Rockford residents line up to get tested for COVID-19 after Christmas

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Local testing sites saw long lines as people got checked out after the Christmas holiday.

One woman who got a positive test back was fully vaccinated, and she said that she is canceling her New Year’s plans and quarantining. However, she said that she is actually happy she got tested, because she initially did not think she had COVID-19.

“I don’t want to be in public spaces with someone who may not be vaccinated and spread it to them,” said Catherine Canciamille. “I actually didn’t think it was COVID because I had gotten tested that week. I got tested four times that week just in case, and I was like, ‘what’s the chances it didn’t catch it on the first four.”

Test five came back positive. The CDC said that vaccinated people who come in contact with those who test positive do not need to quarantine themselves, as long as they do not show any signs of catching the virus.

However, Canciamille said that she would rather be safe.

“I had a few game nights planned, New Year’s Eve parties, so I’ll have to have the countdown here on my couch,” Canciamille said.

Dozens of Rockford residents are now doing the same and lining up for a COVID test.

“It’s been like this all day,” said Barry Chevalier, Winnebago County’s COVID-19 testing cite manager. “Since we opened at eight a.m., we’ve been just barely where the main road is and we’re even creeping into the turn lanes a little bit there.”

These long lines prompted testing locations to expand services. Winnebago County’s site on Sandy Hollow Road will open more days next week, and Chevalier said that they are trying their best to meet the demand.

“From the numbers at our other testing sites, they’ve tripled, if not quadrupled in the last couple of weeks,” Chevalier said. “So, we’re really trying to push to keep them open as much as possible.”

Just like Canciamille did, Chevalier said that being vaccinated is not stopping people from getting tested.

“I’m seeing a lot that are already showing a lot of vaccination cards that are just coming to get tested, because they were with their families, and so it makes sense,” Chevalier said.

“I’d say when in doubt, just get tested, it’s free,” added Canciamille. “It’s not pleasant, but it’s only two seconds of discomfort.”

The CDC said that if someone receives a positive result, they need to go into isolation for five days, and they recommended quarantining if coming into close contact with someone who has tested positive. Only people who got the booster shot can skip quarantine, but must wear a mask.

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