Officials: More COVID-19 vaccine opportunities means drop in testing

Digital Originals

PEKIN, Ill. (WMBD)– With vaccine opportunities expanding to those ages 16 and older and more essential workers, fewer people are lining up to get tested for COVID-19 according to state and local officials.

On March 16, The Illinois Department of Public Health shortened its testing hours at all of its testing sites in response to a decline in the number of people using the testing sites.

Since the site’s altered hours, the Peoria Civic Center saw an average of 280 COVID-19 tests each day it was open last week, officials said in an email. The department’s spokesperson said the average in March overall was 170 tests per day, and there is an upward trend in the daily average.

Dr. Aaron Rossi, CEO of Reditus Laboratories in Pekin, said his lab noticed a 50% decrease in tests and a 50% increase in the overall positivity rate in the past few weeks.

“Just because you are vaccinated doesn’t mean you are immune to these variants and doesn’t mean you can’t contract the virus and still spread the virus,” Rossi said.

According to the IDPH’s website, as of Saturday, March 27, the daily positivity rate in Peoria County was 15%, Tazewell 9.6%, and Woodford nearly 12%.

Rossi also said he expects another uptick in positive cases as people get laxer with the guidelines.

New hours for both Peoria’s and Blooming state’s testing sites:

  • Bloomington: 1106 Interstate Dr. Mon-Wed-Fri-Sat 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Peoria: Peoria Civic Center Fulton Street parking lot Mon-Wed-Fri-Sat 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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