Smile Politely

IDPH is offering SHIELD tests to all Illinois public K-12 schools

The Illinois Department of Public Health is offering all K-12 schools in the state free SHIELD tests, the saliva-based COVID-19 tests developed at the University of Illinois. The tests will be free.

As an alternative to quarantine, students and teachers who have been identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case now have the option of a Test-to-Stay protocol.  Close contacts must be tested on days 1, 3, 5, and 7 after exposure.  As long as close contacts remain negative, they are not required to quarantine.  Close contacts are only eligible for Test-to-Stay if their school requires universal indoor masking of all individuals (age 2 and older), regardless of vaccination status, and both the close contact and infected individual were wearing masks at the time of exposure.  IDPH encourages all schools to implement weekly testing of their unvaccinated students and staff.  Schools that implement weekly testing will be prioritized for Test-to-Stay and outbreak testing when required.

This seems like a very free, very helpful tool to keep C-U’s kids in school the entire year. As we recently wrote, it’s important for our school districts to be in person as safely as possible.

Top image from the Shield Illinois Facebook page.

Related Articles