Free drive-thru COVID-19 testing in Boone Co. as risk level rises

The test consists of a simple nasal swab.
A person is tested for COVID-19.
A person is tested for COVID-19.(WBAY)
Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 1:56 PM CDT
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BOONE COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) — The State of Illinois Department of Public Health and the Boone County Health Department will be sponsoring four free temporary drive-thru and walk-up COVID-19 testing sites in the county.

Free testing will be available at the North Boone District 3 Fire Station at 305 W. Grove St. in Poplar Grove, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30. Boone County Administrative Campus will also host free testing at the parking lot at 1212 Logan Ave. in Belvidere from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 5, Tuesday, Oct. 6 and Wednesday, Oct. 7.

“Accessible, timely testing is critical to reduce transmission of the virus and protect the community and we are pleased to be bringing testing capacity to Boone County,” Amanda Mehl, Public Health Administrator said. “You may not have symptoms, but you may be spreading COVID-19. Please take advantage of this opportunity to get tested: it’s fast, free and you don’t need insurance.”

There is no cost for testing and anyone can be tested. The test consists of a simple nasal swab.

“If you have insurance we ask that you bring your insurance card, but you can still be tested if you don’t have insurance. You will be called with your results within 4-7 days," according to the Boone County Health Department.

Based on regional metrics established by the Illinois Department of Public Health, Boone County has changed from blue to orange on the County Level Risk Metrics Map. An “orange” designation indicates warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk.

Eight different indicators are used to determine a county’s designation. If two or more indicators are going in the wrong direction, the county is designated as orange. An increase in case rates, test positivity rate and number of tests performed are driving the move to the ‘orange’ designation for Boone County:

• Boone County is currently at 133 positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. The target established by the state is 50 cases per 100,000 people.

• Test positivity rate is 9 percent for Boone County for last week – up from 6.1 percent the week before. The target is less than or equal to 8 percent.

• Our tests performed number is 885. The target is triggered to warning status if the positivity is over 8 percent.

Information about all eight metrics and a map of each county’s status can be found on the IDPH website.

In addition to growing concern for the warning status here in the local community, the regional positivity rate is also on the rise.

“Regrettably, the Northern Illinois Rockford Region, which includes Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago, is close to being in warning level for COVID-19. The positivity rate for our region has been steadily increasing,” Amanda Mehl, Public Health Administrator said. “This is an important reminder to every one of us in the community to do our part by following public health guidance that includes wearing a face covering, maintaining 6 ft. social distance, washing hands frequently, avoiding large gatherings, and staying home when you are ill. Your decisions about personal and family gatherings, as well as what activities you choose to do, does makes a significant difference in mitigating or accelerating the spread of COVID-19 in our community.”

Copyright 2020 WIFR. All rights reserved.

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