CHICAGO — Loretto Hospital opened a new COVID-19 testing site Monday that will provide free tests for anyone with symptoms or to those who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive.
The West Side hospital said it will conduct nasal testing and will be able to provide results within 72 hours.
All heath care workers and first responders can be tested, whether they have symptoms or not.
Testing began at 9 a.m., Monday with both drive-up and walk-in options available, but was stopped at around 12:30 p.m., when supply began to dwindle. Hospital officials said testing will continue at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Community activists on the city’s South and West sides have been calling for more testing sites for underserved communities that have been hit hard by COVID-19.
“That’s the fight we fight each and every day,” said George Miller, President and CEO of Loretta Hospital. “So, this testing is one small step in dealing with that major issue.”
The hospital said it received 500 test kits from the state to start and will order more as needed.
“I’m very connected with the community’s needs and we are very connected with the community’s needs,” said Mira Eliescu-Levine, Loretto Hospital’s Chief Medical Officer. “I really think it’s very important to support and bond with the community during those times. And again, returning to normality means giving people answers. And that’s why we are here.”
The site is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or until testing runs out.