Illinois First State To Test For Novel Coronavirus

State Rep. Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City) is joining with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to let the public know that the State of Illinois is now able to conduct testing for the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), making Illinois the first state to be able to do testing in state.

“Having the ability to test in-state will help speed up getting results of tests and understanding just how wide-spread this virus is for the people of Illinois,” commented Rep. Wilhour. “The hotline number will be good for everyone who has concerns about what to look for and what to do for their families.”

Once specimens from individuals are received at the Chicago IDPH laboratory, test results are typically available within 24 hours. IDPH is in the process of bringing testing for 2019-nCoV online in its Springfield and Carbondale laboratories as well.

“The ability to do this testing will mean we will be able to detect any new cases of novel coronavirus earlier and prevent any possible spread,” said IDPH Assistant Director Evonda Thomas-Smith. “We understand there is concern about this new virus, which is why having test results back quickly can help reduce some of those concerns.”

Last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began shipping test kits to select qualified U.S. and international laboratories. The test is intended for use with upper and lower respiratory specimens collected from people who meet CDC which include looking at travel and/or exposure history, as well as symptoms and/or fever.

Also, on Friday, IDPH along with the Illinois Poison Center set up a hotline for residents across the state to call if they have questions about this new coronavirus. Residents in Illinois outside Chicago can call the hotline at 800-889-3931 or email

Currently in Illinois, two residents have tested positive for 2019-nCoV, while 44 test results have come back negative. More information about novel coronavirus can be found on the IDP website.

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