Chicago hopes to increase its testing capacity from 3,000 residents per day to 4,500 by the end of the month, Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said Monday.
Arwady said the current rate of positive tests is 24.6% with over 100,000 people tested so far. Within Chicago, they have set a specific goal of being able to test at least 5% of residents in the city each month.
“You may remember that the state has set as a goal for reopening a 20% positivity rate in total,” Arwady said. “We actually are getting a little more detailed than that and aiming at a 30% positivity in our congregate settings, meaning like our long term care facilities homeless shelters, and we're actually hoping to get to a 15% positivity in our community settings so that would be in the clinics and these new testing sites that were standing up.”
New test sites: Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Chicago will be launching six new coronavirus testing sites across the city starting later this week, which would help the city expand its testing.
One of the new sites will be specifically for first responders and health care workers, and the other five will be “located within communities disproportionately impacted by the disease,” Lightfoot said.
Actor Sean Penn’s non-profit CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort), which brings emergency medical supplies to areas in need around the world, will assist with the operation of the new testing network, she said.
“We are thrilled to announce that our first sites will launch later this week,” the mayor said, going on to say, “These new sites represent a major step in our city’s fight against COVID-19”