University of Illinois tests 440k+ at SHIELD testing site in Rockford

Published: Jan. 13, 2023 at 10:33 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The state of Illinois recognizes a COVID-19 testing site in Rockford for providing the highest number of tests at any SHIELD site in the state.

The SHIELD testing site at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Rockford assisted with more than 440,000 tests at its one site on Parkview Ave.

“The whole SHIELD enterprise has been a fantastic one for the state,” says Regional Dean Dr. Alex Stagnaro-Green. “It reflects the dedication of the college of medicine to Rockford, Winnebago county and the state of Illinois.”

Since the site opened in May 2021 more than a dozen volunteers helped more than 68,000 people get tested.

“To stand up when our community really needs their expertise and to do so in such a way that they actually lead the state. It’s really pretty wonderful to see,” says Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara.

Mayor McNamara praises the efforts of the site’s volunteers and the lives they’ve impacted.

“You think of all the employers who were able to then continue to stay open or open safely for all of us... They unequivocally and absolutely saved lives and I think they are unsung heroes.”

Dr. Stagnaro-Green with the College of Medicine says the COVID-19 pandemic had an unprecedented impact on people’s lives. He’s received gratitude for the tests they’ve provided and the speed of the results.

“We’re just hoping that as time goes on that we maintain that but if at some point in time, there is a spike we are ready to gear up and once again serve the community.”

The testing site closed at the end of September and moved to Providence Baptist Church over on Clifton Ave. in Rockford.