Coronavirus Chicago: COVID-19 testing site opens in Back of the Yards neighborhood

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago's newest COVID-19 testing site opened Monday morning in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.

The new testing site is a welcomed addition to the neighborhood as elected officials have been working to add more sites to areas that need it most.

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Community leaders along with elected officials plan to mark the opening of new COVID19 testing site here in the 5100-block of South Ashland Avenue.

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They are taking people with symptoms, or people that may have been exposed. You must have an appointment to get a test at this new site. The test is free.

Officials are hoping to test close to 100 people a day. They will operate from 8 a.m. until noon daily.

This new testing site on the Southwest Side will continue to help serve residents in vulnerable areas. Many activists and community organizers have been calling for more testing sites in African American and Latino neighborhoods.

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"With this COVID-19 pandemic, it really heightens the issues that we know have plagued so many communities of color," said Donna Thompson, CEO of Access Community Health Network. "We are happy that we are able to work with our legislators as well as with the community groups."

"I cannot stress to you how in the last six weeks how important it was to have a site that is accessible not only for our seniors but for our community. This is for our community, for Englewood, for Gage Park, New City and the Back of the Yards," said 16th Ward Stephanie Coleman.

There is push across the state for more testing, after a record of nearly 20,000 tests were given in one day.

Governor JB Pritzker wants to continue to ramp up the state's testing capacity even more. He said he is also working to get access to more equipment and supplies.

"We need swabs. We don't have enough swabs. We are getting more from the White House, actually. But you also need viral transport medium and you need the reagents that are necessary to run the test," the governor said.

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