District 54 has partnered with the University of Illinois to test students for COVID-19 infection using the SHIELD Illinois Saliva Test.
Why is COVID-19 screening testing important?
Screening tests play 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.
Who is tested?
Students who have consented to testing will be given a test kit every Monday. Please note, this unobserved testing is only approved in Illinois for students in grade 1 and older.
Families had the option of opting in for testing through their portal accounts in August. If you missed that dealine and wish for your child to participate, please contact your school.
What if my child has been vaccinated?
If your child has received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, they can still participate in the SHIELD test. It is the choice of the parent/guardian whether to opt children in or out of the test.
What is the test?
This free diagnostic test for the COVID-19 virus is conducted by collecting saliva (spit). SHIELD catches the virus early in pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. The virus has been found to present itself first in saliva versus the nasal cavity which is why this test can catch positive cases so early.
What should I do when I receive my child’s test results?
Who will receive my child’s test results?
The results will be shared with School District 54 and the Illinois Department of Public Health, as allowed under the Illinois Control of Communicable Disease Code. District 54 school principals will be contacting the parents/guardians of any students who receive positive test results. If the child is at school at the time we receive results, you will be asked to pick them up.
You can also create your own PnC Patient Portal account to view your children’s results, by visiting shieldilportal.pointnclick.com/login_login.aspx.
If my child tests positive can I have him retested to return to school?
If a child tests positive, they need to quarantine for 5 days. The SHIELD saliva-based test is a definitive rtPCR diagnostic test authorized by the FDA. The virus has been found to present itself first in saliva versus the nasal cavity which is why this test can catch positive cases so early. Follow-up testing is not needed and District 54 will not be accepting results from outside tests once your child has tested positive through SHIELD.