Jones cvd testing 041520CHAMPAIGN – The COVID-19 testing site at the Market Place Shopping Center in Champaign reopened Wednesday morning after being closed earlier in the week, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) announced.

“As we continue to fight the spread of coronavirus, testing remains a top priority,” Bennett said. “This essential community service will help put a stop to this pandemic.”

All individuals with symptoms are encouraged to seek testing at these Community Based Testing Sites. Priority is given to first responders, health care workers, seniors, those with underlying conditions or with mild illness in areas with a high number of COVID-19 cases.

Additional accommodations have been made for some individuals with or without COVID-like symptoms, such as healthcare workers, first responders, employees of correctional facilities, individuals exposed to confirmed COVID-19 patients, employees that support critical infrastructure (grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, gas stations, public utilities, factories, childcare and sanitation), all local and state government employees, and individuals with compromised immune systems or chronic medical conditions.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said the following is what to know before seeking a test from the site:

  • This is a free service that can be obtained without a doctor’s referral. While this is a free service, people will be asked to show photo identification and healthcare employee or first responder ID/badge, if applicable.
  • Patients utilizing drive-thru testing sites must be seated at a functioning window. Once a person gets in line at the CBTS, they will not be permitted to exit their car. For the safety of the testing personnel, drive-thru sites will not be able to accommodate walk-up individuals.
  • Due to the demand for this service, IDPH anticipates there could be significant wait times associated with these drive-thru community-based testing sites. If someone is experiencing a medical emergency, they are urged to call their doctor or emergency department to seek immediate care and instructions.

The site is located in the parking lot of Market Place Shopping Center at 2000 N. Neil Street and will offer testing services seven days a week from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., or while daily supplies last.

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CHAMPAIGN – In response to the eruption of violence throughout the Champaign area this past weekend, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) released the following statement:

“I join my colleagues and concerned community members in feeling saddened and frustrated in George Floyd’s tragic death and the ongoing forms of hate and racism.

“What happened in Minnesota is horrific. As a country, we have a duty to help strengthen the trust between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve. When people come to peacefully protest, it is an expression of fear, grief, frustration and anger. But most importantly, it’s a call for change.

“I will continue to support those who are working to create a more just society. However, I will not defend those who are using this moment of despair to cause unnecessary violence, destruction and looting. While we seek a solution to end racism and injustice in our society, we must work together – not against each other.”

dinelocallyCHAMPAIGN – After restrictions were lifted for Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan to allow for outdoor dining, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) encourages people to support their local business owners.

“The economic impacts of this pandemic have been devastating to small businesses, especially those in the food service and hospitality industries,” Bennett said. “We have a responsibility to our local businesses to do all we can to get them going again. Now is the time to support our business owners and working people that make our community special.”

Since the first executive order issued on March 21, restaurants and bars had been forced to stop dine-in service to slow the spread of COVID-19. Earlier this month, the governor announced outdoor dining would now be permitted for regions that enter Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan. All four regions entered Phase 3 Friday, May 29.

“It’s critical that we continue to listen to the recommendations of our public health experts so we can continue to progress forward,” Bennett said. “Please be considerate and remember to wear your masks and keep six feet apart while waiting to reserve a table.”

senior care 052820CHAMPAIGN – The state budget for the next fiscal year will increase funding to senior services to help some of the most vulnerable Illinoisans cope during the COVID-19 crisis, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) announced Thursday.

“Because seniors are more likely to experience serious consequences if they contract coronavirus, many older adults have had to isolate themselves from friends and family for the past few months,” Bennett said. “This budget gives our seniors the tools to live independently.”

To offer much-needed assistance to struggling seniors during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, the budget provides $201.7 million in additional funding to the Illinois Department on Aging.

This includes $1 billion in support for the Community Care Program, which provides cost-effective alternatives to nursing home placement and helps seniors maintain their independence. As long-term care facilities account for a disproportionate number of COVID-19 deaths across the country, programs that enable older adults to remain at home may save lives.

The funds will also allow the Department on Aging to continue to offer home-delivered meal services and run the Senior HelpLine, which connects older adults and caregivers with local programs and services. In addition, the budget increases funding to Adult Protective Services to expand efforts to prevent abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of older adults.

Area Agencies on Aging will receive an additional $1.2 million to provide community-based services to seniors at a local level.

“While isolation may be a necessary step to keep higher-risk older adults safe during this pandemic, they are not alone,” Bennett said. “I’m pleased to see the state is stepping up to protect vital services for our aging parents, friends and loved ones.”

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