Chicago adding COVID-19 testing facilities at O'Hare and Midway airports next month

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A sign informs travelers on COVID-19 guidelines at the United Airlines check-in area in Terminal 1 at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on November 12, 2020. - John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/TNS

The Chicago Department of Aviation is planning to add COVID-19 testing facilities at O’Hare and Midway airports by next month for travelers and employees.

The city announced a request for proposal Friday for drive-up and walk-up facilities, with both the rapid and PCR tests offered. The tests are not free but should be covered by insurance.

“We believe it will be the most comprehensive testing system of any airports in the U.S.,” said Chicago Department of Aviation spokesman Matt McGrath.

At O’Hare International Airport, the plan calls for a drive-up testing site in a remote parking lot on the northeast side of the airport, and a pre-security walk-up site “easily accessible” by foot from the terminals.

As COVID-19 cases surge within the city, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Public Health announced this week plans to open a community-based testing test at a Midway Airport parking lot on Tuesday, but the Aviation Department is looking to add a walk-up sight within the terminal, McGrath said.

In addition to peace of mind for travelers and employees, the installation of the airport testing facilities will help passengers get proof that they do not have COVID-19, something that is required at a number of international destinations.

The due date for testing facility proposals is Nov. 30.


©2020 Chicago Tribune