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COVID testing to continue at McLean County Fairgrounds due to positivity surge, variant worries

MCLEAN COUNTY (WEEK) - A surge in positive COVID-19 tests at the McLean County Fairgrounds combined with heightened concerns about the Delta variant are prompting the Illinois Department of Public Health to keep open the fairgrounds testing site beyond the previously-scheduled July 31 closing date.

The state health department planned to conclude testing at the fairgrounds in west Bloomington and other community-based testing sites because of a decrease in testing.

However, 10 out of the 127 people tested at the fairgrounds on Wednesday were found to have the coronavirus, according to a news release from Pekin-based Reditus Laboratories, which has run the testing site since May of last year.

Testing will continue, for now, at the site, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, said Dr. Aaron Rossi, Reditus Labs CEO.

The location might change because more events are taking place at the fairgrounds, including the McLean County Fair, which runs from August 4-8.

“We are, however, evaluating a potential location change in McLean County due to cost and disruption of our processes as more events are taking place at the fairgrounds,” Rossi said in a prepared statement.

“We will certainly make the public aware of any location change,” Rossi added.

In the fall of last year, the fairgrounds testing site was at its busiest with nearly 1,300 people tested there each day. Reditus said there that number had shrunk to an average of about 30 people tested per day the past two months.

Howard Packowitz

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