New COVID-19 testing guidelines

April 21, 2020

As a result of the Illinois Department of Health’s expanded testing recommendations, more area residents can now be tested for COVID-19 at Blessing Health System. Expanded testing has been recommended as the state and its communities work toward reopening the economy.

Effective immediately, any person with COVID-19 symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste and smell, headache/fatigue/weakness, sneezing and watery eyes, and/or sinus pain/pressure, if those symptoms are unusual for the person and not clearly related to seasonal allergies, and have one or more of the following categories is eligible for COVID-19 testing: Is hospitalized; Is a healthcare worker or first responder; Lives or works in a congregate setting including a supportive care facility, assisted living facility, group home, homeless shelter, or correctional setting, or Lives in a confined space: dorm, nursing home, etc., or; Is living in a temporary shelter; Is a front line worker contributing to maintenance of essential community services (e.g. grocery store clerks, licensed child care facility workers)

Has a known exposure to an individual with positive tests or consistent symptoms who will be treated differently based on COVID-19 test results. Is 60 or over or has known chronic health conditions that put them at risk for complications of COVID-19, but no known exposure; Has symptoms of COVID-19 characterized as more than mild.

Individuals who believe they meet the new, expanded COVID-19 testing guidelines must first call the Blessing Health System Hotline, 217-277-3504, for review of symptoms and directions for the next step in their care. The Hotline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The cost of a COVID-19 test is $55.16 with no copayment or deductible requirements. Under expanded testing guidelines, if the individual’s health insurance does not pay for a COVID-19 test, the individual will be responsible for that cost.