The McHenry County Department of Health and Lake County Health Department are announcing that free Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) testing will be available in Crystal Lake and Barrington this week. A mobile testing unit managed by the Illinois Department of Public Health will be stationed in the region according to the following schedule:
Lippold Park Golf Center parking lot
1251 IL-176, Crystal Lake
Thursday, 10/8 and Friday, 10/9
8 a.m. - 4 p.m., while supplies last
Barrington High School
616 W. Main St., Barrington
Saturday, 10/10 and Sunday, 10/11
9 a.m. - 5 p.m., while supplies last
“Getting tested helps health officials in the North Suburban Region identify and isolate cases and quarantine contacts quickly to minimize the spread of COVID-19,” said Melissa Adamson, Public Health Administrator for the McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH). “As we head toward flu season, please take preventative steps to reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses. Get your flu shot, and follow the 3 Ws: Wear a mask, Wash your hands, and Watch your distance.”
“We encourage our residents to take advantage of the mobile testing site or Community-Based Testing Sites and get tested right away if they are experiencing symptoms, or 5-7 days after being exposed to an infected person,” said Mark Pfister, Executive Director at the Lake County Health Department. “Getting tested and cooperating with case investigators and contact tracers helps protect your friends and family.”
Know Before You Go
Testing is free and open to all regardless of symptoms. A phone number and name are required in order to receive testing results. Photo identification and proof of insurance are helpful, but not required. High demand for testing may result in long wait times.
Those utilizing drive-thru testing must be seated at a functioning window. Once you get in line at the site, you will not be permitted to exit your car. All sites will also accommodate walk-up individuals. Only viral testing is provided at the mobile testing site.
Other Testing Options
State-run Community-Based Testing Sites, located in Waukegan (102 W. Water St.), Arlington Heights (2000 W Euclid Ave.), and Rockford (1601 Parkview Ave.) are open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Testing at these sites is free. For more information, visit the IDPH website at https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19/covid-19-testing-sites.
Many healthcare providers in the North Suburban Region also have COVID-19 testing available. Please contact your provider or the facility to ask about testing criteria and appointment availability. Lake County residents without a healthcare provider or insurance can contact the Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center for an appointment at (847) 377-8800. McHenry County residents without a healthcare provider or insurance can visit MCDH’s Access to Healthcare page by visiting http://bit.ly/mcdhCOVID19.
Types of Testing
Viral (polymerase chain reaction or PCR) testing, commonly done with a nasal swab, is used to detect a current COVID-19 infection. This is the only type of test offered at the IDPH mobile testing site and at state-run Community-Based Testing Sites.
Antigen (nucleic acid amplification test or NAAT) testing, done via nasal swab or saliva sample, is a rapid test used to identify current COVID-19 infection. Results are available in as little as 15 minutes, but antigen tests may be less sensitive than a PCR test. This means an antigen test is more likely to produce a false negative test result, especially if the person tested has no symptoms.
Antibody (serology) testing, a blood test, might tell you if you had a past infection and may not detect current COVID-19 infection, so it is NOT an appropriate test for someone who is currently in quarantine for potential COVID-19 exposure.
If you are told to quarantine for 14 days due to a potential exposure to an infected person, a negative COVID-19 test result does not shorten your quarantine period. The virus can take up to 14 days to be detectable in the body by a test, so it is important to continue the quarantine period through 14 days while monitoring for symptoms.
To view the North Suburban Region (Lake and McHenry) metrics on the Illinois Department of Public Health website, visit http://www.dph.illinois.gov/regionmetrics and select Region 9. Metrics are updated daily, including testing positivity rates, hospital admissions, and hospital capacity.
For trusted information on the COVID-19 pandemic from reputable state and federal sources, visit the State of Illinois, Illinois Department of Public Health, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) websites.