10 state-run COVID-19 testing sites to reopen Wednesday
Ten out of 11 state-run COVID-19 testing sites that closed Sunday when Illinois National Guard troops who assist at the facilities were deployed to keep the peace will reopen Wednesday.
Those include popular locations in Aurora and Rolling Meadows. An 11th testing site in Waukegan is being moved to 102 W. Water St. and will be in business Thursday.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency took the state testing sites offline Monday and Tuesday amid increasing violence in Chicago and the suburbs, as looters took advantage of protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis May 25.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency "ordered the closure of all Community Based COVID-19 Testing Sites in Illinois in order to protect staff and those utilizing these services," officials said.
The sites also included locations in Champaign, Chicago, East St. Louis, Harwood Heights, Peoria, Rockford and South Holland.
Some National Guard troops that had been helping at the testing facilities with crowd management were reassigned to help local police departments reduce violence and protect property.
The state had focused on expanding testing sites across Illinois in April and May. Testing results are key to measuring the spread of the respiratory disease and are one metric used to gauge how quickly the state can reopen.
"It's one of the unfortunate consequences of what's happening," Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday at a briefing. The National Guard "has done an unbelievably great job. We wouldn't have the kind of testing numbers we have across the state if the Guard wasn't manning these posts."
But "it's just impossible at the moment."
People seeking tests should check the Illinois Department of Public Health's website for information and phone numbers to call before going.
The original Waukegan site is reverting to its intended purpose as a vehicle emissions testing station.