Amid the current COVID-19 surge, testing has become even more important.
Since the onset of the pandemic, and even more frequently during this most recent surge, seemingly ad hoc testing sites appear to be cropping up all over Chicago and suburban Cook County. While it seems that these pop-up sites are fulfilling a great need, some residents report being asked to pay for testing or have never received the results of their tests.
So how can you ensure that you are testing safely and reliably? As you navigate the testing landscape, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Your safest bet is to visit a testing site run by CCDPH, IDPH, or a trusted pharmacy. An interactive map can be found here.
If you do use a third-party testing site, ask what laboratory they are affiliated with. - any testing site administering PCR tests is required to work with a laboratory that is Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments(CLIA) certified. - rapid-test-only sites are subject to less regulation, but usually are required to pull a business license with the municipality in which they are located.
There should not be a fee charged for tests as they are reimbursable via insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid.
If something feels fishy, trust your gut! Suspicious practices at testing locations can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center.