CHICAGO - Governor Pritzker is frustrated with the federal government and saying we don't know how widespread the coronavirus is in Illinois because of a lack of tests.
Pritzker says he's been asking for more tests from the federal government but still nothing. The governor says we have the tests for the potential cases right now but we need more for future cases.
Right now, we have fewer than 2,000 tests. The governor insists we need more.
“This is a result of the CDC very early on not letting the best research hospitals and institutions develop their own tests,” said Gov. Pritzker. “They decided to reject that ability early on. They are now loosening that up because they realize they created a problem.”
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin was questioning that same federal decision Wednesday on the floor.
Now, the numbers are increasing of infected patients and with that comes an increase in questions. What happens if you think you have COVID-19 symptoms?
“If you go into urgent care, they will evaluate you if you are high risk and should be tested and if you should, they then refer you to a main hospital that is doing the testing,” said Dr. David Zich, Internal Medicine.
If you go to your primary care doctor with coronavirus symptoms, Dr. Zich says they will not test you at your doctor's office.
They will refer you to a "major hospital” that has access to the coronavirus testing where the hospital staff confirms you are high risk.
“Then they perform a test first for the other major viruses that we know of -- influenza, cold viruses -- if you test positive for that you are done,” said Dr. Zich.
If you test negative on the flu test then they are supposed to test you for COVID-19, swabbing in some cases both the nose and the back of the mouth.
Dr. Zich says right now even if commercial testing was an option, his practice wouldn't participate.
Vice President Pence says more than four million tests will be distributed this week.