SHIELD Illinois COVID-19 Testing Available

  • Date Posted
    July 20, 2021
  • Category
As noted in an email sent to IASB member boards of education, SHIELD Illinois COVID-19 testing is now available to all school districts — free of charge. SHIELD Illinois is a screening testing program and infrastructure that deploys the University of Illinois’ innovative saliva test across the state.
SHIELD Illinois utilizes a third-party operations partner to provide the staffing necessary to allow for regular testing, which allows for identification of pre-symptomatic individuals, who can then be isolated before they can “shed symptoms” and infect others. Nearly 300 schools have committed to provide SHIELD testing this fall. Districts can sign up to learn more about the testing program by completing this form. Please refer to the SHIELD Illinois website for additional information about the testing program.
“Recently revised IDPH guidance for schools gives local boards of education autonomy to make decisions regarding the COVID-19 mitigation strategies that are necessary to ensure a safe environment for in-person learning this fall,” said IASB Executive Director Tom Bertrand in the email to members. “However, with this autonomy comes responsibility and accountability.”
In support of the safe return to school, the email notes that it is important that districts remain in contact with local health officials to monitor COVID-19 transmission and vaccination rates in the community. All students age 12 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, and local health officials can work with districts to provide access to vaccinations — an important mitigation strategy as the COVID-19 variants are now impacting primarily unvaccinated people.
IASB has a scheduled a webinar with Beth Heller from Shield Illinois to share information on the COVID-19 saliva test and how schools districts can benefit. It is scheduled for 1 p.m. on July 27. Prior webinars about SHIELD Illinois are now archived on the IASB website.