Champaign County to adopt UI saliva-based test

UI is teaming up with OSF healthcare to offer its saliva-based PCR COVID-19 testing program to public schools, businesses and organizations, coupled with comprehensive clinical support for participants.

Students, teachers and staff at Urbana high school, Stratton Academy of the Arts, a public school in the Champaign Unit 4 School District, and employees of Champaign County will be the first participants of the SHIELD CU program. Included in the initial launch will be family and household members of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign faculty, staff, and students. Followed by other Urbana-Champaign schools, underserved communities, local governments and businesses in the near future.

Participants in the program will use the Safer Community app. The app allows participants to locate testing sites, learn the latest news about COVID-19 and its management, and receive their test results confidentially.

Starting Friday, April 2, university family members can start testing. Family members can only be tested at select lines designated for SHIELD CU at the State Farm Center testing site. For university family members, all household and family members of faculty, staff and students who are eight years old or older are eligible.

Family members will have to download the Safer Community app prior to testing and that’s where they’ll receive the results. Family members must enter the UIN of their university sponsor (faculty, staff, or student) when prompted in the Safer Community app. The sponsor must then verify the relationship using their Safer Community app.

If tested positive, information will be provided about the next steps. Participants with positive COVID-19 tests will also gain automatic access to appropriate OSF HealthCare COVID-19 solutions. OSF offers OnCall Urgent Care and in-person care at OSF Urgo 24h availability every day. This allows patients in the Champaign Urbana area to receive care when and where they need it – in person or virtually.

A $10 fee per test administered to a family or household member. The total for all tests administered to all family members will be charged to the university sponsor once per month. 

Bénie Yenyi

Bénédicte “Bénie” Yenyi Mulumba is a senior majoring in journalism with a minor in political science. She's currently a member of UI7 Live and a researcher in political science department. She was an intern at the China Post when studying abroad in Taiwan. She worked as a news reporter for the Daily Illini, as a writer for Her Campus student-magazine and as an editor for The Spectator - which is Heartland Community College’s magazine. She’s a member of the Black journalists of Illinois chapter and a member of UNICEF. Bénie is fluent in French, English, and Lingala. She’s aspiring to be an international reporter and work with international organizations.