Coronavirus test: Walgreens, Physicians Immediate Care open new COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites in Chicago area

CHICAGO (WLS) -- More pharmacies and immediate care facilities are making COVID-19 testing available to the public.

At least 28 new drive-thru coronavirus testing locations opened in the Chicago area Wednesday.

Walgreens has opened two sites, one in Chicago's North Austin neighborhood and the other in Bolingbrook. The remainder are being run by Physicians Immediate Care.

They're all using a new test developed locally by Abbott Laboratories, which promises to deliver positive results in as little as five minutes and negative results within 13 minutes.

"It's a total game changer, how quick this test is taking," said Dr. Warren Wollin, of Physicians Immediate Care. "There is nothing out there that has this kind of turnaround time, so people don't have to wait 7, 8, 9 days waiting at home, getting anxious."

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How the tests will be administered vary between locations.

Walgreens is asking those interested to go to their website and complete an online health assessment to determine if they meet CDC criteria to get the test. If approved, they will get an appointment to go to one of the designated sites.

Tests are self-administered with a pharmacist looking on, and patients do not have to leave their vehicles. They are also free for those who qualify.

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For Physicians Immediate Care sites, the procedure is slightly different. Time slots can be reserved online, but they're not required.

"Someone can come into any of our clinics. They don't have to call ahead for an appointment and they will come up to the door," Dr. Wollin said. "If a temperature is over 100 degrees or they answer yes to any symptoms, then they have to go back out to their car and get the rest of the examination done out there."

There are also a handful of immediate care clinics in the city that offer testing to those who don't have cars.

Walgreens' new testing site in North Austin is located at 1606 N. Mobile Avenue.

The Bolingbrook testing site is located at 695 W. Boughton Road, Bolingbrook, Ill.

Both locations are by appointment only.
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