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Mile Square–South Shore Clinic Expands COVID-19 Testing

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Mile Square–South Shore, located at 7037 S. Stony Island Ave., will provide up to 30 COVID-19 tests a day.
Mile Square–South Shore, located at 7037 S. Stony Island Ave., will provide up to 30 COVID-19 tests a day.

UI Health's Mile Square Health Center network of federally qualified health centers (FQHC) is now providing COVID-19 testing to community members on the South Side who meet testing criteria at its Mile Square-South Shore clinic, located at 7037 S. Stony Island Ave. 

Previously, only established or new Mile Square patients with symptoms were able to get a test. Now, any person in the community who meets COVID-19 testing criteria - such as having symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, and diarrhea - can make an appointment to get tested. Test results will be available in one to two days.

Previously, only established or new Mile Square patients with symptoms were able to get a test. Now, any person in the community who meets COVID-19 testing criteria - such as having symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, and diarrhea - can make an appointment to get tested. Test results will be available in one to two days. 

"We are proud to respond to the needs of the South Shore community and to play an active role in addressing COVID-19 disparities," said Dr. Ian Jasenof, chief medical officer of Mile Square Health Center. 

"Mile Square has a long history of bringing healthcare to communities regardless of individuals' income, insurance status, or ability to pay for care - expanding our COVID-19 testing capacity on Chicago's South Side is an extension of our promise to put the health and well-being of all communities at the center of all we do," said Henry Taylor, executive director of the UI Health Mile Square network. 

The South Shore clinic began testing a limited number of patients April 27 but will test patients by appointment from 10 am to 3 pm, Monday through Friday, beginning Tuesday, April 28. The clinic is prepared to provide up to 30 tests a day. 

As part of its expanded testing program, Mile Square has formalized a home-monitoring program for individuals who test positive. 

"Follow-up and monitoring COVID-19 progression is just as important as testing," Jasenof said. "We still do not know why some people with COVID-19 have mild illness while others have severe and life-threatening illness. This monitoring process was developed to make sure that if people do become severely ill, they have resources in place to get help quickly." 

Mile Square–South Shore, located at 7037 S. Stony Island Ave., will provide up to 30 COVID-19 tests a day.
Members of the COVID-19 testing team at Mile Square-South Shore. 

The South Shore clinic occupies space owned and operated by the Chicago Child Care Society, in Chicago's 5th Ward. 

"I welcome Mile Square's capacity to start testing in South Shore, which is one of the communities hardest hit by the pandemic. While 30 tests per day are a good first start, I hope the staff will have the resources to increase the number of daily tests," said 5th Ward Ald. Leslie Hairston. "We know the key to flattening the curve is treatment, testing ,and tracking."  Dara Munson, CEO of the Chicago Childcare Society, said, "Chicago Child Care Society has a longstanding commitment to the South Shore neighborhood and is a proud partner with UI Mile Square Health Center. We are saddened but not surprised by the disparities that COVID-19 is illuminating. CCCS is committed to doing our part to serve this and all communities during this pandemic and beyond." 

The South Shore clinic is UI Health's third official testing site. The drive-up testing center at Mile Square-Main, located at 1220 S. Wood St., tested its first patient March 25; and the evaluation clinic at the Pilsen Family Health Center Lower West, located at 1713 S. Ashland Ave., began evaluating and testing patients March 30. 

Combined, these three UI Health testing centers can process around 150 tests each day. 

At this time, all testing centers are by appointment only and only for patients who meet testing criteria. 

Patients should call 866.600.2273 to speak with a nurse to make an appointment or visit UI Health's COVID-19 site for more information. 

Mile Square also has plans to expand its COVID-19 testing program to other locations Next up is Mile Square-Cicero, located at 4745-51 W. Cermak Road, which is expected to start testing in early May.