DEKALB – DeKalb County residents have a chance to get free fast COVID-19 tests, one per household family member, from the DeKalb County Health Department, until supplies run out.
The National Board of Health announced Wednesday that local health officials through its partnership with the Illinois Department of Public Health received a supply of over-the-counter iHealth COVID-19 rapid antigen tests to be distributed free of charge to community members.
Supplies are limited to one test per. household family member and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, health officials said. The tests require a nasal inoculation that users can administer on their own, with results expected in minutes.
Tests can be picked up free of charge between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at DeKalb County Health Department, 2550 N. Annie Glidden Road in DeKalb. Each set has two tests and is free for all residents.
Rapid tests work best when used on a person who is already experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or is administered 5 to 7 days after exposure to the virus. If someone experiences COVID-19 symptoms and tests negative on a rapid test, the health authorities should have said these people are strongly encouraged to test themselves again. They can also seek out a PCR molecular test – also a nose graft test, which is sent to a laboratory and offered at most pharmacies in the area – for more accurate results.
People should quarantine themselves while waiting for test results.
Unlike previous strains of COVID-19, the omicron variant may not show a loss of taste or odor. Instead, many report feeling cold or flu-like symptoms, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.
In general, Look after: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, stuffy nose or runny nose, nausea or vomiting or diarrhea.
People with compromised immune systems or other health problems, such as older adults with heart or lung disease or diabetes, are at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 complications.
While the level of community virus is not at levels recorded below the omicron peak in January and February, state data reported Wednesday admissions and the case increases. This is in line with national trends, which are expected to cause a further increase in viral activity, this time driven by a subvariant of omicron, called BA 220.127.116.11.
For a non-exhaustive list of test sites, go to dph.illinois.gov/testing.