insert it half way up into the nose you swipe it around 5 five times around each nasal and then you put it back into the container, everything is sterilized and then we send it off to get tested."

This site will be operated by the Illinois National Guard.

"This is our 11th test site that we have stood up. We will have 60 soldiers there, a majority of them have already done this work from the Bloomington area and some other locations, so they know what they're doing." Brig. Gen. Mark Jackson, the Director of the Illinois National Guard Joint Staff

Peoria was picked because of ease of access to all areas of Central Illinois, but good news for McLean County residents, your site will stay.

"We are going to retain capability up there. This fixed site is coming here to Peoria and moving from Bloomington but we are back-filling that with a smaller mobile testing location Bloomington."

To get a test you must have symptoms (Cough, Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, Fever, Chills, Muscle pain Sore throat, New loss of taste or smell) or meet certain criteria.

The criteria includes having a risk factor, such as contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19 or a compromised immune system or a serious chronic medical condition.

You can also get a test if you are considered a front line worker which includes.

  • Work in a health care facility
  • Work in correctional facilities, such as jails or prisons
  • Work as a government employee
  • Serve as first responders, such as paramedics, emergency medical technicians, law enforcement officers, or firefighters
  • Support critical infrastructure, such as workers in grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, gas stations, public utilities, factories, childcare and sanitation

The Heartland Health Community Testing sites will still remain operational as well. Their criteria is you just must be 18+.

Kaitlin Pearson

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