Drive Through Testing Begins at Morgan County Fairgrounds

By Jeremy Coumbes on August 6, 2020 at 12:22pm

Mike Doss of Jacksonville is tested for COVID-19 at the IDPH drive through testing site at the Morgan County Fairgrounds in Jacksonville on Thursday.

Drive through COVID-19 testing is being performed free of charge by the Illinois Department of Public Health on the south side of the Morgan County Fairgrounds today through Sunday.

A WLDS/WEAI employee tested early Thursday morning and reported that although the line of cars was already rather long when they arrived at 8:30 am, IDPH officials were set up and opened the testing line promptly at 9:00 am.

Those wanting to be tested can expect to fill out a single form which is given to you by a staff member on site to fill out in your vehicle while you wait in line. The form asks for your full name, date of birth, contact information, and if you are currently experiencing any symptoms, or if you suspect you have possibly been exposed to the virus.

A staff member then collects the forms so by the time you reach the testing site, your information is already processed and testing materials are already labeled and prepared.

The test consists of a swab in both nasals with a cotton swab. The swab is not inserted deep into the inner nasal passage, it stays within the structure of your nose.

The employee who was tested says the line of cars moved through the line pretty quickly. They said they arrived at about 8:30 am, testing began at 9:00 am and they were through the line and on their way around 9:15 or 9:20 am.

Vehicles in line for COVID-19 testing at the Morgan County Fairgrounds in Jacksonville Thursday morning.

Mike Doss, a resident of Jacksonville says he needed to test due to possibly being exposed to someone who was positive and he was glad the testing option was being offered.

The site manager for IDPH says their staff work diligently to keep cars moving while making safety and accuracy top priority. He says anyone can be tested regardless of where they live or if they have symptoms.

The manager, who did not give his name during the brief interview says anyone wishing to be tested should bring their I.D., a pen for filling out the registration form, and their insurance card if they have insurance, though it is not required to receive the free test.

IDPH personnel will call you with the results of your test. The phone number along with pertinent information is provided prior to testing and is yours to keep. IDPH agents will not leave testing information on a voicemail, so you are asked to answer the phone and not to call the phone number provided unless you have been notified that results are ready.

The testing site will be in operation today through Sunday and is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm all four days. Vehicles enter the fairgrounds from Westgate Avenue at the south gate nearest the U. of I. Extension Office. Testing is performed in front of the 4H Clover Cafe building, then vehicles exit on to Grand Avenue across from ISD.

Multiple people in one vehicle can be tested, and facial coverings are required to be worn in your vehicle while interacting with IDPH staff except for when you are being tested.