Naperville mayor concerned about pop-up COVID-19 testing sites in the city
As Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico drove around town in recent weeks, he noticed more and more banners unfurled to advertise COVID-19 testing at pop-up sites.
Concerned about the rise and legitimacy of pop-up sites throughout Naperville, Chirico wants the city's staff to investigate whether the sites are properly licensed.
"I drove by the other day, and I see a line of cars," he said at this week's city council meeting, "and there's a guy out there with a garbage can. And I'm like, 'This just doesn't look professional.'"
City Manager Doug Krieger acknowledged the city's staff didn't know much about the sites. He said they'd reach out to the DuPage County Health Department to determine licensing regulations.
But officials at the Illinois Department of Health said the agency has no oversight over pop-up sites because they're classified as businesses. The IDPH recommends people who think they've tested at an illegitimate clinic contact the attorney general's consumer protection division at illinoisattorneygeneral.gov.
A list of state-approved sites can be found at the IDPH website, dph.illinois.gov/covid19/testing.
Chirico also talked about the rising costs of at-home COVID-19 tests and recommended the city council reach out to state government officials in an attempt to suspend the sales tax on testing kits. Councilman Paul Hinterlong noted relief might be coming through the federal government's ongoing effort to distribute free test kits.
"There's a lot of money in this, particularly if people can't afford to do this stuff," Councilwoman Patty Gustin said. "And then charging the tax on top of it is silly."
Gustin relayed a story about her daughter receiving a false-positive test result at a drive-through facility. Her daughter had to confirm a negative result through a molecular test that cost more than $100.