Who is required to test weekly?

  • Students from College of Medicine, MBT Program, College of Nursing and College of Pharmacy who will be attending class or events or studying on campus
  • Faculty who come on campus for College of Medicine including MBT Program, College of Pharmacy or College of Nursing
  • Staff of College of Medicine, College of Pharmacy, College of Nursing, Student Health and Wellness, Crawford Library of the Health Sciences, Rockford Health Council and Easter Seals who come to campus.

Testing is required for these groups regardless of vaccination status. Off-campus and volunteer faculty are not part of the mandatory COVID-19 testing program, but are encouraged to be tested if they come to campus on a testing day.  Mandatory testing is only applicable to those faculty, staff, and students who regularly report to work at a university building or a work site operated by the university (Mile Square Health Center – L.P. Johnson Rockford, Correctional Health Care Services, and MERIT).

What do I have to do?

In order to get tested, individuals should sign up for an account on the SHIELD Illinois portal and schedule their test appointment. (You will receive a text message for verification, so have your phone handy. For compliance purposes, sign up using your UIC email. Check your junk mail folder if you used email.) Portal Set Up Instructions

To sign up for an account:

Go to Website: Portal.shieldillinois.com 

Use link: Sign up for an account (under the Password box)

Use appropriate Agency code:

         Agency Code for Employees: uicr-66jlmqqe

         Agency Code for Students: uicr-4pjtnutl

         Agency Code for Community: df5brbrj

Fill in all information and click “Submit.”

Anyone who needs help or has problems with registration should call SHIELD’s 24/7 patient hotline: 217-265-6059.

PATIENT QUESTIONS 217-265-6059 24 hours a day, 7 days a weekGet Help With: • Signing in and registering patient portal accounts • Scheduling testing appointments • Viewing appointments • Viewing test results • Other patient portal questions

Please plan to test when you are on campus at least once per week. If you do not come to campus regularly, test on the day you do come to campus.

Where do I go?

Students, staff and faculty should use Pelham Road to enter campus and do not park in indicated areas.

Continue to Use Main Entrance ONLY – You must come into campus through the main entrance in the A Building to be checked-in, answer screening questions, and have your temperature checked. DO NOT enter through the testing center/East Building doors, even if they are open. If you go out the East Building door to do saliva testing outside, you may come back in through that door without having to re-check in at the main desk.

The testing site is located in tents in the South Parking Lot, which is the lot nearest the Commons entrance near the flagpoles, or in the Commons, depending on weather and community testing. Bring your QR code on your mobile phone or printed out.

When are appointments available? updated June 14, 2021

New Monday and Friday hours for students, staff and faculty at the SHIELD Illinois COVID-19 Testing Center on the UIC Health Sciences Campus-Rockford will allow testing to occur every weekday.
Hours for UIC students, staff and faculty:
  • Mondays: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. starting June 14
  • Tuesdays: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Wednesdays: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Thursdays: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Fridays: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. starting June 18

Community testing will also occur on some of these days.

New, More Flexible Saliva Testing Announced
Students, staff and faculty are encouraged to make an appointment for saliva testing through the SHIELD portal and you may test any time during the open hours that day (Mon. 8-12, Tues. 8-5, Wed. 10:30-1:30, Thurs. 8-6, Fri. 8-12) even if it is not your appointment time. Just bring your QR code. If you forgot to register for an appointment, you can make an appointment up to 10 minutes before collection hours end. You can walk in, but the QR code truly speeds up check-out.

Why do I have to do this?

As we return to campus, ensuring the health and safety of our campus community is of utmost importance. Per UIC policy, routine testing can help us identify infected but asymptomatic individuals and guide them for isolation to help stop the transmission of COVID-19 by catching early infections.

How is the testing conducted?

Before your test, do not eat, drink (including water), brush teeth, chew gum, smoke, or use tobacco products within 60 minutes of providing a saliva sample. Doing any of these things within 60 minutes of providing a sample could produce an inconclusive result and require the individual to re-test.

At the testing center, you will be instructed to pick up a tube and drool into it until an adequate sample is obtained. This usually takes only a few minutes. Thinking of something sour or your favorite food may help you salivate.

The test is a PCR-based test that can be used for surveillance or diagnostic testing for COVID-19.

FDA Fact Sheet for Patients

How do I get my test results?

Test results will be posted in the SHIELD Illinois patient portal after the lab results are completed, usually the same day as you are tested. Note: this is not the UI Health patient portal used for previous saliva tests.

If you are unable to do saliva testing for a medical reason, contact Employee Health Services or Student Health and Wellness for alternatives.

Frequently Asked Questions About Saliva Testing

Are we considering the option of vaccinated individuals being exempt from saliva testing, like some other universities?

UIC investigating the option of exempting vaccinated individuals from the weekly saliva testing requirements.  The Rockford campus will adjust testing requirements as requirement changes occur at UIC.

For individuals that commute and are fully vaccinated, it is not feasible to schedule weekly commutes for saliva testing. What alternative measure is feasible other than maintaining social distancing and hygiene safeguards to comply with COVID safety measures, as weekly testing increases commute time significantly and is not rational?

Individuals will not be required to come to campus just for COVID-19 saliva testing.  However, they will be expected to participate in testing on the day they travel to campus if testing is being offered on that day.

Prior to SHIELD Illinois Testing, Rockford saliva tests were housed in UI Health’s MyChart. The assumption (in Chicago) is this will no longer be the case with SHIELD Illinois Testing. Are there any efforts to coordinate SHIELD Illinois Testing with Chicago campus testing for faculty with joint appointments in Chicago, to avoid having to complete saliva tests on both campuses?

Currently, there is not a mechanism to share results between UI Health’s MyChart and Shield Illinois.  Until such time there is the ability to share results, testing would be required at both locations.

Faculty experts indicated there is no need for saliva testing among those who have been vaccinated. While utmost caution for COVID variants is critical, what evidence was used to support the decision to go from optional testing to mandatory weekly testing?

The Rockford campus is following guidance from the University to determine COVID-19 testing requirements.  This guidance states that when regular testing and rapid results are combined with contact tracing, these can be effective tools to help reduce transmission.  This is important so we can promptly identify those who are asymptomatic as there may be possible cases of infection after vaccination.  This will help reduce transmission as no vaccines are 100% effective.  There is always the possibility of some breakthrough of infection.  Regular testing of those vaccinated will identify breakthrough infection with variant strains early to reduce transmission.

Will testing be expanded to be offered daily? If an individual takes a week off from work (Monday-Friday), do they need to delay return to campus until they can be tested?

Currently testing is offered Monday through Friday.  If an individual takes a week off from work, they do not need to delay their return to campus until testing is complete.  They do need to test the first time that they are present on campus and testing is available.