CHICAGO (CBS) — Health experts say testing is a powerful weapon against the novel coronavirus, but officials are now facing supply shortages.

As CBS 2’s Steven Graves reported, a shortage in one area is prompting a more aggressive response starting Monday. There is also demand for more action.

One event Sunday in the city saw hundreds of tests go within hours. Now, there is a call on the state to make more testing locations available.

COVID-19 cases in Illinois keep rising, exceeding more than 10,000 per day for the last three days. It is the same specifically in Chicago.

On the West Side in the Austin neighborhood Sunday, there was proof of a growing need not only for tests, but for awareness.

“That the virus is real – we want people to know,” said state Rep. LaShawn Ford (D-Chicago).

City data show that one in 25 people have the virus in the 60644 ZIP code. The positivity rate is at 8 percent and 95 deaths have bene recorded.

Many people in the area are essential workers, and testing at popup sites has become vital.

“But we had no more tests, because we didn’t expect as many people to come out,” Ford said.

A total of 500 tests were gone within hours at the Austin site – at 5051 W. Chicago Ave. where Ford’s district office is located – matching at trend around the state.

The same happened at a center in Wheaton – the one location run by DuPage County health officials. High demand has 600 tests going, sometimes within the hour.

What can be done differently?

“Well, I think that the thing is we just have to make sure we have more testing in multiple places and communities,” Ford said. “You can’t just have one test site in a community.”

Starting Monday, DuPage County is partnering with the state for more testing at mobile sites. Drive-throughs will pop up in Glendale Heights and Elmhurst.

They open at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. or earlier, depending on how long the 500-test supply lasts. If trends continue, that could be quick.

“We have to figure out the timing for these tests,” Ford said. “If people have to be at work at 9 and testing is at 8, there’s no real time for them to be tested.”

Last week, Gov. JB Pritzker said the state provides tests as areas request, but they are not unlimited.

Chicago does its own testing, so Rep. Ford plans to get a better handle on testing in Chicago during a meeting with Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday.

A complete list of testing sites statewide can be found below:







November 11

Bureau County Health Department

526 Bureau Valley Parkway Princeton

9am – 5pm


November 11

Bennett Day

955 W. Grand Ave.


10:30am – 5:30pm

November 13

Metropolitan Family Services – Belmont – Cragin

3249 N. Central Ave.


8am – 4pm

November 14

Ping Tom Park

300 W. 19th St.


10am – 5 pm

November 14-15

Affordable Recovery Home Campus

13636 S. Western Ave.

Blue Island

9am – 5 pm

November 14-15

Village of Melrose Park

2701 W. Lake St.

Melrose Park

9am – 5pm


November 14-15

Hiawatha High School

410 1st Street


9am – 5pm


November 9-10

Churchville Middle School

155 Victory Pkwy.


9am – 5pm

November 11

Wheaton College – Edman Chapel

401 E. Franklin St.


8am – 4 pm

November 12

Glendale Heights Aquatic Center

240 Civic Center Plaza

Glendale Heights

9am – 5pm


November 15

Minooka Community High School – Central

301 S. Wabena Ave.


9am – 5pm


November 9-10

Kankakee County Health Department

2390 W. Station St.


8:30am – 4:30pm


November 14-15

Knox County Fairgrounds

1392 Knox Highway 9


9am – 5pm


November 11

Highwood Public Library

102 Highwood Ave.


9am – 5pm

November 12

College of Lake County

19351 W. Washington St.


9am – 5pm


November 13

Lacon Community Center

405 N. Washington St.


9am – 5pm


November 14-15

Peterson Park

4300 Peterson Park Rd.


8am – 4pm


November 9-10

Ogle County Health Department

907 Pines Rd.


9am – 5pm


November 9-10

Stevens Square Park

Route 91 and West Main Street


8am – 4pm


November 12

Putnam County Emergency Management Agency

1120 Old Highway 26


9am – 5pm


November 13

Tebala Event Center

7910 Newburg Rd.


9am – 5pm


The Illinois Department of Public health noted that site locations are subject to change, and advises people to check the IDPH website for up-to-date information.