Peoria Civic Center COVID-19 Testing Site Opens Friday

May 12, 2020

Peoria County Board Chairman Andrew Rand says the Bloomington COVID-19 drive-thru test site will move to the Peoria Civic Center this week.

He said testing criteria will be more strict than the Heartland Health Services community-based test sites, which allow all adults to receive a nasal swab test, regardless of whether or not they show symptoms.

"The plans are to test first responders and those that are symptomatic. And I think they plan to open that this Friday," Rand said.

Peoria City/County Health Department administrator Monica Hendrickson says any additional testing in the Peoria area is a plus.

"The McLean site is run by federal assets, and they do monitor how many assets they've run through, and they've seen decreases over time, so that may be a part of the decision-making," she said. "But again, I think overall from a community standpoint, we just want to see more testing."

Hendrickson said the decision to move the site was made on the state and federal levels.

The state said it petitioned the federal government to move the site to Peoria because it was underutilized in McLean County. The Bloomington site has 250 tests a day available, but was only using an average 103 tests a day since opening in late March, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The Illinois National Guard will staff the Civic Center test site.

This will be the fifth community-based COVID-19 testing site to come online in the Tri-County area since April 27. Heartland Health Services operates four other test sites in Peoria and Pekin.

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