COVID-19 Saliva Testing

UIS COVID-19 Campus Health Stats

As of information available to UIS on Nov. 24

Note: This data reflects confirmed test results from individuals who tested prior to 4 p.m. Nov. 23

Total Tests
Since Aug. 17, 2020



Daily Tests
Nov. 23, 2020



Daily Positivity Rate
on Nov. 23, 2020:


4 positives

7-Day Positivity
Rate on Nov. 23, 2020:


29 pos – 2,579 tests

Find information on UIS COVID-19 Metric Thresholds & Mitigation Strategies

COVID-19 Saliva Testing

In the absence of a vaccine or effective treatment for COVID-19, testing, isolation and tracing are our best actions to prioritize safety on campus. UIS has partnered with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to implement saliva-based COVID-19 testing at UIS this fall. The UIS process for testing was created in consultation with the Sangamon County Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Public Health.

During the Fall 2020 semester, all students, faculty and staff who currently learn, live or work on the UIS campus—including UIC and UI System individuals—must participate in weekly COVID-19 testing. Students, faculty and staff who are learning or working remotely and are not otherwise scheduled to be on campus do not need to participate in weekly testing. However, any student, faculty or staff learning or working remotely who needs to visit campus for any reason must report to a testing site any day they come to campus, at least once per week. The free saliva-based testing is for non-symptomatic individuals who have not had a known exposure to COVID-19.

Type of Test

The UI System-developed test is a saliva-based Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test. PCR tests are considered the gold standard—it has the highest sensitivity for this type of infection. It can detect the virus in people who are asymptomatic and/or individuals early in the course of disease, which makes it an exceptional screening tool. The PCR test UIS uses has less than a 0.3% false positive rate.

Testing Locations & Times

Public Affairs Center lower level

  • 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mondays-Thursdays, and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays
  • Here are the testing site hours for the holiday season(UIS saliva testing site hours effective Nov. 23):


    • Nov. 23 & 30: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Nov. 24-29: CLOSED


    • Dec. 1-21: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon-Fri; closed weekends
    • Dec. 22-28: CLOSED
    • Dec. 29: Open 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for essential employees
    • Dec. 30-Jan. 3: CLOSED
    • Jan. 4-31: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon-Fri; closed weekends
    • Jan. 18: CLOSED (MLK Holiday)

* Please remember to not eat, drink, use tobacco, brush your teeth, or use mouthwash 60 minutes prior to submitting your sample.

Testing Timeslots

Previously, students and employees were asked to sign up for weekly testing timeslots. You may disregard those timeslots. Instead, drop by PAC once a week for walk-up testing when it’s most convenient for your schedule. Compliance will continue to be monitored.

Sample Collection

Refrain from eating, drinking, tooth brushing, mouth washing, gum chewing and using tobacco for 60 minutes before submitting your sample.

Once your arrive at the collection site, you will be asked to swipe your I-card. Once ID is confirmed, you will receive a labeled test tube and be directed to the sample collection area to provide a saliva sample. Next, you will take your sample to the check-out area where testing site staff will verify the volume of the sample is sufficient and place it in a specimen collection bag. The sample will go into a large collection tub and be transported to a UIUC lab.

A one-way traffic system will be used at the collection site with all staff wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment. Social distancing and face-covering requirements must be followed at the collection site. Face coverings may only be lowered to provide the sample.

All UIS samples will be destroyed after testing per HIPAA and OSHA guidance.

Test Results

Once the lab receives the samples, results are expected in approximately 48 hours, excluding weekends and holidays. All initial positive tests and failed tests are re-tested to ensure the validity of the result.

If you receive inconclusive results, please retest at your earliest convenience, especially if you live, work or learn on campus.

The lab will automatically upload test results into Health Services’ electronic health record—Medicat—and the IDPH database. Test results will be shared with the individual via a patient portal secure message. Simply sign in with your NetID and password.

In order to avoid a notification going to a spam or junk folder, please add the sender to your Safe Sender list. Find out more information on how to add a sender to the safe senders list.

Contact Tracing

Contact tracing will be conducted by the UIS Testing Team and the Sangamon County Department of Public Health. Employees and students must cooperate with contact tracing efforts, whether done by UIS Testing Team or Public Health.


Employees can participate in this testing program during scheduled work hours without loss of pay. To ensure that the operating needs of the college/unit are met, employees should get approval from their supervisor before scheduling their day/time for testing.

If an employee receives a positive result:

  • The UIS Testing Team will reach out to an employee if they are positive soon after it gets results and tell them not to come to work.
  • The employee will be instructed to not to be at work even if feeling fine. Employees must follow all directives to isolate, including adhering to HR guidance for returning to work.
  • The employee should not break quarantine or isolation for testing, or go to on-campus testing site if they have symptoms.
  • The employee will be directed to notify their supervisor and Human Resources. HR will reach out to the unit leader/supervisor to ensure the employee is not at work.
  • The employee must provide the proper documentation to Human Resources before being cleared to work on campus.

Contact your direct supervisor and/or Human Resources if you believe an employee is not following COVID-19 protocols.


If a student is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, they should stay home and contact Health Services and/or their primary health-care provider. Symptomatic and/or exposed students should not visit the saliva testing site and instead work with Health Service regarding the need for testing.

If a student receives a positive result:

  • The UIS Testing Team will follow up with the student by phone.
  • The student will receive instructions by the UIS Testing Team on how to follow UIS protocols for isolation/quarantine.
  • If a residential student receives a positive test result after 5 p.m. Monday-Friday or on a weekend, they should contact the Administrator On-Call for the Department of Residence Life at 217-206-8100 to facilitate their isolation process. Similarly, if a residential student receives a call from SCDPH directing them to isolate or quarantine after hours or on a weekend, they should contact the Administrator On-Call for the Department of Residence Life at 217-206-8100.

Students may use an outside vendor for COVID-19 testing at their own expense and can upload their testing documentation to their patient portal, similar to immunizations. These students should notify Health Services of any positive results.

Any person who believes that a student is not following COVID-19 protocols may contact the Dean of Students.