Summer COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Program

Summer COVID-19 surveillance testing is only offered Mondays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Testing takes place at the Student Health Center (located near Lucinda Ave. and Wirtz Dr.). 

Please note: 

  • The week of May 31, testing will be offered on Tuesday, June 1, and Thursday, June 3.
  • The week of July 5, testing will be offered on Tuesday, July 6, and Thursday, July 8

Surveillance testing is only for those who DO NOT have any symptoms of COVID-19. The SHIELD Illinois saliva test is used and is administered by Northwestern Medicine. You will usually receive your results within 24 hours of your test.

If you are part of the mandatory testing program, you will be notified via email about your testing requirement and frequency of testing. 

Any employee or student who is not a part of the mandatory testing program is eligible to test voluntarily up to once a week. Follow the directions below to scheduling your appointment. 

Update: May 17, 2021 - Upgrade to SHIELD Illinois Scheduling System

SHIELD Illinois is upgrading to a new technology system offering enhanced resulting features for the patient. This new system also accurately represents the testing dates and times at our NIU testing site(s). You no longer need to use the NIU Bookings page to schedule your appointment first unless you'd like to continue to receive the calendar appointment and reminders that systems generates for your appointments.

Scheduling Your First Appointment through the new system (Point and Click) - as of 5/17/21)

  1. Go to and click on "Sign up for an account"
    If you are an NIU student, enter agency code: 3g5ce4pw-stu
    If you are an NIU employee, enter agency code: 3g5ce4pw-emp
  2. Complete and submit the online registration form. You will be sent a verification code by email from (check your junk mail folder) and text message to enter and confirm your identity.
  3. Once you set up your portal account, choose NIU Student Health Center for the location and select a time to test. This creates a QR code in your patient account. You should bring a screenshot/printout of that QR code to the appointment. Please do not select the Yordon Center as your testing site; that is a smaller testing operation for NIU coaches and athletes.
  4. For subsequent tests, log in to to schedule your appointments. 

Receiving Your Results and Activating Your SHIELD account 

  • Test results will be posted in the patient portal after the lab results are completed. You will receive notifications of current testing results via text and email with a link that directs you to your private patient portal to view results. As always, results also are shared with the Illinois Department of Health, as required.  

  • If you have trouble creating your account or accessing your results, please call the SHIELD Illinois helpline at 217-265-6059 for assistance.  

  • If you test positive, it is important to notify the university as soon as you receive the positive result. Complete the COVID-19 reporting checklist and isolate until you receive further instruction from the university's COVID-19 support team. 

Before Getting Tested

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. 

Testing Frequently Asked Questions

Back to top