Additional COVID-19 testing sites coming to Lake County in December

More COVID-19 testing sites coming to Lake County next month
Photo credit Getty Images

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — The Lake County Health Department has announced that free COVID-19 testing is coming to Grayslake and Fox Lake next month. The Illinois Department of Public Health will manage a mobile testing unit.

"First and foremost, we want our residents to focus on prevention this holiday weekend and avoid close contact with people from other households,” said Mark Pfister, executive director at the Lake County Health Department. “If you consistently follow the 3 Ws — wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance — and avoid gatherings, you can keep yourself and your family safe and help slow the spread of COVID-19. Following these simple steps will lower your risks of needing testing in the first place."

The schedule testing dates and locations are as follow:

Saturday, Dec. 5, 8 a.m. to  4 p.m.
College of Lake County
19351 West Washington Street, Grayslake

Sunday, Dec. 6, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Grant Community High School, South Lot
285 Grand Avenue, Fox Lake

Monday, Dec. 14, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
College of Lake County
19351 West Washington Street, Grayslake

Know Before You Go
Testing is free and open to all regardless of symptoms. A phone number and name are required in order to receive testing results. Photo identification and proof of insurance are helpful, but not required. Please expect long wait times due to high demand for testing. Testing locations may close early due to inclement weather or if daily testing supplies are exhausted.

Those utilizing drive-thru testing must be seated at a functioning window. Once you get in line at the site, you will not be permitted to exit your car. All sites will also accommodate walk-up testing for individuals who do not have a vehicle. Only viral testing is provided at the mobile testing site.

Other Testing Options
State-run Community-Based Testing Sites, located in Waukegan (102 W. Water St.), Arlington Heights (2000 W. Euclid Ave.), and Rockford (1601 Parkview Ave.) are open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Testing at these sites is free. For more information, visit the IDPH website at https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19/covid-19-testing-sites.

Many healthcare providers in Lake County also have COVID-19 testing available. Please contact your provider or their facility to ask about testing criteria and appointment availability. Residents without a healthcare provider or insurance can contact the Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center for an appointment at (847) 377-8800.

Getting Your Test Results
If you were tested by your own healthcare provider, please contact them directly and follow their instructions for getting your test results. If you were tested at a State-run Community-Based Testing Site or mobile testing site, you will receive a phone call with your results. If you have not received your results within 7 days, call the number given to you at the testing site.

While you wait for your test results, please stay home and quarantine.

When to Get Tested

The Lake County Health Department recommends seeking COVID-19 testing:
*Right away if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19
*5-7 days after being in close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more) with someone who has COVID-19
*When asked to do so by your healthcare provider, Lake County Health Department, or IDPH

In line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Lake County Health Department recommends that employers should not require a negative test for an employee to return to work if that employee previously tested positive for COVID-19. This is because a person may continue to test positive for the virus for months after their infectious period, even though they are no longer contagious.

Individuals with COVID-19 or their close contacts who speak with a Health Department Contact Tracer can choose to enroll in a daily health assessment which will provide a release from isolation or quarantine letter from IDPH.

Types of Testing
Viral (polymerase chain reaction or PCR) testing, commonly done with a nasal swab, is used to detect a current COVID-19 infection. This is the only type of test offered at the IDPH mobile testing site and at State-run Community-Based Testing Sites.

Antigen testing, done via nasal swab or saliva sample, is a rapid viral protein test used to identify current COVID-19 infection. Results are available in as little as 15 minutes, but antigen tests may be less sensitive than a PCR test. This means an antigen test is more likely to produce a false negative test result, especially if the person tested has no symptoms.

Antibody (serology) testing, a blood test, might tell you if you had a past infection and may not detect current COVID-19 infection, so it is NOT an appropriate test for someone who is currently in quarantine for potential COVID-19 exposure.

If you are told to quarantine for 14 days due to a potential exposure to an infected person, a negative COVID-19 test result does not shorten your quarantine period. The virus can take up to 14 days to be detectable in the body by a test, so it is important to continue the quarantine period through 14 days while monitoring for symptoms.

Additional Information
All residents are urged to continue to follow the 3 Ws to slow the spread of COVID-19:

*Wear a mask
*Wash your hands
*Watch your distance

The Lake County Health Department reported Lake County’s first COVID-19 case on March 11. As of Tuesday, Lake County has 32,893 confirmed cases, including 587 deaths. The Lake County recovery rate is 96.7%. For more details, please visit the Coronavirus Data Hub, which is updated daily, Mondays through Fridays, at www.lakecountyil.gov/COVID19data.

The data hub will be not be updated on Thursday or Friday in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. Updates will resume on Monday.