ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Winnebago County Board Chairman Frank Haney says over 2,100 test specimens collected at a Rockford testing site have gone missing.
In a letter to Gov. JB Prtizker, Haney said, “The state contracted a third-party vendor to process the tests. To date, this third party vendor was provided with over 2,100 test specimens from (the testing site at the University of Illinois College of Medicine); however, zero tests have been reported to the Winnebago County Health Department and the Illinois Department of Public Health from this vendor.”
The missing tests account for 60-percent of the county’s total pending tests, and 28 percent of all tests taken to date.
“It has become painfully clear that nobody can explain what happened to these tests, where the tests are, as well as if or when this issue will ever be resolved,” Haney continued.
The “Triple T (Triage, Testing and Transfer)” facility at 1601 Parkview Ave had been open 7 days a week for people who are showing symptoms of coronavirus. Residents showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be able to get a test without a doctor’s orders, and without an appointment.
“A 3-4 day process has evolved into a 13 day process with no end in sight,” Haney said.
“This type of situation severely undercuts our ability to trust the data, make data driven decisions, and paint an accurate picture of our public health reality in our community and at the regional level. And, as we know, this is directly tied to our ability to reopen as laid out in the 5 phase reopening plan.”
Haney also mentioned that the number of tests and tracing directly impacts when to move from Phase 2 to Phase 3. The missing tests could have a huge impact on the ability to re-open if they are not found.