covid spread 090220If you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, getting tested is critical, says Senate Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes (D-Aurora).

“Scientific studies show even those without symptoms have been linked to virus spread, so testing is vital, particularly for those who believe they may have been exposed,” Holmes said. “To get this pandemic under control, we need as much information as possible on who is transmitting the virus.”

Widespread testing is a key component of the Illinois Department of Public Health’s strategy to combat COVID-19. Since March, Illinois has tested more than 3.8 million COVID-19 specimens and expanded testing to all parts of the state.

“In the face of increasing infections, we need to promote more testing, not less, to identify new cases and interrupt further transmission,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike last week. 

Dr. Ezike encourages testing for any resident who thinks they may have been exposed, whether or not they are experiencing symptoms. She recommends waiting 5-7 days from exposure to get tested.

Despite a recent change in federal guidelines, IDPH continues to advise testing for anyone who comes into close contact with a confirmed case to ensure people are not spreading the virus unknowingly to others, especially to those with underlying medical conditions that put them at greater risk of complications from COVID-19.

According to IDPH, there are nearly 300 testing sites in Illinois, including 11 state-operated sites and 12 mobile testing teams. Testing is free at state-operated sites and several other

locations. More information about locations, hours and requirements can be found at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/testing.

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