URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — A new free saliva-based COVID testing site is opening up in Urbana.

Starting Monday, SHIELD Illinois will begin offering COVID-19 tests to the public at the University of Illinois’ Campus Recreation Center East. The free testing is made possible through federal funding from the CARESand American Rescue Plan Acts in partnership with the Illinois Department of Public Health and SHIELD Illinois.

Testing will be available from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and parking is free at marked metered spaces along Dorner Drive. The public should enter the east entrance of the CRCE which faces Allen Hall. If needed, the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District offers several bus routes that service the CRCE.

“We are grateful to our partners at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the cities of Champaign and Urbana, who have paved the way for this new location,” said SHIELD Illinois Managing Director Ron Watkins. “We have heard from numerous community members about the need for testing in Champaign-Urbana, and we are glad to be able to provide this service.”

While this testing site is open to anyone, all university students, faculty, and staff who are required to test weekly may not use this location to remain compliant with this requirement. They will have to continue their weekly testing at the Illini Union.

People can make an appointment by visiting SHIELD Illinois’ website. The tests use a saliva sample instead of the traditional nasal swab and results are available within 24 to 48 hours.

The CRCE will become the 13th community testing spot operated by SHIELD Illinois.

“Public access to COVID-19 testing is an important mitigation strategy, said Julie Pryde, the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District’s public health administrator. “Sites like this play a vital role in the fight to keep our community safer by minimizing the potential for COVID-19 outbreaks.”