Peoria On Waitlist for Expanded COVID-19 Testing Resources

Mar 31, 2020

Drive-thru COVID-19 testing similar to what rolled out in McLean County this past weekend isn't here in Peoria - yet.

Peoria City/County Health Department Administrator Monica Hendrickson said the drive-thru testing site at the McLean County Fairgrounds leverages federal and state resources - including the Illinois National Guard and a supply of 250 test kits per day.

"We are on a waitlist. We know we are on a waitlist," she said. "Part of us just continues to monitor that, and our healthcare system continues to monitor that, as well. Ensuring that we are still prioritizing our testing with the supplies that we have, but hoping that we get that increased testing capacity here locally, as well."

The McLean County testing site is open to Central Illinois healthcare workers and first responders, as well as people over age 65 or those who have underlying conditions that put them more at risk for complications. Similar testing sites staffed by the National Guard are open in the Chicago area, and another is slated to open in Southern Illinois soon.

Appointments aren't needed, but a proof of eligibility is.

However, you will see respiratory triage tents online outside Peoria-area hospitals soon. Hendrickson said some patients will be treated there before admittance to the emergency room.

"So they're showing a COVID-like illness, or CLI, and making sure that they're able to triage them properly before bringing them in," she said. "So again, creating those staggered steps toward triaging."

Hendrickson says the state recommended hospital systems begin setting up the ED tents. They provide another measure aimed at controlling the influx of patients into local hospitals and preventing the healthcare system from being overwhelmed.

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