CHICAGO — Testing for coronavirus is now open to anyone in Illinois.
The state announced the change Friday, saying it would no longer limit testing at the sites it runs. That means anyone who is concerned about their COVID-19 status can get tested for free — regardless of their insurance or citizenship status — and without a doctor’s referral at 11 spots across the state.
So far, 127,757 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Illinois, and 5,904 people have died. More than 1 million tests have been performed across the state.
“This milestone is the result of the incredible work of so many people behind the scenes in state government, in our National Guard, in our public and private hospital and healthcare systems all around the state — people who were willing to battle it out to build out a testing infrastructure that is accurate, efficient and accessible,” Gov. JB Pritzker said in a Friday press release. “And we’re still building — but I’m very proud to be one of the earliest states to hit this landmark.”
In Chicago, 48,147 people have had confirmed COVID-19 cases, and 2,269 people have died.
Anyone who protested or participated in other types of gatherings recently should get tested for coronavirus, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the city’s Department of Public Health, has said people who have been in gatherings should self-isolate for 14 days or, at the very least, avoid coming in contact with people who are 60 or older or who have underlying health conditions.
Anyone who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 must also stay home, Arwady’s said.
And Arwady said it’s not just protests that pose a risk for spreading coronavirus — people have gathered in other ways, too.
“The protests are just one piece of this. Thousands of people came together for protesting; but thousands of people, I think, also were together for things that were not a protest but also probably had risk for spread,” the doctor said during a Thursday video. “I really don’t want to attach that increased risk just to the protest because I don’t think that’s epidemiologically fair.”
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