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IDPH announces 225,000 free COVID-19 self tests available 14 counties

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The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) on Friday announced the availability of 225,000 free, rapid COVID-19 self-administered test kits through Project Access Covid Tests (Project ACT) to residents in certain zip codes in 14 Illinois counties. 

IDPH said that Project ACT is a new direct-to-consumer mail order program in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation, health care technology company CareEvolation, test manufacturer iHealth Labs, Inc., and Amazon.com.

IDPH encourages eligible residents in vulnerable communities in 14 counties to order these free COVID-19 tests.  Counties include Cook, DuPage, Henry, Jackson, Jefferson, Kankakee, Lake, Macon, Madison, Marion, Peoria, St. Clair, Will, and Winnebago counties.  Residents living in specific zip codes (see below ) can go to AccessCovidTests.org to sign up for a free home delivery. 

These tests are available on a first-come-first-served basis.  Each household will receive five tests within one to two weeks after ordering.  In this initial phase, there is a limit of one kit per household and each kit will include five tests.  The tests and shipping are free to eligible residents.

“Testing is still a critical component for slowing transmission of COVID-19 and helping prevent further infections,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “With readily available at-home testing, individuals can find out very quickly if they are positive and take action to isolate for five days while alerting those with whom they had close contact that they should also test. Readily available tests can help us chart a course for the new normal and help us learn how to coexist with COVID-19.”

The free COVID-19 tests have been given emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and can be used at home. Tests require a quick swab inside each nostril and results can be read in just minutes.  Individuals who have not yet been vaccinated or who have the highest risk of exposure to COVID-19, such as people working or going to school outside the home, are ideal candidates for testing, but anyone two years and older is able to test.

IDPH determined initial eligibility based on the Social Vulnerability Index, which looks at 14 social factors in the areas of socioeconomic status, household composition and disability, minority status and language, and housing and transportation.  The program is currently limited to one order per residential addressbut hopes to expand later. 

Eligible ZIP codes:

Cook County – 60302, 60651, 60164, 60165, 60609, 60632, 60406, 60445, 60472, 60803, 60626, 60659, 60616, 60653, 60636, 60621, 60620, 60628, 60624, 60644, 60411, 60461, 60466, 60612, 60619, 60651
DuPage County – 60106, 60131
Henry – 61345, 61443
Jackson – 62966
Jefferson – 62864
Kankakee – 60901, 60915
Lake – 60064, 60085
Macon – 62521, 62522, 62526
Madison – 62002
Marion – 62801, 62882
St. Clair – 62040, 62059, 62060, 62090, 62201, 62206, 62207
Will – 60432, 60435, 60436
Winnebago – 61101, 61103, 61111, 61102, 61104

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