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Local testing availability and options during the Omicron surge


Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 6:42 PM CST
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PEORIA (25 NEWS) - As the Omicron variant continues to drive up the case count in Central Illinois, it is also driving up the demand for testing.

If you need a test, local officials say you have at least three options.

“There is availability in the area at pharmacies, at different drive-thru locations, at some of the other bigger health departments,” Andrea Ingwersen at the Woodford County Health Department said. “We want people to get that booster shot.”

Our crew saw long lines for testing in Downtown Peoria Monday at the Civic Center state-operated site. Some waited around an hour and described the process as smooth.

“I felt more reliable with the test from the Illinois Department of Public Health,” Peoria resident Loretha Blanco said.

“I feel safer with having actual professionals walking me through the steps,” Peoria resident Janet Rodriguez said.

Many pharmacies are also offering COVID testing, but you usually need an appointment. The other option is at-home testing kits, which might be more convenient for rural families.

“Hopefully we will see those tests come to people that they can request them in the comfort of their own homes and get them mailed to them,” Ingwersen said. “That would be wonderful.”

The US Postal Service is currently finalizing plans to ship at-home kits to any American who needs them. While they are convenient, those kits do have their limitations, as they are less sensitive than PCR tests.

“That’s just the day in time,” Ingwersen said. “That doesn’t mean necessarily that you’re good to go and you’re negative, especially if you’ve had symptoms or had exposure.”

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