Despite community confusion, Interstate Center testing site will stay open; IDPH confirms

Local News

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — A COVID-19 testing site slated to close after Saturday July 31 will stay open for the time being as COVID-19 cases surge nationally and locally.

The testing site at McLean County Fairgrounds’ Interstate Center is run by Pekin’s Reditus Labs in collaboration with the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Reidtus Labs announced Thursday, the site was prepared to administer its final tests Saturday, but due to rising cases and concern of the Delta variant strand of the virus, IDPH announced its community-based testing sites will remain open, for now.

On Friday, the McLean County Emergency Management Agency posted on Facebook they believed the site was closing after Saturday’s tests, saying they had not received anything official.

McLean County EMA posted this around 7:00 a.m. Friday. They’ve since confirmed the site remaining open.

At 3:15p.m. Friday, acting director Cathy Beck said she received that confirmation from the IDPH and Reditus Labs.

Reditus Labs has operated the testing at the facility in partnership with IDPH since May 2020.

An IDPH spokesperson also told WMBD the site will remain open.

Beck told WMBD via email said she was told, “because of the McLean County Fair next week, the site will be moved to the McLean County Farm Bureau building, and will move back to its regular spot after the fair.” and that “there will be a yellow sign with black arrows that will direct people to the site.”

Reditus’ Vice President of Communications at Reditus Labs Paul Swiech said testing at the facility is lasting at least until the end of the month, but confirmed location may or may not change.

“There are more and more activities happening as society is reopening, specifically at the McLean County Fairgrounds, but we’re staying here for the time being,” Swiech said.

Originally, the site was set to close after July 31st due to a lack of demand for testing, but Swiech said IDPH reconsidered after the spike in cases.

Swiech said at its peak, the Interstate Center testing site averaged 1,300 tests per day.

“That has declined over the past couple of months to about 30 people per day, but on Wednesday 127 people were tested and 10 of those did test positive for COVID19, so those numbers are increasing,” Swiech said.

Testing takes place at the Interstate Center Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You don’t have to be a McLean County resident to get tested there.

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