UI opens on-campus COVID-19 testing sites

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URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Eagerness to get back into the classroom might be paired with a little nervousness for some students and teachers. The U of I is rolling out it’s COVID-19 testing plan this week to help them return with a sense of security.

“Everyone who tests positive will have the option of getting care from OSF free of charge,” said Martin Burke, Associate Dean for Research at Carle Illinois College of Medicine. “This can be everything from digital health to daily check-ins…or if you do start to develop symptoms [and] need more help, [we] can even go all the way up to helping you get the doctor that you need or admission to the hospital.”

To find out if you have coronavirus, students and employees just have get in line at a free, on-campus testing site. They will officially open on Wednesday.

The process to get the test done is pretty simple. You swipe your ID (or scan your Illinois App) at a check-in table, follow directions toward a marked square to spit into a tube, and drop it into a secure bag for collection.

The test is saliva-based, which means it is much quicker and cost-effective. It was developed by a team of university researches.

“You get your results directly on your phone [in] a fully encrypted manner compatible with HIPPA,” says Burke.

Results come back within 24 hours. Anyone who tests positive will self-isolate and work with CUPHD for contact tracing.

University officials say the goal is to test 10,000 people per day by the first day of classes on August 24th.

Currently, there is an outdoor site at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center and an indoor site at the State Farm Center. The school will add a total of 16-20 testing sites over the next few weeks.

“With testing being such a critical part of our decision to move back to face-to-face instruction, it has to be best in class,” said UIUC Chancellor Robert Jones.

University officials say they still do not have a concrete answer on optional testing versus required testing. They will iron out those details within a month.

For more information on U of I COVID-19 testing sites, click on this link.

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