Carle begins limited testing for the coronavirus


The Daily Illini File Photo

Carle Foundation Hospital on March 2, 2019. Carle has made new screening tools available for patients concerned about coronavirus.

By Ethan Simmons, News Editor

Carle Foundation Hospital began providing limited on-site testing for the COVID-19 disease on Friday.

Testing is limited to patients who have displayed some or all of the classic symptoms; fever, cough, shortness of breath and a sore throat.

“What this means for patients is faster results – not just for Carle patients – but for all. As more hospitals are capable of local testing, it reduces strain on state and commercial labs,” said Kayla Banks, Carle vice president of quality and infection prevention.

Carle’s advent of COVID-19 tests comes as Champaign County’s number of cases cracks double digits — 11 people have tested positive for the coronavirus countywide, which is up three from Wednesday’s count.

“We have community transmission, meaning the virus is circulating among the local community and infecting people who are not sure how or where they were infected, we all should consider ourselves at risk for exposure to COVID-19,” Carle said in a press release.

Carle advises against self-medicating: they fiercely oppose taking any medication to prevent COVID-19 that isn’t prescribed by a medical professional.

“Researchers are developing vaccines to help prevent this virus but those solutions are several months away. There is no medication that has demonstrated the ability to prevent this virus today. The best care is rest, fluids and fever-reducing medications,” Carle said.

Residents can visit Carle’s website for an online screening tool, or call (217) 902-6100 for more information. Christie Clinic’s Windsor Road location also has a testing facility for the virus, but patients must call ahead to determine their testing location.

Carle listed additional area health resources in their release:

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (217) 239-7877

  • Email [email protected]
  • Updated information available at
  • Follow Champaign-Urbana Public Health District on Facebook for up to date information.

Christie Clinic (217) 366-4070 (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Monday – Friday)

  • Visit or follow Christie Clinic on social media for the most up to date
    information on COVID-19.
  • Christie Clinic has an authorized testing facility outside the Christie Clinic on Windsor location.
    Patients identified through the Illinois Department of Public Health’s screening protocol to need
    testing will be directed to this location. Patients need to call ahead to receive specific
    instructions on where to go and how to be tested. This will reduce the risk of potential
    exposure to others.
  • To help slow the spread of COVID-19, Christie Clinic patients will be limited to one support
    person at their appointment. Additional guests should remain in their vehicles.

OSF 833-OSF KNOW (833-673-5669)

  • The COVID-19 Nurse Hotline is staffed by OSF registered nurses around the clock, and during
    times of heavy usage will be staffed by other OSF health care professionals.
  • Clare, the virtual assistant chatbot on, is equipped to begin screenings for and
    educate the public about COVID-19.
  • OSF COVID Companion is a free text messaging tool that the public can use to receive guidance
    about COVID-19. To subscribe, users can text OSF to 67634.

Promise Health

  • Call (217) 356-1558 for care at Frances Nelson
  • Call (217) 693-4660 for care at Promise on Walnut
  • Call (217) 403-5477 for dental care with SmileHealthy

[email protected]