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WHEATON – DuPage County's COVID-19 testing site in Wheaton is increasing its capacity to 600 tests per day as officials report a steady rise of confirmed cases over the last eight weeks.
The drive-through testing site at the county fairgrounds has conducted up to 400 tests per day since opening June 16. As of Aug. 10, the testing site had performed nearly 14,000 tests with an average positivity rate of 2.41 percent, DuPage Health Department Executive Director Karen Ayala said.
The increase in testing capacity comes as Ayala reported a rise in cases since early July and a slight increase in hospitalizations. Demand has also increased with schools and other places reopening, she said.
Before Illinois moved into Phase 4 of the state's reopening plan on June 26, the county had a seven-day rolling average of about 35 cases per day. Ayala said. DuPage County is now averaging 100 cases per day over the last seven days.
"So we are seeing a concerning 248% increase in the number of cases that are being confirmed over the last eight weeks," Ayala told the county board at its meeting this week.
Ayala said Edward Hospital in Naperville is among the county hospitals seeing an increase in hospitalizations.
"We had a call with our health partners this morning and they are seeing an increase, although not back to March and April levels," she said.
The county site is also changing its hours. The site will now be open Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. until noon, or until 600 tests are completed each day, after seeing the lowest volume of traffic on Saturdays. Ayala said the busiest days at the site are Tuesdays.
DuPage County on Friday reported 116 new cases of COVID-19 in the county, including the death of a man in his 70s. The county has seen 14,176 cases since March, including 532 deaths.
The drive-through test site is located at the DuPage County Complex for anyone to be tested for COVID-19. The COVID-19 test is free, and no appointment, doctor referral, or insurance is needed. The site is run by the DuPage County Health Department.
Individuals should enter through the main DuPage County Complex entrance on County Farm Road just north of Manchester Road to reach the testing site.
All the tests are self-administered, done while individuals are sitting in their vehicle.
Testing personnel will give each person a nasal swab and directions through their car window. They then must swab their own nose without leaving their vehicle.
The site will be closed on Labor Day and reopen at 7 a.m. Sept. 8.