Protect our community with SHIELD CU


SHIELD CU is a partnership between the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and OSF HealthCare. The goal is to restore the health and vitality of Champaign County by reducing our community COVID-19 positivity rate, allowing our schools, businesses and activities to safely reopen and stay open.

The program is built around the saliva COVID-19 testing developed and implemented on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Campus and the OSF HealthCare digital resources for those who test positive.

Testing is free for the general public and available for those age 5 and older.


Before Getting Tested

While you line up at the testing location, please wear a mask and practice social distancing. You will be asked the following questions so staff know which collection bin to direct you to:

  • Do you have any COVID-19 symptoms?
  • Have you recently received an exposure notification?
  • Do you have reason to believe you are at high risk for COVID-19?

SHIELD CU uses the Safer Community app, which you will need make sure to download on your smartphone. You are notified of your test results in the app.



The Testing Process

At the collection site, you will be asked to provide a saliva sample. The sample collection only takes a few minutes.

You must refrain from eating, drinking, tooth brushing, mouth washing, gum chewing and tobacco use for at least one hour before submitting your saliva sample at the test location.

After you have collected your sample, you will hold up your test tube so staff can confirm that there is enough saliva in the tube. Staff will ask that you return to a test station if enough saliva is not in the tube.

Testing Locations

Parkland Community College
Monday:  8:30 a.m. — 4 p.m.
Tuesday: 8:30 a.m. — 4 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:30 a.m. — 4 p.m
Thursday: 8:30 a.m. — 4 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. — 3 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. — 3 p.m.
Location Notes: Closed for lunch between 11:30 a.m. and Noon each day. Please note, the Parkland testing site will be closed on Sunday, May 29 and Monday, May 30 for Memorial Day. Testing is located indoors on the west side of the campus in Building E.

Danville Area Community College
Friday: 9 a.m. — 3 p.m.
Location Notes:
Closed for lunch between 11:30 a.m. and Noon.
Testing is located in the Bremer Conference Center, Room 141.


Getting Your Results

Test results are typically completed within 12 hours, but results could take up to 48 hours. Results will be available in the Safer Community app.

The test results are also reported to the Illinois Department of Public Health and Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, who will contact you if you tested positive.

Further Support

OSF HealthCare will offer online support if you test positive for COVID-19 or if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.

You can use the OSF online chatbot Clare to check symptoms, find care near you or schedule a virtual visit with a provider — anytime, anywhere. We are available 24/7/365 to support you and your family.


How It Started

Prior to the start of the 2020 fall school semester, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign developed a saliva based COVID-19 test to use on campus for faculty, students and staff.

Their testing strategy mandated regular testing for all students living locally and all faculty and staff participating in on-campus activities. This strategy allowed them to re-open campus while maximizing safety and limiting the spread of COVID-19 throughout the community.

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign testing program matched with the community resources provided by OSF HealthCare allows us to expand the program beyond the college campus and offer it to communities in Champaign County.


Our Partnership

OSF HealthCare has a long-standing relationship with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign through the Jump ARCHES program along with the OSF OnCall Digital Health program, which supplements the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign SHIELD testing program.

OSF HealthCare has physical locations in close proximity to the Urbana campus with OSF HealthCare Heart of Mary Medical Center, OSF Medical Group and OSF OnCall Urgent Care. The partnership allows OSF HealthCare to expand the testing platform into the surrounding communities of Champaign County.

If you are interested in signing up your business or group for the SHIELD CU program, email Business Development at OSF HealthCare.


My test came back "invalid." What does that mean?

Invalid results typically occur when non-optimal saliva samples are submitted. Before your next test, please be sure to refrain from eating, drinking, tooth brushing, mouth washing, or tobacco use for at least one hour prior to submitting your saliva sample.

For best results, it is recommended to hydrate during the morning and get tested in the afternoon.

What if I don't get a test result?

First, try logging out and back into the Safer Community App to see if your test result has shown up. For school staff members using the Safer Community App - you will be contacted by the school district if your test is positive. For all Safer Community App users - If a result does not show up after 48 hours, please send an email to shield@osfhealthcare.org to determine the issue.

When I go to take a test why is my personal information not available when I get "Checked-in" by the site coordinator?

Please be sure to fully enter all personal information on the device after initial set up in the app.


Does the saliva test detect new variants of COVID-19?

Yes. The saliva test developed by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign detects the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, including new variants that have been identified to date.

Why am I being asked my race at the testing sites?

The Illinois Department of Public Health has requested we ask each person's race who is tested on-campus. Providing this information is optional for each person who is tested.

What kind of smartphone or device should I be using?

Apple iOS-base device or Android device preferably using Android OS 9 and higher.

Can I print my test results if I do not have a smartphone?

Your saliva test results are filed to your Safer Community App account. From there, you can access, print, or share your results. In order to print your test results, you will need a smartphone to download the printable format of your test results from the app.

If you do not have a smartphone, you can still receive your results over the phone. You will receive a test number, specific to your saliva test, and a specific number to call after the 48 hour timeframe.