SHIELD testing site moving to Rockford’s southwest side Monday

Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 5:03 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Rockford’s COVID SHIELD testing site is on the move: you’ve been able to get a saliva test at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. But starting Monday, the testing site will switch to Providence Baptist Church.

The CDC uses its Social Vulnerability Index to determine which areas are more susceptible to catching COVID. It concluded people who live near the church are at a higher risk than those near the current location at the medical campus.

“Throughout the pandemic, our site in Rockford has been a pretty high-traffic site. So we’re glad that we have another partner in Rockford to serve not just the city of Rockford but Winnebago County and a number of surrounding counties,” says Pastor William A. Martin.

SHIELD Testing uses saliva to find out if they test positive for COVID. Martin says it’s important for the city to provide its residents with free and convenient testing.

“It is my desire. When we look at the location of where the church is, compared to where it was at the school. I believe that many people on the southwest and west sides of the city will be able to make it to that testing site,” says Pastor William A. Martin. “Just for the simple fact that COVID has been plaguing our city and our country for over two years. We just wanted to be able to offer free testing in that community.”

More than 68,000 tests were taken at the UIC College of Medicine at 1601 Parkview Ave. since it opened on May 13, 2021. The most tests the current site had in one day was in January 2022 when more than 1,100 tests were collected.

Ben Taylor with SHIELD Testing Illinois says making these sites accessible is important.

“We’re glad to be able to provide this service to the Rockford community,” says Taylor. “We’re that trusted partner that people can believe that we’re protecting their data and their information and giving them a result they can believe in from their COVID test.”

The testing site at 2209 Clifton Ave. will be open Monday through Friday starting at 8 a.m. The site will close at 5 p.m. on Mondays and at 6 p.m. the rest of the week.

Residents can make an appointment online for SHIELD Testing and walk-ins are welcome.