CHICAGO – Gov. J.B. Pritzker says the state is expanding testing to all frontline and essential workers, including those in health care and first responders.
That will cover employees at a wide range of jobs including those at grocery stores, prison and restaurants.
“Testing, testing, testing. That’s what every epidemiologist, every immunologist, every responsible business owner and everyone who cares about safely opening up our economy says we must do to successfully maintain a high standard of protection as we move into phase three and phase four,” he said.
Testing will also be available to anyone with a compromised immune system or chronic condition and people with COVID- like symptoms. It will also be available to anyone has had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, regardless of whether they have symptoms.
The state has 251 public sites that offer free testing.
Meanwhile, Pritzker says he is genuinely concerned about Illinoisans traveling to and from neighboring states that have recently reopened.
Indiana and Iowa opened under orders from their governors this week. Missouri did the same earlier this month. Meanwhile, Wisconsin opened Wednesday under court order.
Pritzker says the potential to spread COVID-19 has not gone away. “The virus knows no boundaries,’’ he said. “The virus only knows it’s searching for the next person.to infect.”
Pritzker says people gathering in bars and restaurants in other states could spread the virus asymptomatically when they return to Illinois.
There were more than 90,000 COVID-19 cases reported Friday.