Dwight WertsWOOD RIVER - A new COVID-19 testing station on Old St. Louis Road at the former emissions testing station, will be opened Friday thanks to a generous move by businessman/humanitarian Dwight Werts.

Werts, owner of Werts Welding and Tank Services in Wood River, is donating the space of the building and also paying for the electricity, Wood River Mayor Cheryl Maguire said Thursday. A more formal announcement about the testing station will come soon in a release from the Madison County Health Department. Mayor Maguire said a soft opening is tentatively planned for Friday.

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Dwight is an active volunteer and philanthropist in the Riverbend area. Having served on many boards such as the Marquette Foundation, St. Anthony’s Health Center, and others; he currently is a trustee of Lewis and Clark Community College and is past chairman of the RiverBend Growth Association.

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Dwight and his wife Cheryl were recipients of the Riverbend Headstart and Family Services Circle of Care Award in 2014. They were also instrumental in establishing the Veterans Emergency Fund at Lewis and Clark and other scholarship funds. He has contributed to countless civic and community causes over the years.

“Dwight Werts is donating the use of this facility for the good of the community,” Mayor Maguire said of the new COVID-19 testing location. “This is being coordinated through the Madison County Health Department and Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation. This is indicative of the quality of Dwight’s character. He recognizes the need for a testing station here in the area. Dwight is an outstanding person, not just for Wood River, but the entire Riverbend area. He is a person who just gives back.”

The new Wood River COVID-19 testing center should be open each day from 8:30 to 4 p.m. and the phone number is (618) 646-2596, Mayor Maguire said.

If you have a If you have a "Difference Makers" story idea during the COVID-19 pandemic, e-mail Dan Brannan at news@riverbender.com or text him at (618) 623-5930. Include a photo of the individual or group, information about their contribution, and their phone number.

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