SHIELD Illinois COVID-19 Testing at NIU
For the Spring 2021 semester, NIU is using the SHIELD Illinois COVID-19 Test developed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The saliva-based COVID-19 test is a non-invasive test that simply requires an individual to deposit a saliva sample into a provided vial at the on-campus testing site in the Holmes Student Center. Samples are then transported to a network of lab partners who will process and return results to Northwestern Medicine, NIU and the individual who was tested typically within 24 hours.
Read more information on the science behind the saliva-based test.
The following groups are required to participate in surveillance testing:
Hydrate about 90 minutes before! Drink water up to one hour prior to testing. If you're dehydrated, it's harder to produce saliva.
Then ... don't eat, drink or smoke for 60 minutes before you test! Also avoid tooth brushing, mouth washing, gum chewing and artificially-colored energy drinks for at least one hour before submitting your saliva sample at the test location.
Mask up and bring your OneCard! While you line up outside the testing location, you should wear a mask and practice physical distancing. You'll swipe your OneCard when you hand in your test tube so we can verify that you tested.
The test is free for students, faculty and staff required to participate.
Surveillance testing will take place in the Duke Ellington Ballroom on the east side of the Holmes Student Center. Students are required to have an appointment prior to arrival. Instructions on how to schedule appointments have been emailed to those who are required to participate in testing.
Test results will be typically be available within 48 hours of the test and communicated to Northwestern Medicine, NIU and the individual who was tested. You will receive an email from SHIELD Illinois when youre results have posted. You can also link your SHIELD IL MyChart to your Northwestern Medicine MyNM MyChart for access to your test results.
You can request an exemption from testing if you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days prior to your scheduled testing date, or if you are a student who no longer lives on campus and has no face-to-face classes. Documentation will be required to process the requests, and the exemption can be revoked if a student’s housing status or course modality changes.