By Jeremy Ross

CHICAGO (CBS) —The cold snap is leading to the closure of Chicago’s COVID testing sites for a few days starting Friday.

And other counties are adjusting plans for vaccinations as well.

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CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross reports from northwest Hanson Park with the COVID impact.

In general, the more you know about your health, the better we all are in this pandemic. For a handful of days, many will be cut off from outdoor COVID testing areas.

So the question is will that lead to a bump up in the numbers?

“Testing is extremely important because we need to have an understanding of how much community transmission is occurring,” said Mark Pfister, Executive Director with the Lake County Health Department.

But Mother Nature is forcing a handful of testing areas in Chicago to shut down. Outdoor city-operated sites will close due to the cold beginning Friday through Wednesday

“Without testing, we don’t know how many people may be carriers of the virus, that may spread it to others,” Pfister said.

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He said if people who think they might have contact with a case or have symptoms stay home, there will be little to no impact.

It’s unclear whether sites in Lake County will follow Chicago’s lead, but Pfister added there are many indoor testing alternatives. There will be an impact, however, to the vaccination process.

“One of our concerns is our mass vaccination site in Grayslake,” Pfister said. “Not so much for the people that are coming in. It’s for the people outside directing traffic. So for those individuals, we’re going to need to make sure they’re switching out every 20 to 30 minutes so they’re not exposed in that cold weather for long periods.”

The state of Illinois said there are no plans to shut down its sites, but the state is watching the weather and those plans could change.

Below is a list of locations providing COVID vaccines. People are urged to be patient because of the high demand for the shots:

Wal-Mart | Walgreens | CVS (Coming Later to IL, IN) | Jewel-Osco | Meijer | Zocdoc | Illinois Health Department Indiana Health Department

 

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