ILLINOIS (KFVS) - The Illinois Department of Public Health can now conduct testing for the 2019 novel coronavirus, making Illinois the first state to be able to do in-state testing.
Once specimens are received at the Chicago IDPH laboratory, test results are typically available in 24 hours. IDPH is in the process of bringing testing for 2019-nCoV online in its Springfield and Carbondale labs.
“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.”
On Wednesday, February 5, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started shipping 2019-nCoV lab test kits to select qualified U.S. and international labs.
The test is intended for use with upper and lower respiratory specimens collected from people who meet CDC criteria for 2019-nCoV testing. Those criteria include looking at travel and/or exposure history, as well as symptoms and/or fever.
Also, on Friday, IDPH along with the Illinois Poison Center set up a hotline for residents across the state to call if they have questions about the new coronavirus.
Residents in Illinois outside Chicago can call the hotline at 800-889-3931 or email DPH.SICK@illinois.gov. The number for Chicago residents is 312-746-4835 Monday through Friday during business hours and 311 during evenings, weekends or holidays, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Currently in Illinois, two people tested positive for 2019-nCoV, while 44 test results came back negative.