On-campus COVID-19 saliva testing
Throughout the pandemic, UIC has relied on regular COVID-19 saliva testing, daily health screening and contact tracing programs to minimize the spread of COVID-19 among our campus community.
Who should test
COVID-19 saliva testing is required for all individuals, except for those who are fully vaccinated who have disclosed their vaccination status through UIC Healthcheck, twice per 7-day period, 48 or more hours apart, beginning Aug. 23. This includes:
- all unvaccinated students, faculty and staff who have requested a medical or religious vaccination exemption.
- all partially vaccinated students, faculty and staff who have a scheduled final vaccine dose and vaccination completion is imminent.
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.
Before the test
- Refrain from eating, drinking, tooth brushing, mouth washing, gum chewing, and tobacco use for 30 minutes before submitting a saliva sample.
- Be aware of the symptoms of COVID-19. If you are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19 please contact your medical provider to seek care and determine if diagnostic testing is recommended (individuals with COVID-19 symptoms are not eligible for saliva testing).
- Bring a valid i-card to the testing site. It will need to be shown to be tested.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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:
- 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.”
- 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 process only takes 3-5 minutes and is painless.
- You will receive your test results via MyChart within 24-48 hours.
- 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 symptoms of COVID-19.
- 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.)
- If you have had a saliva test in the previous 48 hours.
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.
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.
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.
Main campus saliva-based COVID-19 testing sites are located at:
- Student Center West, 828 S. Wolcott Ave., Room 213
- Student Center East, 750 S Halsted St., Room 713 (Tower)
Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
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.
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.
Saliva testing is available at the regional campuses in Rockford and Peoria and at the Law School.
UIC Healthcheck and Daily Pass
Upon disclosing that you are fully vaccinated (at least 14 days since your final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine), you will not be required to participate in mandatory on-campus saliva testing and UIC Healthcheck. Your UIC Daily Pass will remain green.
Individuals who are partially vaccinated and those who received a COVID-19 vaccination exemption are required to record their health status before coming to campus each day using UIC Healthcheck. The 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, may be used as a tool to ensure staff, faculty and students are in compliance with health and safety measures.
Note: Timeframes are measured from the time of sample collection – using order date and time:
- You have had at least two negative saliva tests in the 7 days, or
- You have had a negative saliva test in the past 48 hours, or
- You are not in the saliva test program because you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 90 days**, or
- You are exempt (CLEARED) from UIC saliva testing requirements as a result of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19
- You have had a recent saliva test but the results are not available yet
- You are not currently CLEARED from mandatory testing and have not met the testing requirements necessary to turn your badge GREEN or YELLOW, or
- Your most recent test was inconclusive and you have not had a second retest within 72 hours
**If you tested positive for COVID-19 recently at a non-UIC testing location, please report this via the UIC COVID-19 Reporting Tool.
The Healthcheck and Daily Pass reports are available to colleges and supervisors to monitor the status of employees and students. Anyone with a red Healthcheck or Daily Pass badge will be required to immediately obtain a saliva test or leave campus.
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:
Saliva testing is available to current students, faculty and staff with a NetID.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Please email COVIDtesting@uic.edu.