Expanded COVID-19 testing comes to suburban clinics, with appointments

  • VNA Health Care center in Aurora is one of four suburban locations providing expanding COVID-19 testing this week.

    VNA Health Care center in Aurora is one of four suburban locations providing expanding COVID-19 testing this week. Daily Herald File Photo

 
 
Updated 4/20/2020 1:31 PM

VNA Health Care will offer expanded COVID-19 testing starting today for suburban residents concerned that might have contracted the respiratory disease, but appointments are required.

The service will be offered at VNA testing centers in Aurora, Carol Stream, Elgin and Romeoville.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The move comes after Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a partnership with federally qualified health centers to increase testing for the disease Thursday.

Individuals who think they have COVID-19 symptoms should call VNA at either (630) 892-4355 or (847) 717-6455 for an assessment.

People without health insurance will pay fees ranging from $5 to $10 depending on income for pre-test screening but no one will be turned away if they cannot pay, VNA officials said.

"VNA was founded over 100 years ago during the Spanish flu pandemic and our commitment to delivering exceptional health care services for the communities we serve across the Chicago metro region remains steadfast," VNA President Linnea Windel said.

In addition to the testing, VNA clinics provide primary care for vulnerable populations including people without health insurance.

Bilingual service is available for Spanish speakers.

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VNA has a number of locations across the suburbs but COVID-19 testing will be offered at the following sites: 400 N. Highland Ave., Aurora; 350 S. Schmale Road, Carol Stream; 800 Villa St., Elgin; and 160 N. Independence Boulevard, Romeoville.

For more information, go to vnahealth.com.

The ramp-up of testing is essential to get a handle on how many COVID-19 cases there are in Illinois, which helps authorities manage supplies and predict when the state will arrive at its peak caseload.

Improvements to testing machines at state labs and a new influx of raw materials for tests from several Illinois universities and private vendors helped prompt the surge, Pritzker said.

Illinois Department of Public Health officials also urge people who think they have COVID-19 symptoms to check with their doctor first, if they have one, about taking a test.

"Getting tested provides an individual with important knowledge of their health status at that point in time and may also offer some peace of mind," VNA Chief Clinical Officer Claire Dobbins said in a statement.

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