COVID-19 Saliva Testing

UIS COVID-19 Campus Health Stats

As of information available to UIS on April 19.

Note: This data reflects confirmed test results from individuals who tested April 16.

Total Tests
Since Aug. 17, 2020



Daily Tests
on April 16, 2021:



Daily Positivity Rate
on April 16, 2021:


0 positives

7-Day Positivity
on April 16, 2021:


0 pos – 2,701 tests

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

Seven Day Rolling Positivity Rate


COVID-19 Saliva Testing

Testing, isolation and tracing are our best actions to prioritize safety on campus. UIS has partnered with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to offer saliva-based COVID-19 testing at UIS. 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 COVID-19 pandemic, all students, faculty and staff who currently learn, live, work or train on the UIS campus—including UIC and UI System individuals—must participate in weekly COVID-19 testing (once or twice per week, depending on frequency on campus). 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 the testing site when 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. Anyone who is isolating or quarantining should not visit the UIS testing site.

Individuals who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 must still comply with their required testing frequency.

NEW: Effective Feb. 8, individuals who meet the below criteria will be required to test at the UIS saliva testing site TWICE per week, preferably at least one day a part. For individuals testing twice per week, please remember to not visit the Testing Site for your second test until after you receive your first result of the week.

  1. Anyone working or learning on campus two or more days per week. Anyone who is remote, working/learning on an intermittent basis or here fewer than two days per week can continue to test once per week, or, if on campus less frequently than once per week, on the day they visit campus.
  2. All Residence Life students and staff
  3. All athletes, coaches and training staff, as well as any other Athletics staff who meet Criteria 1
  4. Any other group identified by the UIS COVID-19 Rapid Response Team (for example, as part of mitigation strategies)

Recommended twice-weekly testing schedules:

  • The most effective testing schedule is Mondays/Thursdays or Tuesdays/Fridays.
  • Testing every other day also is effective if your work or school schedule does not align well with Mon/Thur or Tues/Fri.
  • Testing back-to-back days is the least effective option but allowable if that is your only option. If you visit the testing site two days in a row, please test as early as possible on the first day and then wait to visit the testing site on the second day until after you receive your prior day’s results.

Type of Test

The UI System-developed test is a saliva-based Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test. PCR tests are considered the gold standard—with 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

Beginning Feb. 1, hours will be 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays.

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

Walk-up Testing

No appointments are needed to test. Simply visit the Public Affairs Center once a week for walk-up testing when it’s most convenient for your schedule.

Compliance will 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 you arrive at the collection site, you will be asked to swipe your I-card and confirm your identity. You then 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. The sample will go into a collection tub and be transported to a UIUC lab.

All staff wear 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 24 hours. 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.

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 an email with a link to a patient portal secure message. Simply follow the instructions to 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. Employees and students must cooperate with contact tracing efforts. The UIS Testing Team will reach out to anyone in the UIS community deemed a close contact and direct them to quarantine.


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 arranging to visit the testing site.

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, or to leave work if they are on campus.
  • 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 the on-campus testing site if they have symptoms.
  • The employee will be directed to notify their supervisor about their absence and Human Resources about leave options and guidance for returning to work. HR will reach out to the unit leader/supervisor to ensure the employee is not at work.

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 Services 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 (as long as they are not breaking isolation or quarantine) 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.