SHIELD testing site moving to Providence Baptist Church in Rockford

The new location, 2209 Clifton Ave., in Rockford, opens at 8 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 26.
The new location, 2209 Clifton Ave., in Rockford, opens at 8 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 26.(WIFR)
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 2:58 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The SHIELD Illinois community COVID-19 testing site at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, 1601 Parkview Ave., is closing on Friday, Sept. 23, but another site is opening on the west side of Rockford.

Providence Baptist Church, 2209 Clifton Avenue, will offer free PCR testing for COVID to the general public through a partnership between the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and SHIELD Illinois which utilizes federal funds.

The Clifton Ave. testing site will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Monday, Sept. 26, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays.

Community members can make an appointment online here, though walk-ins are welcome. Masks or face coverings are required at the testing site.

The COVID SHIELD test uses saliva instead of a nasal swab and takes just minutes to collect. Results are available within 48 hours online and are confidential.

In announcing Providence Baptist Church as a new testing site, church leaders say it’s important to continue to provide free PCR testing at this time.

“After two-plus years of learning how to combat the COVID pandemic, we continue to see unnecessary hospitalizations and lives lost,” says Pastor W. Arthur Martin. “It takes a community working together to win against this pandemic, and here at Providence, we are doing all we can to help by offering our facilities for regular testing to our community, in order to educate and help prevent the unnecessary spread of COVID.”

Providence Baptist Church is among SHIELD Illinois’ many testing partners across Illinois, including over a dozen community testing sites and more than 600 K-12 schools.

The effort is part of an agreement between the University of Illinois System and the state in the ongoing effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Federal funds from the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan are being used to provide free testing through SHIELD Illinois.

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