The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) will launch COVID-19 testing site at O’Hare and Midway airports next week, ahead of the expected uptick in holiday travel.
“The Chicago Department of Aviation is proud to present the most comprehensive COVID-19 testing program of any airport system in the nation,” CDA Commissioner Jamie L. Rhee said in a statement this week. “With two types of tests available at both airports, as well as our strict adherence to public health guidelines requiring face coverings and social distancing throughout the terminals, we aim to provide the traveling public and the wider airport community with a safe environment and peace of mind.”
Travelers will be able to undergo either a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or a rapid antigen test at the airport. Results of the PCR tests are available within 72 hours and the rapid test results come back in about 20 minutes. The CDA claims to operate the “most comprehensive” testing program because of its multiple test options and availability for both travelers and employees.
The testing centers will be operated by Doctors Test Centers, in conjunction with Simply Laboratories. O’Hare’s testing center will be a walk-up pre-security testing site located next to the terminal core. One will also operate as a drive-up testing site in a remote parking lot. At Midway, the testing site will be walk-up and located inside the terminal.
Only travelers and airport and airline employees will be able to access these sites. Travelers must show proof of flying, with testing only available to those 72 hours before their flight or five days after.
The tests will cost no more than $150, according to the Chicago Tribune, with the PCR test expected to cost slightly more than the antigen test. Testing sites will accept health insurance for payment.
Masks and social distancing are still required while traversing both airports.
With the new sites, Chicago joins the list of airports around the country that have made testing available for those looking to avoid quarantine requirements this holiday travel season.
Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.
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