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Some Heartland COVID-19 Testing Sites Now Operating On Appointment Basis

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Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio
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The Heartland Health Services COVID-19 testing sites in Pekin and the East Bluff are now appointment-based.

Appointments are a change from the previous walk-up or drive-up testing available on demand at those  testing sites on certain days of the week.
 
Marjorie Parent, vice president of Clinical Operations for the federally-qualified health center, said staffing became an issue as many of the volunteers working at the testing sites are going back to their normal job duties.
 
"We had a lot of volunteers from AMT. We had some from UnityPoint. And yeah, some of them are going back to work," she said.
 
But she said it's still easy to get tested at a Heartland collection site--with a little preparation.
 
"We're scheduling every 10 minutes. So the process is still really quick and seamless. So if you make sure you call ahead and get that appointment, we'll see you as quickly as we can," Parent said.
 
The East Bluff site is open for appointments Monday through Friday. The Pekin site is open Wednesdays.
 
Parent said demand for testing is still high. The same number of tests are still available each day. Heartland Health Services will assess the new approach as it's implemented.
 
"We're just taking it one day at a time. We'll see what happens with our numbers," she said. "If it needs to be increased, we're not opposed to coming back and changing the process, but right now, we'll just see how it goes with the numbers."
 
On Saturdays, the health department testing site is now curbside testing, rather than a drive-thru tent. Appointments aren't required at that site.
 
The state-run testing site in the Civic Center parking lot remains open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
 
For contact information on scheduling a testing appointment at the East Bluff or Pekin Heartland COVID-19 testing sites, call (309) 680-7600.

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