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Daily Journal
     April 22, 2020      #54-113 KDJ
 

Drive-thru testing now available 

Daily Journal Staff Report

Making movement toward Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s goal of performing 10,000 COVID-19 tests per day in Illinois, drive-thru testing will be available in Kankakee starting today.

The state says it’s now eliminated the supply chain problem that has kept it from hitting its testing goal, Pritzker announced in a recent press conference.

With the problem solved, the state released interim testing guidelines for Federally Qualified Health Centers with the purpose of expanding testing to high-risk, priority groups.

One of those centers is Aunt Martha’s Health and Wellness in Kankakee.

Drive-thru COVID-19 testing will be available starting today at its Kankakee location at 1777 E. Court St. Testing will be available by appointment only. The facility will begin offering drive-thru testing from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. today. It will continue from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Those who wish to be testing should call ahead at 877-692-8686 and schedule an appointment, said Kenny Martin-Ocasio, senior vice president of community integration-health services for Aunt Martha’s.

“Staff will be on site to help with registration,” he said.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, in order to be tested for COVID-19, you must have COVID-19 symptoms and fall within these guidelines: living in temporary shelters or housing; providing care for others and may have been exposed; 60 years and older or having a known chronic health condition; or front-line worker and still working to provide essential services.

Symptoms for COVID-19 may include fever, cough or shortness of breath.

“This is about increasing the number of people getting tested,” Martin-Ocasio said. “We want to make sure we are not turning anyone away; however, we are following the guidelines from the Illinois Department of Public Health on the criteria to be tested.

“This will be on a day-to-day basis and will depend on the availability of tests.”

To date, the state has tested more than 154,000 people for the virus.

According to a press release from the city of Kankakee, Pritzker chose locations for testing by identifying sites in predominately minority communities or populations disproportionately affected by the virus. Testing locations were chosen based on an analysis of the existing population and demographic characteristics of the surrounding community.

“I appreciate Governor Pritzker’s leadership in response to COVID-19 and securing additional resources for our state,” Kankakee Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong said in a press release. “We will continue to work together and provide our full support to Aunt Martha’s Health and Wellness as they work to conduct testing in our community.”

Drive-thru testing details

Drive-thru COVID-19 testing will be available starting today at Aunt Martha’s Kankakee Community Health Center, 1777 E. Court St., Kankakee.

Testing hours available

Testing is available by appointment only. The facility will begin offering drive-thru testing from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. today. It will continue from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Who can be tested

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and are a front-line worker or person who meets the high-risk criteria as defined by the Illinois Department of Public Health, you may need to be tested.

How to get tested

Call 877-692-8686 to determine if the COVID-19 test is available for you.

Cost of testing

Uninsured patients may be eligible for a sliding scale discount. For insured patients, Aunt Martha's will bill your insurance carrier for the cost of the medical visit.

How to get results

Patients can expect to receive a phone call with test results.

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