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COVID-19 test site closes at Northlake Walmart

The test center will be consolidated with another coronavirus test site at a Walmart in Joliet.

Medical personnel at a federal COVID-19 drive-thru testing site in the parking lot of Walmart in North Lake, Ill., Wednesday, March 25, 2020. The new coronavirus cause mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) ORG XMIT: ILNH133
Medical personnel at a federal COVID-19 drive-thru testing site in the parking lot of Walmart in Northlake, March 25, 2020.
AP Photos

A drive-thru COVID-19 test site in a north suburban Walmart parking lot will close Friday afternoon after less than two weeks of operation.

The Northlake test center at 137 W. North Ave. will be consolidated with another coronavirus test site at a Walmart in Joliet, Northlake police said in a statement.

The Joliet site, 2424 W. Jefferson St., will remain open to first responders, health care workers and people 65 or older with symptoms, police said.

A Walmart spokesperson said the Northlake site was closed in response to the opening of a state-run test site at 6959 Forest Preserve Dr. on the Northwest Side of Chicago.

“With the state site opening at Forest Preserve, just eight miles away from Northlake, we are closing the Northlake testing site and moving our resources to Joliet ... ,” Walmart spokesperson Marilee McInnis said in an email.

The two Walmart site have completed nearly 3,000 tests, McInnis said.

“We appreciate the city of Northlake for their support, and we look forward to continuing to serve Joliet,” McInnis said.

The Joliet and Northlake test sites opened March 22 to first responders, and were the first test sites in the county opened by Walmart and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

On Thursday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that Abbott Labs would send the state 15 rapid COVID-19 testing machines that can give positive test results in five minutes. The machines are expected to be used in urgent care centers.

As of Thursday, 7,695 of the 43,656 tested for COVID-19 in Illinois have been positive, with 157 succumbing to the disease.