Testing Guidance

There are dozens of sites across the state that provide COVID-19 testing. The State of Illinois runs seven (7) community-based testing sites. Other public and private sites are not run by the State of Illinois and may have differing testing requirements. The information of these sites is provided for availability and accessibility.

Testing at the community-based testing sites is now available for people who:

  • Have COVID-19 symptoms (cough, shortness of breath and fever) OR
  • Have a risk factor, such as
    • Contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19
    • A compromised immune system or a serious chronic medical condition

Testing at the community-based testing sites is also available for those with or without symptoms who:

  • Work in a health care facility
  • Work in correctional facilities, such as jails or prisons
  • Work as a government employee
  • Serve as first responders, such as paramedics, emergency medical technicians, law enforcement officers, or firefighters
  • Support critical infrastructure, such as workers in grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, gas stations, public utilities, factories, childcare and sanitation

A list of testing sites can be found online at coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/testing-sites or dph.illinois.gov/testing.

Symptoms of COVID-19

You may start experiencing symptoms 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. The following symptoms may be indicative of COVID-19 infection:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

When seeking out a COVID-19 test:

Keep in mind that if you test negative for COVID-19, you are probably not infected at this time. However, testing negative at the time of the test does not ensure that you will not come into contact with the virus and become infected after the test is administered. Additionally, it can take up to 14 days after exposure for illness to occur. If you have been exposed, you might test positive at a later time. Continue to practice all protective measures. As long as the virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading in your community, continue to follow guidance from your health care provider and your state and local health departments.

If you test positive for COVID-19, keep your entire household home. Most cases can be cared for at home. Stay in touch with your doctor and seek medical attention if you develop ANY of the following:

  • Extreme difficulty breathing
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Constant pain or pressure in the chest
  • Severe constant dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Difficult to wake up
  • Slurred speech (new or worsening)
  • New seizures or seizures that won’t stop

This list is not all-inclusive. Consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

For medical emergencies, call 911 and notify the dispatch personnel that you may have COVID-19.

While waiting for results:

If you are ill, stay in touch with your doctor. Keep in mind your symptoms may be due to another condition that requires prompt evaluation and treatment. Stay at home except for medical appointments. Call ahead before visiting your doctor. As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets. If you must be around other people or animals, wear a face cloth over your nose and mouth.

Whether or not you are ill, wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Put distance between yourself and others when possible. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day, which include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Cover coughs and sneezes. Wear a face cloth over your nose and mouth in public settings and where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. These measures should continue to be taken even if a negative result is reported for your COVID-19 test.

Guidance Document: