Scheduling Your Surveillance Test

Setting Up Your SHIELD Account and Scheduling Your Appointments

  1. Go to and click on "Sign up for an account."
  2. Enter agency code:
    NIU STUDENTS: 3g5ce4pw-stu
  3. 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.
  4. Once you set up your portal account, choose your testing 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 your appointment.
  5. For subsequent tests, log in to to schedule your appointments.

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

Testing Times and Locations

Do not choose the “NIU ‘Sick Only’ Student Health Center” location in the SHIELD portal for a surveillance testing appointment. Choose one of these two locations:

Holmes Student Center (HSC) Regency Room

  • Mondays – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Tuesdays – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Wednesdays – 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Thursdays – 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Fridays – 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Grant Towers South Lobby

  • Monday – Friday – 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 Testing will not be offered on university holidays or administrative closures

Do not park somewhere you wouldn’t normally park outside Grant Towers or the Holmes Student Center to attend your testing appointment; you will be ticketed.

Receiving Your Results

Test results will be posted in your SHIELD patient portal after the lab results are completed, typically within 24 hours. 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 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.

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

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. 

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