Increased COVID-19 testing will be available for a limited time in Jacksonville, beginning tomorrow.
The Illinois Department of Public Health will be hosting a mobile testing site at the Morgan County Fairground from Thursday, August 6th to Sunday August 9th. The drive through testing site will be open from 9AM to 5PM each day.
Morgan County Director of Emergency Management Phil McCarty says there are no symptom or exposure requirements for getting tested at the site.
“Anybody who is willing to get tested, it doesn’t matter the county, it doesn’t matter the symptoms, it doesn’t matter the exposure- if you want to get a test this is the place to get your test. No appointments are required, all you need to do is show up with a photo I.D. and a little bit of patience because there might be a line, we don’t know yet.
Enter the fairgrounds only off of Westgate and head straight east and cars will exit onto Grand Avenue only, and in the middle you’ll have a little bit of a nasal swab and the test results will be communicated with you as soon as they get back from the lab, typically three to five business days, but it just all kind of depends.”
McCarty says the site is being provided by the Department of Public Health and anyone, not just Morgan County residents can come and get tested.
“This is not a Morgan County test site, it doesn’t matter if you are a Scott County resident, Greene County resident, Sangamon County resident, Calhoun County, Lake County, Cook County, if you want to come to Jacksonville, we have a test for you.”
The announcement of the drive through site comes as the Morgan County Health Department announced on Tuesday, the COVID-19 Testing site at Passavant Area Hospital is fully booked for this week.
McCarty says health officials in Morgan County are working to offer more consistent long term testing options.
“We will have more capability shortly. We are working diligently with the health department to have a sustainable solution for our community directly. But it takes time and resources, but we are not blind to the fact that 60 tests a week isn’t getting us where we need to.”
In the short term, McCarty is urging the public to continue mitigation practices. He says mitigation is still the best tool for turning around the rising number of cases in West Central Illinois.
“We are getting there but it just takes time. It takes time and everybody doing just a little bit more, and I really need to get the word out, we need people to wash their hands, wear their mask and be respectful of everybody’s space just a little bit more.
If you do ten or 20 percent more than you did yesterday, if we all do little bit more, it would make a huge change- a massive change in our community in a hurry.”
No out of pocket cost is expected at the state testing site, but organizers say if you do have health insurance, make sure to bring your insurance card with you. Results will be supplied as soon as they are available, and masks and social distancing will be required.