There are two kinds of tests. A viral test tells you if you have a current infection. An antibody test might tell you if you had a past infection. For more information about testing and to download posters and infographics, visit the CDC website.
Testing is free of charge regardless of insurance or immigration status
All COVID-19 testing and related services must be free of charge to Illinois residents, regardless of insurance or immigration status. Some providers are charging Illinois residents for COVID-19 tests, and/or requiring Illinois residents to receive a COVID-19 serology test to check for antibodies prior to, and as a condition of, administering a COVID-19 diagnostic test. Any provider who continues these practices risks investigation, financial consequences, or other sanctions from the State of Illinois. For tips on what situations will trigger a surprise medical bill, and what do to if you receive one, please see: https://www.consumerreports.org/coronavirus/how-free-coronavirus-testing-has-become-new-surprise-medical-bill/.
IL Dept. of Healthcare and Family Services has a new eligibility category to reimburse providers for these services. For more information, please see: https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/MedicalProviders/notices/Pages/prn200518a.aspx.
Who should get tested for COVID-19?
- People who have symptoms of COVID-19
- People who have had close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) with someone with confirmed COVID-19
- People who have been asked or referred to testing
You can use the CDC Self-Checker Tool to help you decide whether to get tested.
CDC Coronavirus Self-Checker Tool
Where to go for testing
A variety of places offer walk-in and drive-thru (or mobile) testing for COVID-19. These include:
- Primary care providers – contact your primary care provider
- Cook County Health – testing for CCH patients and staff; requires a doctor’s order for COVID-19 testing at testing tents outside of both Stroger Hospital at 1969 W. Ogden Avenue and Provident Hospital at 500 E. 51st Please be sure to bring your doctor’s order with you.
- Pharmacies, such as CVS and Walgreens – visit websites for more information
- IDPH Mobile Testing Sites open to all regardless of symptoms
- IDPH Community-Based Testing Sites open to all regardless of symptoms
Below is a list of IDPH community-based testing facilities in or near suburban Cook County. Visit the IDPH website for the full list and latest information.
- Arlington Heights – Arlington Racetrack, 2000 W Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, 8 am – 4 pm while daily supplies last
- Harwood Heights, 6959 W. Forest Preserve Road, Chicago, 7 am – 3 pm while daily supplies last
- South Holland – South Suburban College, 15800 State Street, South Holland, 8 am – 4 pm while daily supplies last
Suburban Cook County Testing Events
Below is a list of some of the testing events being held in CCDPH’s jurisdiction of suburban Cook County, excluding Evanston, Oak Park, Skokie, and Stickney Township.
Please contact the site via email or phone if you have questions.
Upcoming IDPH Testing Events
|Date(s)||Location Name||Hours of operation||Street Address||City||Contact name||Phone|
|Fri 10/23||Village of Melrose Park||9AM-5PM||2701 W. Lake St.||Melrose Park||Doug Olson||708-267-1977||[email protected]|
|Sat 10/24||Village of Melrose Park||9AM-5PM||2701 W. Lake St.||Melrose Park||Doug Olson||708-267-1977||[email protected]|
|Sat 10/24||Affordable Recovery Home Campus||9AM-5PM||13636 S. Western||Blue Island||John||708-743-3660||[email protected]|
|Sun 10/25||Affordable Recovery Home Campus||9AM-5PM||13636 S. Western||Blue Island||John||708-743-3660||[email protected]|
|Sat 10/31||Affordable Recovery Home Campus||9AM-5PM||13636 S. Western||Blue Island||John||708-743-3660||[email protected]|
|Sun 11/01||Affordable Recovery Home Campus||9AM-5PM||13636 S. Western||Blue Island||John||708-743-3660||[email protected]|
Please contact the provider who authorized testing or the place you were tested to obtain your test results. Commercial laboratory turnaround times vary. CCDPH does not provide test results.
What to do after a viral test
To get your test result, please check with the group that performed your test, such as your healthcare provider, pharmacy or state health department testing site. How long it will take to get your test results depends on the test used.
- If you test positive for COVID-19, know what protective steps to take if you are sick:
- Most people have mild COVID-19 illness and can recover at home without medical care. Contact your healthcare provider if your symptoms are getting worse or if you have questions about your health
- If you test negative for COVID-19, you probably were not infected at the time your sample was collected. This does not mean you will not get sick:
- A negative test result only means that you did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing or that your sample was collected too early in your infection.
- You could also be exposed to COVID-19 after the test and then get infected and spread the virus to others.
- If you have symptoms later, you may need another test to determine if you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
Return to Work Letters
CDC recommends that employers not require testing to return to work after a respiratory illness, and that those who are ill to stay home for at least 10 days after you first became ill, or 24 hours after your fever has resolved and symptoms are improving, whichever is longer.
One option may be to contact your medical provider and ask them to provide a letter stating that you have been evaluated and are not at risk for COVID-19, or have passed the recommended time period for staying home, are healthy, and can return to work.