IDPH Announces 225,000 Free, Self-Administered COVID Tests to 14 Counties
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 28, 2022
The Illinois Department of Public Health Announces 225,000 Free, Rapid, Self-Administered COVID-19 Tests Available 14 Counties
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is announcing the availability of 225,000 free, rapid COVID-19 self-administered test kits through Project Access Covid Tests (Project ACT) to residents in certain zip codes in 14 Illinois counties. Project ACT is a new direct-to-consumer mail order program in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation, health care technology company CareEvolation, test manufacture iHealth Labs, Inc., and logistics provider and distribution leader Amazon.com.
IDPH encourages eligible residents in vulnerable communities in 14 counties to order these free COVID-19 tests. Counties include Cook, DuPage, Henry, Jackson, Jefferson, Kankakee, Lake, Macon, Madison, Marion, Peoria, St. Clair, Will, and Winnebago counties. Residents living in specific zip codes (see below[i]) can go to AccessCovidTests.org to sign up for a free home delivery. These tests are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Each household will receive five tests within one to two weeks after ordering. In this initial phase, there is a limit of one kit per household and each kit will include five tests. The tests and shipping are free to eligible residents.
“Testing is still a critical component for slowing transmission of COVID-19 and helping prevent further infections,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “With readily available at-home testing, individuals can find out very quickly if they are positive and take action to isolate for five days while alerting those with whom they had close contact that they should also test. Readily available tests can help us chart a course for the new normal and help us learn how to coexist with COVID-19.”
Rapid, self-administered testing has potential to disrupt the spread of COVID-19 that occurs when people are infected, but don’t yet have symptoms. These free COVID-19 tests have been given emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and can be used at home. Tests require a quick swab inside each nostril and results can be read in just minutes. Individuals who have not yet been vaccinated or who have the highest risk of exposure to COVID-19, such as people working or going to school outside the home, are ideal candidates for testing, but anyone two years and older is able to test.
IDPH determined initial eligibility based on the Social Vulnerability Index, which looks at 14 social factors in the areas of socioeconomic status, household composition and disability, minority status and language, and housing and transportation. While the program is currently limited to one order, per residential address during this first phase, The Rockefeller Foundation is actively working to bring in new partners to scale the program. In addition to building in lessons learned from the initial phase, the Foundation will engage its public charity, RF Catalytic Capital, Inc. (RFCC), to serve as the cost aggregator for the states, providing an “all-in” price that drives down the costs of tests, logistics, and distribution.
[i] Cook County – 60302, 60651, 60164, 60165, 60609, 60632, 60406, 60445, 60472, 60803, 60626, 60659, 60616, 60653, 60636, 60621, 60620, 60628, 60624, 60644, 60411, 60461, 60466, 60612, 60619, 60651
DuPage County – 60106, 60131
Henry – 61345, 61443
Jackson – 62864
Jefferson – 62864
Kankakee – 60901, 60915
Lake – 60064, 60085
Macon – 62521, 62522, 62526
Madison – 62002
Marion – 62801, 62882
St. Clair – 62040, 62059, 62060, 62090, 62201, 62206, 62207
Will – 60432, 60435, 60436
Winnebago – 61101, 61103, 61111, 61102, 61104