On-campus COVID-19 saliva testing

The best methods to prevent transmission of COVID-19 are wearing a face covering, practicing social distancing, frequent hand washing and staying home if you have any symptoms of COVID-19. In addition to these basic prevention measures, effective testing and contact tracing programs are essential parts of UIC’s efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19 among our campus community.

Even if you are young or otherwise healthy, you are at risk and your activities can increase the risk for yourself and others. So it’s critical that we all do our part to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

UIC has implemented a mandatory saliva-based testing program for specific groups of students and employees who are not displaying symptoms of COVID-19. These groups include:

  • Students and staff in campus housing.
  • Certain students and faculty/staff in performing arts.
  • Student-athletes and athletics staff.

These groups will receive weekly mandatory tests. A negative test will be required before anyone from these three groups is eligible to participate in any on-campus activities, including classes.

Additionally, voluntary testing for all UIC students, faculty and staff (who are not among the mandatory testing groups) is available. Appointments are preferred and may be scheduled online in advance. Walk-ins are welcome and will be first come, first served based on availability around existing appointments.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign students

  • Effective Nov. 21 and through Jan. 25, Urbana-Champaign undergraduate students are not eligible for on-campus saliva testing at the Chicago campus for the rest of the Fall 2020 semester or during the winter break.
  • When UIUC classes resume for the Spring semester on Jan. 25, Urbana-Champaign 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 covidtesting@uic.edu 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 throughout the rest of the Fall 2020 semester, during winter break and during the Spring 2021 semester.
  • Please visit the Urbana-Champaign saliva testing webpage for additional information.

Before the test

  • Testing is free to all UIC students and staff.
  • Be aware of the symptoms of COVID-19. If you are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19 please seek care from a medical provider.
  • Bring a valid i-card to the testing site. It will need to be shown to be tested. Visitor cards are not accepted.
  • Refrain from eating, drinking, tooth brushing, mouth washing, gum chewing, and tobacco use for 30 minutes before submitting a saliva sample.
  • While lining up outside the testing location, please wear a face covering and practice social distancing of six feet while in line.
  • Wellness screening and temperature monitoring will be conducted at the entrance.
  • If you are under the age of 18, you must provide a signed consent form from your parent/guardian before testing.
  • No food or drink allowed in the testing site.
  • 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 drc@uic.edu 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 oaeada@uic.eduor 312-996-0512 at least two days prior to the testing date.
  • Everyone entering the testing station is asked to update their university contact information should we need to alert you of important information about further testing or contact tracing:

UIC Students

  • In Self-Service, select “University of Illinois Chicago.”
  • Log in using your NetID and Password.
  • In the Main Menu, select “Personal Information.”
  • In the Personal Information menu, select “Addresses & Phones.”

UIC faculty/staff

  • In My UI Info, select “My Profile”
  • Log in using NetID and Password
  • Select “My Profile”
  • Select “Address/Contact Information”

Taking the test

  • Individuals will be asked to provide a saliva sample. The sample collection only takes 3-5 minutes and is painless.
  • You will receive your test results via campus email within 24-48 hours.
  • If you test positive, you will be provided with follow-up isolation instructions.

Do NOT take the saliva test:

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19
  • If you have been exposed to an individual who is positive for COVID (for at least 15 minutes, within 6 feet — this does not need to be 15 minutes at once, but it can be 15 minutes total over a 24-hour period, regardless of mask-wearing).
  • If you have had a positive COVID-19 test within 90 days.
  • If you have had a saliva test in the previous 48 hours.

Testing locations

Tests are available from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Tue. and Thur.; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon., Wed. and Fri.; and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. in the following locations:

  • Student Center West, 828 S. Wolcott Ave. (Thompson Room)
  • Student Center East, 750 S Halsted St. (North Pier Room)
  • Dorin Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Road.

Voluntary testing appointments are preferred and may be scheduled online in advance. Walk-ins are welcome and will be first come, first served based on availability around existing appointments.

Mandatory testing will be scheduled with the specific groups of students and employees in advance.

SPECIAL NOTE: Appointment confirmations (via phone or printed out) will be required before entry to testing sites.

Check the online scheduling page for up-to-date information regarding locations and hours.

How often to get tested

Mandatory testing groups identified above will be tested at least once a week.

As testing capacity increases, voluntary testing for additional students, faculty and staff will be expanded.

Test Results

Students, faculty and staff will receive test results within 24-48 hours. You will receive an email to your university email account containing a link to your University of Illinois Patient Health Portal (found at MyMcKinley.illinois.edu). McKinley Health Center, the health care provider serving students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will also serve as the portal for UIC COVID-19 saliva test results. The email will be addressed:

From: no-reply@mckinley.illinois.edu
Subject: MyMckinley: New Message

Click the link to see your test results. If you do not see an email visit the McKinley Health Center website, click the My McKinley tab and log in to view your results at their online portal.

If you have not used the McKinley Health Center Patient Portal before, you can check for results by logging in with your University NetID and password and clicking on the Messages icon. You will need to use 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) to log in. Support information for getting 2FA set up is available online. If your test results are available, you will see a secure message for your Saliva COVID test results.

Contact tracing

The university has a contact tracing team based at the UIC School of Public Health that is responsible for contacting students, faculty and staff who test positive and to counsel individuals on isolation, determine and notify their close contacts on campus, and monitor for health symptoms.

UIC Contact Tracing and Epidemiology Program (UIC-CCTEP) will provide contact tracing for two types of COVID-19 tests:

  1. UIC campus saliva testing: performed on UIC’s campus for asymptomatic employees and students.
  2. On-demand testing: performed on a UIC student or employee because they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have had a known exposure to someone with COVID-19. This testing may be done at University Health Services, Student Health Services, or through a personal health care provider.

If you are a student or employee, please follow the procedures below for contact tracing, reporting COVID-19 symptoms and reporting exposures to a COVID-positive individual:

 UIC employees
Health Sciences College students on a clinical rotation currently, in the past two weeks, or in the next two weeks (clinical rotations include experiential learning, field placements, or any clinical work such as an internship/externship)
All other UIC students
(including other Health Sciences College students not on a clinical rotation
and student employees)
Campus saliva testingCCTEP quickly notifies these individuals of positive results, screens them for any concerning symptoms, and defines isolation procedures.

University Health Services (UHS) manages case investigation, contact elicitation, notification of instructors/supervisors/preceptors, and all subsequent follow-up.

Patient contact tracing will be handled by Infection Control for healthcare workers or students on a clinical rotation at UI Health.
All follow-up through CCTEP.

University Health Service (UHS) will provide official work status documentation for student employees to share with their supervisor.
All other testingRequired to self-report positive COVID-19 tests done outside of University Health Services (UHS) through their survey. All follow-up will be through UHS.

Patient contact tracing will be handled by Infection Control for healthcare workers or students on a clinical rotation at UI Health.
Required to self-report positive COVID-19 tests through CCTEP survey.

All follow-up through CCTEP.
Known exposure to a COVID-positive person
experiencing symptoms of COVID-19
Report to UHS through their survey. In the online survey, click the drop-down underneath the green bar “Record For” and choose COVID Intake, then click the button that says “Record Now” and answer the questions.

Note: for HSC students who have experienced an exposure, report to UHS if you are on a clinical rotation currently or in the next two weeks, or else report as explained in the column to the right labeled "All other UIC students"
Report to Student Health Services (SHS) by telephone 312-996-2901.

Student may also choose to contact their personal healthcare provider.

UIC-CCTEP 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. The team will then provide daily follow-up during a person’s isolation period, except for those employees and students for whom University Health Services will provide subsequent follow-up (see above). UIC-CCTEP 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 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, the tracing team will reach out by phone to any UIC employee or student who may have been exposed to an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 in order to provide support and guidance.  Every effort will be made to keep the name of the infected individual confidential. Persons with significant exposures to the infected individual will be asked to quarantine for 14 days.

If you have questions about UIC contact tracing, please call 312-355-2555. Hours of operation are Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sun., 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. UIC-CCTEP will be closed during the Thanksgiving holiday, Nov. 26-29.

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 more information

We will share additional information about testing as it becomes available on this webpage and through our weekly Circle Back to Campus newsletter.