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Illinois the first state to test for the Coronavirus

Written by on February 13, 2020

Photo courtesy to McLean County Public Health Department’s Facebook page

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.- The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is now able to conduct testing for the Coronavirus, making Illinois the first state to be able to do testing in state.

Communication Specialist Dion McNeal said the IDPH was able to successfully complete their chemical analysis.

“IDPH labs have been preparing for the release of these test kits and making sure they have everything ready, so it is a testament to how prepared IDPH has been in this response,” said McNeal.

Currently in Illinois, two residents have tested positive for the virus, while 44 test results have come back negative.

“No one at this time is being tested for Coronavirus in McLean County,” said McNeal.

As far as testing the samples sent to the IDPH Chicago Lab are taken from blood and respiratory cells.

McNeal said, ” I believe the intent is to get Chicago Lab up and running first and preparing the other two state labs to conduct testing if the need arises based on volume and need.”

“The ability to do this testing will mean we will be able to detect any new cases of novel Coronavirus earlier and prevent any possible spread,” said IDPH Assistant Director Evonda Thomas-Smith.

“We understand there is concern about this new virus, which is why having test results back quickly can help reduce some of those concerns,” said Smith.