MARQUETTE PARK — Esperanza Health Centers has launched a free coronavirus testing site in Marquette Park.
Esperanza, which operates four primary care clinics on Chicago’s Southwest Side, is conducting drive-thru tests six days a week from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Saturday at the corner of Marquette Road and California Avenue.
When fully staffed, the Federally Qualified Center aims to test up to 200 people per day, officials said. Testing is available by appointment only. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 773-584-6200.
The opening comes in response to more than 600 cases in Brighton Park and Chicago Lawn in the past week and soaring positivity rates well above the city average.
In the 60629 ZIP code — which comprises Marquette Park, Chicago Lawn, West Lawn and portions of West Elsdon and Gage Park — there were 376 new positive cases reported last week, according to city data. Two people have died.
That area also has a positivity rate of 15 percent, compared to the citywide seven-day rate of 10.7 percent. Since March 2020, around 1 in every 8 people have tested positive and 191 people have died from coronavirus infections.
In the 60632 ZIP code, which includes Brighton Park and Gage Park, there were 297 new confirmed cases in the past week. Five people have died and the area has a positivity rate of 16.3 percent, according to city data.
Since the start of the pandemic, 10,853 in that area have tested positive and 158 people have died, according to city data.
Dan Fulwiler, president and chief executive officer of Esperanza, said the new site was “responding to the need.”
“If you look at where COVID-19 rates are highest and where testing sites in Chicago are located, it is clear there just are not enough COVID-19 resources in the community. By opening a testing site at Marquette Park, we are hoping to address a need that has existed since the start of the pandemic,” Fulfiller said in a statement.
Esperanza collaborated with Chicago Park District to open at the northeast corner of Marquette Park. Esperanza Health Clinics also have testing sites in Brighton Park and Little Village.
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