Eastern acquires SHIELD testing

Corryn Brock, News Editor

University President David Glassman announced that Eastern has entered into an agreement with SHEILD Illinois.

The agreement will bring widespread salvia testing to campus and according to Glassman will, “further safeguard the health and wellness of our students, our employees, and our broader community.”

The testing will begin Jan. 19 and will allow for free weekly COVID surveillance testing. The tests have a 24-hour turnaround time for results.

The tests are non-invasive, only take a few seconds to perform and have a specificity of 99.8-99.9% with few false positives.

New variants of COVID-19 are detectable with the salvia test.

According to Eastern’s websites, possible test results include:

· Negative: The virus was not detected.

· Invalid: The sample was non-optimal and could not produce appropriate data during testing at the lab. (Invalid results typically occur when non-optimal saliva samples are submitted. Before your next test, please be sure to refrain from eating, drinking, tooth brushing, mouth washing, or tobacco use for at least 1 hour prior to submitting your saliva sample. For best results, it is recommended to hydrate during the morning and get tested in the afternoon.)

· Positive: The virus was detected.

· Inconclusive: The sample was able to be processed in the lab, but was not able to definitively provide a detected or not detected result.

· Rejected: The sample was not able to begin the testing process in the lab. (This is likely due to low sample volume, the cap coming off the tube in transport or other damage to the tube, and/or extremely poor sample quality. Before your next test, please be sure to refrain from eating, drinking, tooth brushing, mouth washing, or tobacco use for at least 1 hour prior to submitting your saliva sample. For best results, it is recommended to hydrate during the morning and get tested in the afternoon.)

All students and employees will receive an email with activation information from MySHEILDIllinois with a link, activation code and instructions on how to sign up for the MySheild Patient Portal.

Once the results are in those tested will be notified via email that new information is available in their MySheild Patient Portal.

Each week 500 students and employees will be randomly selected to participate in testing and students who participate in testing will be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift card.

Those who have had COVID-19 within the last 90 days do not need to be tested but should be tested if it has been 90 days since their last positive test.

When selected, individuals will receive an email and text message directing them to a website to fill out a consent form. Once the form is completed they will be redirected to the portal to register for their test date/ time.

The weekly testing is Monday through Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon on Court 5 of the Student Rec Center. Those participating in testing will enter through the exterior doors on the Northwest side of the building and not the main doors to the building.

Those with accessibility issues can make special arrangements to take the tests in a nearby location or remain in their vehicle for testing in a reserved lot.

Testing next week will only be on Tuesday and Wednesday due to the university being closed to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Those with questions can email [email protected] If someone is having issues with the portal they can contact the 24/7 SHIELD IL Help at 217-265-6059. They cannot release results but can assit people with access and supply reactivation codes and unlock accounts for patients.

 

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]