The short answer? It’s unclear.
Here’s the latest from WCBU’s Dana Vollmer:
The United Way was joined in a press conference by Peoria area lawmakers who say they’re trying to secure enough COVID-19 testing kits for the region.
State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth said she’s talking to the governor’s office daily, but there’s still no clear answer from public health officials on when more testing supply will become available.
“When this started out, all of the testing clusters were in the northern part of the state,” Gordon-Booth said. “That clearly is not the case anymore. And so we’re waiting on directives from [the Department of Public Health] when downstate is going to have access to more testing.”
Both Gordon-Booth and state Rep. Ryan Spain said allocating additional government dollars won’t help if there are not enough testing kits to purchase.
Spain said state and federal governments have already set aside huge amounts of money to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
The White House announced an $850 billion phase 3 stimulus plan.
Spain said throwing more dollars at the problem won’t help.
“It’s about capacity, both in supplies and then laboratory capacity,” he said. “We know that we’re seeing expansion of private lab testing and working with private labs to scale up.”
Spain said the three state labs currently processing COVID-19 tests are already working around the clock.
The first mobile testing site has opened in the Quad Cities. Today, Genesis Health System set up a tent at its clinic in northwest Davenport.
Beau Dexter, Director of Clinic Operations for Genesis Health Group, says it’s only for people who’ve been referred by a doctor or other medical provider.
“The key here is that you have to have an order from a Genesis provider in order to come. It’s important to note this is not an walk-up drive, through testing facility.”
People with referrals will drive up, stay in their car while a swab is taken, and then will be notified by phone of the results, with whatever instructions might be necessary.
Dexter says it’s the first day, so he doesn’t really know how many people might participate.
Genesis says a second testing site is being planned for Moline.