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More mobile COVID-19 testing offered in Lake County

WAUKEGAN – The Lake County Health Department announced free COVID-19 testing will take place in Waukegan and Highland Park this week.

A mobile testing unit managed by the Illinois Department of Public Health will be stationed in the county according to the following schedule:

1 to 7 p.m. Feb. 18 at CRSM parking lot, 3106 Belvidere Road, Waukegan

8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 19 at Highland Park Country Club, Park Avenue/Route 41, Highland Park

The mobile testing unit also will be available in eastern McHenry County this week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 21 at the McHenry Municipal Center parking lot, 333 S. Green St., McHenry.

Testing is free and open to all regardless of symptoms. A phone number and name are required in order to receive test results. Photo identification and proof of insurance are helpful but not required. High demand for testing may result in long wait times. Testing locations may close early because of inclement weather or if daily testing supplies are exhausted.

Those using 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 accommodate walk-up individuals. Only viral testing is provided at the mobile testing site.

State-run testing sites in Waukegan (102 W. Water St.) and Arlington Heights (2000 W Euclid Ave.) are open seven days a week from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Testing at these sites is free. For information, visit the IDPH website at

Many health care providers in Lake County also offer COVID-19 testing. Contact your provider to ask about testing criteria and appointment availability. Residents without a health care provider or insurance can contact the Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center for an appointment at 847-377-8800.

Types of testing

Viral polymerase chain reaction testing is a molecular test that detects the virus’ genetic material and is used to diagnose a COVID-19 infection. A swab of the nasopharynx (the part of the throat behind the nose), nose or throat is collected. This is the only type of test offered at the IDPH mobile testing site and at state-run testing sites.

Antigen testing detects specific proteins from the virus and also is used to identify a COVID-19 infection. A swab of the nasopharynx or nose or saliva is collected. Results are available in as little as 15 minutes, but antigen tests are more likely to miss an active COVID-19 infection compared with the PCR test, 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 a current COVID-19 infection, so it is not an appropriate test for someone who is in quarantine because of a potential COVID-19 exposure.

If you are told to quarantine for 10 or 14 days because of 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 while monitoring for symptoms.

All residents are urged to continue to follow the 3 Ws to slow the spread of COVID-19: Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Watch your distance.

The Lake County Health Department reported Lake County’s first COVID-19 case on March 11, 2020. As of Feb. 17, 58,298 Lake County residents had tested positive for the disease, including 909 deaths. For information, visit the coronavirus data hub at

Visit the health department’s COVID-19 webpage,, for updates, testing information, community guidance and resources, answers to frequently asked questions, and to sign up for the health department’s weekly COVID-19 newsletter. Questions can be sent via email to

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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