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Free COVID-19 drive-thru testing facility opening in Waukegan

The vehicle emissions facility at 2161 Northwestern Avenue in Waukegan has been repurposed into a drive-thru COVID-19 testing facility | Photo: Lake County Government.

A state-run testing facility for COVID-19 is opening this Sunday in Waukegan and will be available to the public at no cost.

The Lake County Health Department said the community testing site will operate seven days a week from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., or until 500 tests are completed each day.

The testing site is located at 2161 Northwestern Avenue in Waukegan, which is the vehicle emissions testing facility that is temporarily closed. The Illinois National Guard is assisting at the facility.

All individuals with symptoms can be tested. Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and loss of taste or smell.

Those in the following groups can be tested even if they do not have symptoms: people exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case, people who have underlying conditions, healthcare workers, first responders, correctional facility employees and those who will be receiving elective surgery within 72 hours.

Employees who support critical infrastructure like grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, gas stations, public utilities, factories, childcare and sanitation may also be tested even if they do not have symptoms.

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“We thank the State of Illinois for expanding testing in Lake County and particularly in Waukegan, an area that is particularly hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lake County Health Department Executive Director Mark Pfister said.

“Greater access to testing will provide a more complete picture of the impact of COVID-19 on our communities. The Health Department’s dedicated Communicable Disease team is ready to complement the increase in tests with thorough contact tracing to identify and prevent additional cases in Lake County,” he said.

The health department announced on Friday 173 new coronavirus cases and no new deaths since Thursday. The total number of cases in Lake County is at 3,794 and 127 deaths.

The health department said that 33 long-term care facilities in the county have two or more positive cases. These 33 facilities combined have 599 COVID-19 cases and 83 deaths.


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