State closing community-based testing locations March 31 citing low demand, end of federal funding
Sites are now seeing about 50 people per day, state officials said. And there's a stockpile of tests in case of another surge, they added.
State-run testing sites now account for less than 1% of all testing statewide, state officials recently said, and now it’s time to close them.
Citing a decline in demand for testing and an anticipated end to federal funding in April, all 10 community-based testing locations across the state will close Thursday, March 31.
Officials from the Illinois State Department of Public Health made the announcement last Thursday, noting that testing at the sites are at lows, with sites seeing no more than 50 people a day, according to IDPH data.
The move comes as federal COVID-19 funding is held up in a Congressional impasse and the BA.2 subvariant spreads quickly. As of March 19, BA.2 accounts for nearly 35% of COVID-19 cases nationwide, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The State is currently strongly positioned to respond to a potential surge, with the State stockpile of tests nearly fully replenished. There are more than 1.5 million rapid tests on hand, with a half a million more on the way in the coming weeks,” officials said in a news release.
“The State has also instructed hospitals, schools, and local health departments to consider their current testing capacity and take all preparations necessary. The State is also in communication with pharmacies and healthcare providers about increasing their inventory of the various FDA-approved oral BA.2 treatments in case of another surge,” officials added.
COVID-19 by the numbers across the state:
– The Illinois State Department of Public Health on Friday reported 8,039 new and confirmed COVID-19 cases across Illinois since March 18. That’s up about 8% from when officials reported 7,467 cases between March 11 and March 18.
– Of Illinois’ total population, 76% have received 1 dose of vaccine, 68% are fully vaccinated, and 50% are boosted, according to data from the CDC.
– As of Sunday night, there are 461 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those, 59 are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and 31 are on ventilators.
– The preliminary state case positivity rate between March 18 and March 24 is 1.5%.
Sign up for The Renaissance Letter, our free email newsletter
Get the latest headlines from the Harvey World Herald right in your inbox.
More in Health from The Harvey World Herald
Headquartered in Harvey, the nonprofit healthcare organization will use the funding to expand its dental services at their Lynwood location.
Residents can expect more accessible pedestrian intersections, bike facilities, and bus shelters.
In 2023, Harvey will begin piloting StormStore, which allows landowners to build needed stormwater management projects at a lower cost by generating credits and selling them to developers.
Senior housing complex in downtown Harvey, known as the 'YMCA building,' getting $15 million renovation
“It’s a new beginning,” said George Ellis, who's lived at the building for seven years. “It’s a blessing to all my fellow tenants—a change.”
After a wetter spring than normal, residents have struggled to remove sewage and stormwater from their basements. The costs are growing as they throw money at plumbers and pumps hoping to quell the flooding.
The federal government appropriated funds to the city in March when Congress passed the spending bill, paving the way for repairs to Harvey's aging infrastructure.
The IDPH is urging caution due to an uptick in COVID-19 cases in some parts of Illinois. Nationwide, cases are up, prompting the CDC to extend its mask mandate on planes and public transportation.
Previously dubbed "stealth Omicron," BA.2 is believed to be driving the latest surge in Europe.
COVID-19 Dispatch: Omicron surge over but vaccination trends show Harvey not out of the woods, just yet
Data show only 48% are Harvey residents are fully vaccinated as compared to 65% of all Cook County residents.
During his State of the Union remarks, President Joe Biden announced more kits were made available to order.
The changes come as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to decline.
Changes in testing and possible mask guidance come as health experts identified BA.2, a more contagious version of Omicron.
The decline follows a statewide and national plunge in cases of the highly contagious Omicron variant.
Find vetted testing locations here.
You've got questions. We can get you answers.