Does the idea of getting tested for COVID-19 freak you out a little? That's okay if it does — it freaked me out a little, too. In Champaign-Urbana getting tested is very easy, and the testing part is not nearly as scary as you may have seen on the internet or news. The testing site is at Marketplace Mall in Champaign.
We all need to get used to getting tested, especially as schools return to session; this is our new normal. I wanted to share my experience with you, reader, in case you were feeling some hesitation.
Photo by Jessica Hammie.
My husband and I went to get tested on Wednesday, July 1st. We were not experiencing any symptoms, but wanted to make sure we were not asymptomatic carriers. We arrived just after 8 a.m., and there was a long line of cars in front of us, but it moved quickly. The entire process took 40 minutes, with about 35 to 38 of those waiting for the line to move. The test itself is very fast.
Here's a basic rundown of what to expect:
- Don't forget to wear a mask.
- Testing is free. You do not need to pay for a test. If you have insurance, they will ask to see your insurance card.
- Tests are administered at Marketplace Mall, on the East Side, just around the way from Dick's Sporting Goods. The National Guard is administering the tests, so don't freak out when you see a bunch of (mostly) dudes in fatigues.
- Testing is available every day from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., or while supplies last.
- You must be in a vehicle with a working window to be tested.
- The test itself is a self-administered nasal swab — basically, it's a very long, one-sided Q-Tip that you shove (gently) into your nostril, twirl around and hold for 15 seconds, then repeat in the other nostril. Is it uncomfortable? Yes. Did I shove mine in a little too far? Possibly.
- Once you're done, you'll break the swab off into a vial, and pass the vial back to the person collecting them.
Results are released to you within four to seven days (you'll get a phone call), but I got my results back within 24 hours (it was negative).
Top image by Jessica Hammie.