Kane County health official urges everyone get tested regardless of symptoms

Posted5/20/2020 5:17 PM

Want to help Kane County businesses reopen? Go get tested for COVID-19.

Kane County's top public health official, Barb Jeffers, told county board members Wednesday the best way the average person can help ensure progress through Gov. J.B. Pritzker's recovery phases is for everyone to get tested as soon as possible. One of the key measures of successfully handling the outbreak in the governor's plan is the number of positive tests relative to the overall number of tests. Pritzker wants each recovery zone to have and maintain a positivity rate below 20% to keep progressing through the phases.


Jeffers is part of a team of Kane County officials pushing for Kane County to get separated out from being included in the same recovery zone as the more densely populated Chicago and Cook County. But regardless of which zone Kane County is in, the positivity rate will remain one of the bench marks for reopening.

When only residents most at risk or feeling the most symptoms of the virus get tested, it makes it harder to hit that 20% benchmark, Jeffers said. That's why now is the time for everyone to get tested regardless of how sick or how well they feel.

"I encourage all of you to go get tested and to tell all your constituents to go get tested," Jeffers told the county board members. "We want to show the majority of those tests are negative and not positive. I would like as many people in Kane County to get tested as possible."

Kane County officials spent the past three weeks engaging with residents and in internal discussions about the best road map to getting the local economy open. Part of the strategy with the most agreement so far includes convincing the governor to use the existing emergency medical system regions instead of his recovery zones to measure and group COVID-19 stats. Jeffers encouraged increased testing and encouraging residents to be safe and smart about not spreading the virus and providing any more reasons to keep the economy locked down.

"We have done an exemplary job in trying to minimize the impacts," Jeffers said. "We don't want to move faster to the point that it's going to increase our rate of disease and the rate of the spread of the virus or hurt us financially in terms of not receiving our funding from the state or federal government. I know many of our citizens want to move forward. This has been real difficult on all of us."

Testing is available at the outlet mall in Aurora. The site processes more than 600 tests a day.

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