Dear UIS Students, Faculty and Staff —
I am writing to update you that UIS will not be offering on-site Shield COVID-19 testing after June 29. This includes testing for both the public and the university community.
Members of the UIS leadership team have spent the past several weeks discussing our on-campus mitigation strategies for COVID-19. At this stage in the pandemic, the focus has shifted from an emergency response to more targeted mitigations. Over the past two years, UIS stepped up and responded to the COVID-19 crisis and provided a much-needed testing service for our campus. Now, however, with testing widely available and funding sources limited, we can safely rely on utilizing community-based testing.
UIS leadership will continue to evaluate the future of on-site testing and announce plans for August and beyond by mid-July. In the meantime, students, faculty and staff who want or need a COVID-19 test should seek testing via their medical provider, local pharmacies or other community-based testing sites. UIS will provide direction to unvaccinated students, faculty and staff about meeting their weekly testing requirement should that requirement continue into July. Residential students who are symptomatic and who have been exposed to COVID-19 still can seek diagnostic testing through UIS Health Services.
Additionally, effective Monday, June 20, UIS will no longer conduct in-house contact tracing for students, faculty and staff who test positive for COVID-19. Individuals who receive positive test results will not receive a call from a UIS contact tracer and instead should follow CDC guidelines for isolation. If able, individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are encouraged to inform others with whom they have been in close contact within 24-48 hours of testing positive so they can watch for symptoms or quarantine. Close contact is defined as being within six feet of one another for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
Change has been the one constant during the COVID-19 pandemic, and I remain very grateful to all for adapting to our university guidelines and policies and to the members of our COVID-19 response team who continue to study the science, consult with experts and work hard to guide us through each stage of the pandemic.
Please send any questions you may have about this change to the COVID-19 inbox, email@example.com. Additionally, please be aware that the Shield testing site will be closed Monday, June 20, due to the laboratory’s observation of Juneteenth.
United in Safety,
Karen M. Whitney, PhD
Interim Chancellor University of Illinois Springfield