On-campus COVID-19 saliva testing
Throughout the pandemic, UIC has relied on COVID-19 saliva testing and contact tracing programs to minimize the spread of COVID-19 among our campus community. UIC now offers the SHIELD Illinois saliva-based test on campus. Read updated COVID-19 guidance for the summer and fall.
Who should test
Mandatory COVID-19 testing is required for:
- All unvaccinated students, faculty and staff who have a medical or religious vaccination exemption and all partially vaccinated students, faculty and staff, twice per 7-day period, 48 or more hours apart.
- Students in performing arts, once per 7-day period, to allow for unmasked educational performances.
- Student athletes should follow testing directives from UIC Athletics.
Surveillance testing is strongly encouraged for:
- All students, faculty and staff not in mandatory testing groups. Specific units and departments will be contacted via email throughout the semester on a rotating basis to participate in saliva testing to inform current and future health and safety measures.
COVID-19 saliva testing at the University of Illinois Chicago. (Joshua Clark/University of Illinois Chicago)
Testing is free to all UIC students, faculty and staff.
Effective May 9, UIC will offer the SHIELD Illinois saliva-based test at Student Center East, Student Center West and the Behavioral Sciences Building, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Saliva testing is available at the regional campuses in Rockford and Peoria and at the Law School.
Before the test
- Bring a valid i-card to the testing site.
- Faculty, staff and students will be able to pick up a sample collection kit that can be used at your convenience and dropped off where it was picked up. Samples should be dropped off within 4 hours of collection.
- You should NOT eat, drink or put anything in your mouth one hour before taking the salvia-based test. This includes smoking, tobacco/vape, chewing gum, using mouth wash, etc.
- If you are under the age of 18, you must provide a signed consent form from your parent/guardian before testing.
- Learn more about the SHIELD Illinois saliva test.
- Should a student be unable to independently conduct the saliva testing due to mobility, ambulatory, or other disability, it is advised that the student contact the Disability Resource Center at email@example.com or 312-996-8332 at least two days prior to the testing date.
- Should an employee be unable to independently conduct the saliva testing due to mobility, ambulatory, or other disability, it is advised that the employee contact the Office for Access and Equity at firstname.lastname@example.org 312-996-0512 at least two days prior to the testing date.
Taking the test
- Individuals will provide a saliva sample. The process only takes a few minutes and is painless.
- If you test positive, you will be provided with follow-up isolation instructions and will be contacted by UIC contact tracing. Participating in contact tracing is part of UIC’s strategy to keep the campus safe.
Do NOT take the saliva test:
- If you have had a positive COVID-19 test within the past 90 days. (Testing positive another time within 90 days of a prior positive test does not mean that you are infectious to others.)
Saliva test results
Test results will be available using SHIELD Illinois’ “Point and Click” system within 48 hours. You must create an account (using Agency Code flames22) to view your results. Test results will no longer be available in UI Health MyChart.
If you have questions about your test, contact the SHIELD Illinois patient hotline at 217-265-6059.
UIC Healthcheck and Daily Pass
The UIC Healthcheck and Daily Pass tools will no longer be used on campus, effective May 9. Read updated COVID-19 guidance for the summer and fall.
The UIC contact tracing team is responsible for contacting students, faculty and staff who test positive using on-campus saliva testing, as well as those testing positive at University Health Services and Student Health Services, and those who self-report any other tests. UIC contact tracing counsels individuals on isolation, identifies and notifies their close contacts on campus, monitors both groups for COVID-19 symptoms, and connects individuals in need with campus and external resources to successfully complete isolation and quarantine. Closely monitor your primary or UIC email for communications from contact tracing, email@example.com.
Effective May 22, contact tracing hours of operation are:
- Tuesday through Saturday, noon-8 p.m.
- Although operations will be closed on Mondays, the inbox (firstname.lastname@example.org) will be monitored for questions.
Everyone who tests should update their university contact information using the following resources:
If you are a student or employee, please report COVID-19 symptoms and exposures to a COVID-positive individual using the online reporting tool.
UIC contact tracing will be in touch with anyone who receives a positive saliva test or submits a positive test result within 24-48 hours of their result or submission of their results online, respectively. They will then provide regular follow-up during a person’s isolation period. UIC contact tracing will inform these individuals when it is acceptable for them to leave isolation.
A key component of contact tracing is to obtain a list of persons who may have been exposed to infected individuals. If an individual receives a positive test result it will be important to begin compiling a list of persons with whom they have been in direct physical or close contact, particularly if that involved close contact (within 6 feet for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, and is regardless of mask-wearing). After assembling a list of contacts, UIC contact tracing will notify any UIC employee or student who may have been exposed to an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 through email. Every effort will be made to keep the name of the infected individual confidential. The communication will include a link to a brief survey which will provide the person with tailored quarantine, testing and symptom monitoring based on their responses. These responses will be closely monitored for any indication of individuals requiring additional support and guidance. Persons with significant exposures to the infected individual or who are not up to date on their vaccinations will be asked to quarantine based on current UIC quarantine policy.
For additional information about quarantine and isolation, printable fact sheets are available:
- If someone in your household has recently tested positive for COVID-19
- If someone in your household has been exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID-19
For additional information about Contact Tracing classroom procedures:
- UIC classroom public health guidance for faculty
- UIC classroom public health guidance for supervisors
- UIC classroom public health guidance for students
Saliva testing is available to current students, faculty and staff with a NetID and i-card.
Urbana-Champaign and Springfield undergraduate students who participate in in-person instruction or internships in Chicago may be eligible for on-campus saliva testing at the Chicago campus. Please contact email@example.com to determine eligibility.
Faculty, staff, and graduate students from Urbana-Champaign who are based in Chicago for work and/or research activities will continue to be eligible for testing.