Where can I get tested for COVID-19 in DeKalb County?
The DeKalb County Health Department does not currently offer COVID-19 testing, Gonzalez said, with local health officials focused on walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations and flu shots.
Here’s where you can get tested for COVID-19 in DeKalb County. Some locations may require you to present proof of medical insurance or could have a cost associated depending on whether you seek a rapid or PCR test, or if there’s a visit with a medical professional involved. For a non-exhaustive full list of testing sites, go to dph.illinois.gov/testing.
Clinics and pop-ups
Pop-up test site: Free rapid & PCR testing clinic, in the 1300 block of Sycamore Road in front of the former TJ Maxx, DeKalb
Pop-up test site at: 817 W. Lincoln Highway, C-1, DeKalb
Hospitals or doctor’s office according to the doctor, or your medical provider may recommend seeking a test elsewhere
Testing and vaccination
DeKalb County Public Health Administrator Lisa Gonzalez said public health officials, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, still recommend anyone with signs or symptoms of the virus, regardless of vaccination status, to get tested.
“People who have symptoms and known close contact with someone should be tested, people who have known close contact with someone should get tested,” Gonzalez said.
If you know or suspect you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, health officials recommend waiting between five to seven days until testing, to ensure the virus has developed to be detected by tests.
Vaccination remains the strongest form of protection against the virus, Gonzalez said.
But because of the prevalence of COVID-19, including the highly contagious omicron and delta strains, a breakthrough case remains a possibility, which is why mask-wearing and testing is an important step for, but most especially for those without the vaccine protection.
Gonzalez said the difference is a matter of environment and exposure. If a fully vaccinated person has known exposure to someone who contracts the virus, or if they’re putting themselves in high-risk situations such as where they can’t socially distance or wear a mask, then the chances of contraction go up.
And that’s when testing comes into play.
“Attending events, traveling far or for a long period of time,” Gonzalez said to list scenarios where a vaccinated person may be at risk for contracting the virus. “And then obviously people who’ve been asked or referred to get tested by either their healthcare provider or the health department.”
She said she understands people may be confused about whether testing is necessary if vaccination is a factor in the exposure.
“People are most confused about ‘If I’m already vaccinated, do I even need to test?’ Well, yes we believe that you do,” Gonzalez said. “There could be breakthrough cases and could mean that you spread [COVID-19] to others and not even know you have it.”