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 or a household member have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive for COVID-19. In addition to these basic prevention measures, regular 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 for contracting and spreading COVID-19 to others, and your activities can increase the risk for yourself and others. Because of this, it’s critical that we all do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19.

COVID-19 saliva testing at the University of Illinois Chicago. (Joshua Clark/University of Illinois Chicago)

Mandatory saliva testing

COVID-19 saliva testing is required for all individuals participating in on-campus activities. Individuals should continue to participate in regular saliva testing after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. While the vaccine has very high efficacy, it is not 100%.

Saliva testing is for individuals who are not displaying symptoms of COVID-19. 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.

UIC Healthcheck and Daily Pass

All students, faculty and staff participating in on-campus activities (outside of the hospital and clinics) will be required to use UIC Healthcheck to record health status before coming to campus each day. An enhanced UIC Daily Pass shows current saliva testing status in addition to daily self-reported status. The color-coded saliva testing status, indicated by the badge, should be used as a tool to encourage staff, faculty and students to obtain regular testing and minimize risk to others while on campus:

GREEN

YELLOW

RED

The Healthcheck and Daily Pass reports are available to colleges and supervisors to monitor the status of employees and students. Faculty may require that students show their Daily Pass before or during class.  Anyone with a red Healthcheck or Daily Pass badge will be required to immediately obtain a saliva test or leave campus.

Saliva test results

Saliva test results are available in MyChart, the Patient Portal used by UI Health. 

Individuals who do not activate MyChart prior to their testing saliva appointment will be asked to sign up at the testing site. It is recommended that individuals use a NetID when setting up a login and password. If you already have a MyChart account through UI Health or another healthcare provider, the results will be sent to the email you already have established within MyChart. 

Before the test

Students

Faculty/staff

Taking the test

Do NOT take the saliva test:

You may take the saliva test for COVID-19 after being exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 on day 7 or later from last exposure.

Testing locations

Main campus saliva-based COVID-19 testing sites are located at:

Effective May 10, saliva testing hours at Student Center East and Student Center West will be open:

Monday 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Tuesday 12 p.m.-4 p.m.
Wednesday 12 p.m.-4 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Saliva testing locations will be closed on Saturday, May 29, and Monday, May 31, for the Memorial Day weekend. Testing sites will reopen at noon on Tuesday, June 1.

The Dorin Forum location will be closed during the summer.

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.

SPECIAL NOTE: Appointment confirmations (via phone or printed out) will be required before entry to testing sites. The last patient is accepted 15 minutes prior to closing.

Contact tracing

The UIC contact tracing team is responsible for contacting students, faculty and staff who test positive using the COVID-19 saliva test, 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.

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 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 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

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and University of Illinois Springfield students

During the Spring semester, 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 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 during the Spring 2021 semester.

Please visit the Urbana-Champaign saliva testing webpage or Springfield saliva testing webpage for additional information.

More information

For additional information or questions about saliva testing, please contact the COVID-19 Call Center at 312-355-4649 or email COVIDtesting@uic.edu. We will share additional information about testing as it becomes available on this webpage and through our weekly Circle Back to Campus newsletter.