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Resources From Underused South Side COVID-19 Testing Site Shifted Elsewhere

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Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio
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The Carver testing site entrance on Richard Pryor Dr. was blocked off on Monday. The testing site is now only open on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The COVID-19 testing site at John Gwynn Jr. Park's Faucet Field will now only open on Tuesdays.

Until this week, the South Side testing site near Heartland Health Services' Carver Clinic was open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
 
But Heartland CEO Sharon Adams said efforts to increase traffic at the underutilized Carver site on Peoria's South Side have been unsuccessful so far.
 
"Unfortunately, our volumes at Carver have not been very high, and because it utilizes staff and personal protective equipment, we are trying to consolidate more down," Adams said, noting that more days can be added back if volumes increase.
 
"We've reached out to churches and the other organizations in the community trying to build interest in that testing site, because we want it to be used," she said. "And so far, we've been unsuccessful."

 
On Mondays and Wednesdays, the Carver staffers will instead work out of the new Tazwood Center for Wellness testing site in Pekin. The city of Pekin accounts for some of the highest volumes of positive COVID-19 cases reported through Heartland's test sites as sorted by ZIP code.
 
Unused test kits were shifted from Carver to the East Bluff clinic in the old Kroger parking lot on Friday, when testing was opened up to all adults, regardless of whether clients showed any symptoms or not. The East Bluff exceeded its daily allotment of 150 kits on Friday, while the Carver site used just over 30.
On Monday, the East Bluff site used nearly 200 tests.
 
The East Bluff site has consistently seen higher usage, but Adams said the Carver site does see more walk-up patients than the other sites. The Heartland clinics offer both drive-up and walk-up testing.
 
Adams said she's puzzled as to why the East Bluff site attracts so many more users than Carver, but speculated it may be because of its central location off Knoxville Avenue, not far from the city's major hospitals.
 
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