By Marissa Parra

CHICAGO (CBS) — Since this time Wednesday night, 141 more people have died in Illinois from COVID-19, bringing the total in Illinois to 2,355.

Among those, a CTA employee. An additional 2,563 people also tested positive for COVID-19. That is an increase of 5%. It’s important to note the number of cases will continue to increase, as more people are tested.

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CBS 2’s Marissa Parra reports on one effort to make sure tests are getting where they’re needed.

“Our mobile medical van is a dental van quite often,” said Steve Brandy of the Will County Health Department.

Now it’s a COVID-19 test on wheels in Will County. It’s meant for vulnerable populations who can’t get around: nursing homes, shelters. And instead bringing testing to them.

“These people need testing more than anyone else because of the proximity to each other,” Brady said.

There have been outbreaks in nursing homes around the state. Just this week, COVID-19 cases increased by numbers in the double digits in a handful of nursing homes in Illinois, including both Symphony and Sunny Hill nursing homes in Joliet.

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Brandy said they’re working together with the state to do more to stop this. On Thursday, the mobile unit did 80 tests at Morningstar Mission, a homeless shelter in Joliet.

And that’s just the beginning. The mobile unit is scheduled to hit the streets roughly three days a week through the month of May and June if needed.

“There’s the Daybreak Shelter, Catholic Charities, Sunny Hill nursing home right next to the health department. They’re on our schedule,” he added.

About 80 tests will be done at each stop and it costs those who get tested nothing. Hopefully to help curb an outbreak, perhaps before it even begins showing who might have the virus without even knowing it.

Brandy said he hopes one day they can revisit these same sites with a different but optimistic purpose.

“Our mobile medical unit coming to a place like this we hope that’s what we’re doing someday offering COVID-19 vaccinations.”

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