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State will keep Peoria Covid testing site going after federal money runs out next week

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Peoria (HOI) -- Governor JB Pritzker (D, IL) says the state will pay to keep the Peoria Civic Center Covid-19 testing site running as the Trump Administration pulls their funding next week.

The Civic Center was one of two Illinois testing sites the federal government decided to defund.

"Upon learning this we immediately began to work on making sure we're keeping those sites open with local personnel," Pritzker said. "What we want to make sure is testing is widely available and free to people across the state."

Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL) said the state can get money from the CARES Act to take control of the testing site, "as always intended."

Still, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) criticized the move. "At a time when expanded testing is critical to conquering this virus and re-opening our economy, President Trump’s decision defies common sense,” he said in a statement.

Pritzker's press secretary, Jordan Abudayyeh, says Peoria residents "shouldn't" notice a difference in testing availability. Currently, it operates 8 a.m.-4 p .m. daily for everyone 18 or older. The tests are free.

Peoria's federal testing site began in Bloomington at the fairgrounds. It moved to the River City at the end of May, and a state testing site took its place in Bloomington.

The testing site at Heartland Health Services on Wisconsin Ave is not affected by this decision.

Bobby Oler @bobbyoler

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