SHIELD Testing FAQs

  • Why is COVID-19 screening testing important?
    Screening testing plays an important role in reducing the spread of COVID-19. People who are infected with COVID-19 may not develop symptoms for several days - or may be entirely asymptomatic. However, during that time they can transmit the virus to others. As noted by the Centers for Disease Control, screening tests are recommended for unvaccinated people to identify those who are asymptomatic before they can spread it to others. That helps keep our schools safe and lower the chance of COVID-19 outbreaks and school closings.

    What is SHIELD testing?
    SHIELD is an innovative, saliva-based test for COVID-19 created by the University of Illinois

    How often does testing take place?
    Up to two times each week. 

    Where/when is the testing?
    Students are tested in the classroom.

    Who is doing the testing?
    Passport Health, our testing partner, is providing testing teams to administer tests and ensure proper steps are being followed.

    Why does the testing have to happen at school? Why not at home?
    Testing must take place in school to ensure that test-takers are not eating or drinking prior to testing.

    Why can't students eat or drink one hour prior to testing?
    The test developers say that doing so may provide an invalid sample or inconclusive result.  

    How much does the test cost?
    It is free for students and staff - and provided at no cost to the District.

    When will results be available?
    Our testing partner, Pathway Health, will transport samples to a SHIELD Illinois lab. Results are generally available 12-24 hours after testing.

    How will I get my results?
    The school will contact you with any positive results. No news is good news - if you don't hear from your school, it means your child tested negative.

    Will my child's pediatrician get a copy of the results?
    No. In addition to the school district, per state protocols, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) automatically receives all test results.

    Is SHIELD testing mandatory for students?
    No. If you wish your child to be opted out of testing, please call your school office.