The new drive-thru COVID-19 testing site located at 102 W. Water Street in Waukegan opened on Thursday. | Photo provided by the City of Waukegan.

State officials announced that anyone, even those without symptoms, can now get tested for COVID-19 at Illinois drive-thru testing sites.

“As we move through the Restore Illinois plan, and into a full reopening of the state, testing will be crucial to identifying new cases and taking immediate action to prevent additional spread,” the Department of Public Health said on Thursday.

Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau said that COVID-19 testing must be widely available and this is a step in the right direction.

“The state-operated Community-Based Testing Sites currently have the capacity to test more than 6,000 people per day, and now there will be no restrictions to who can be tested for this potentially deadly virus,” Tate-Nadeau said.

Lake County’s state-run drive-thru testing site has been moved from 2161 Northwestern Avenue in Waukegan to 102 West Water Street in Waukegan, officials said. It is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

[Suggested Article]  Service resumes on Union Pacific Northwest line after Metra train derailment in Crystal Lake

No appointment, doctor referral or insurance is needed at state operated drive-thru sites and testing is available at no cost to the person undergoing the test.

The Illinois Department of Public Health recommends anyone who has recently been part of a mass gathering, including rallies and protests over the past week, to get tested for coronavirus.

“As people gather in large crowds with varying degrees of social distancing, there is cause for concern about COVID-19 spread and outbreaks, especially if masks were not worn universally,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said.

“I urge anyone who recently attended a rally, protest, or other mass gathering to get tested for COVID-19 so we can identify any cases early,” she said.

“We recommend testing 5-7 days after participating in large group rallies, or immediately if symptoms develop. If there are known cases, we can make sure those people are quarantined and not exposing other individuals,” Ezike added.

[Suggested Article]  Extra-alarm fire damages floral shop, shuts down Milwaukee Avenue in Libertyville

The IDPH said that the virus has been found to spread between people up to a couple days before they start showing symptoms. A list of public and private testing facilities can be found the IDPH website.

There were 929 new cases and 116 additional deaths on Thursday. The total number of cases statewide has reached 124,759, including 5,736 deaths.