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THE LORETTO HOSPITAL OPENS FIRST COVID-19 COMMUNITY FOCUSED TESTNG SITE ON THE WEST SIDE OF CHICAGO.

CHICAGO, IL – April 24, 2020

The Loretto Hospital in Conjunction with State Representative’s LaShawn K. Ford’s and Camille Y. Lilly along with Senator Kimberly A. Lightford announce today that it has opened the first community-focused, no cost, COVID-19 testing site on the West Side of Chicago. This testing site is open to the public as well as to healthcare workers and first responders. The Loretto Hospital testing site provides rapid nasopharangeal testing with results to be released to the patient within 72 hours. Both drive-up and walk-in testing options are available.

“This initiative by the Legislative leaders and The Loretto Hospital comes at a critical time when our community, and communities of color all over the United States, and now all over the globe, are being disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 virus. Testing is key to shaping an effective social and medical response to this pandemic. We have been lacking in the resources and the data required to protect our community, and our Legislative leaders and Loretto are stepping up to fill that void and setting an example for our entire nation. I urge community members to take note of the importance of having our own community based health care infrastructure and to take full advantage of this precious resource.” Said Congressman Danny K. Davis from Illinois's 7th congressional district.

“The COVID storm brought uncertainty, fear and a 180 degree change in the life that we once knew. By becoming a testing site, we will be able to better partner with the community that we love and respect to bring answers and certainty into people’s lives. Regardless if you have symptoms or you were exposed to a COVID positive patient, we will help you get answers and have a plan of care going forward,” said Dr. Mira Illiescu-Levine, Chief Medical Officer of The Loretto Hospital.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, The Loretto Hospital in conjunction with our legislative leaders have been working tirelessly to obtain the desperately needed testing from the Governor’s office, and are pleased today that our efforts have yielded a tremendous benefit for the Austin and surrounding communities.

The Austin Community and the West Side of Chicago have been hard hit by the number of positive cases and fatal deaths due to COVID-19. I want to thank the President and CEO George Miller of The Loretto Hospital for stepping up and accepting the call from the state to be a testing site on the West Side of Chicago. I will continue to be a voice of the people on the West Side and a partner with Governor JB Pritzker to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in Illinois.” Said State Representative LaShawn K. Ford.

George N. Miller, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of The Loretto Hospital in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago says, “We are proud to partner with the Governor’s Office to provide testing to the community, healthcare workers and first responders. The key component to gaining real control of this virus is testing.”

Anyone with current COVID-19 symptoms or believes that they may have been recently directly exposed to someone who was positive for the coronavirus can be tested. In addition, all healthcare workers and first responders will be able to be tested, with or without symptoms.

Specific Testing Site Details:

Both drive through and walk up testing is located at The Loretto Hospital, 645 S. Central Avenue, Chicago, IL 60654. The testing is offered for free. Anyone can be tested regardless of symptoms, exposure or medical history. Please enter on Harrison Street and follow all signage. Patients will be required to maintain six feet of social distancing while in line. The COVID-19 test will be administered by hospital personnel and will consist of a nasal swab and completion of a short questionnaire to obtain contact information and any current medical symptoms. Patients will be notified by telephone within 5 days from a Loretto Hospital staff member. Hours of operation are Monday – Friday 9:00am to 12:00pm.

COMMUNITY MEMBER INQURIES: For information on testing requirements, hours of operations or to find obtain test results please contact us at 773-854-5475.

MEDIA INQUIRIES ONLY: To learn more about The Loretto Hospital please contact Mark A. Walker, MHA, MBA, Director of Business Development & Community Relations, at 312-758-2376 or via email at Mark.Walker@lorettohospital.org.