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University of Illinois to once again provide free saliva-based COVID tests to the state's schools

WBBM Radio Chicago logo WBBM Radio Chicago 6/27/2022 Jim Gudas
SHIELD COVID tests © Provided by WBBM Radio Chicago SHIELD COVID tests

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) - The University of Illinois will continue to offer free SHIELD COVID tests to schools around the state.

The saliva-based tests were administered for free at hundreds of public and private schools around the state during the last academic year.

Beth Heller of SHIELD Illinois said she believes more schools will start administering the tests this fall.

"They've seen how it works, maybe for their neighbor school districts, that it was non-invasive and it's an easy test to do. We've seen that schools feel so grateful to have this system in place so they can prevent outbreaks and keep their schools safe," said Heller.

Heller said the SHIELD tests, which are paid for with federal COVID dollars, are very effective in early detection of the virus.

“The PCR test is really great because it’s a screening test meant to catch people that are positive with COVID before they even know so that we can stop the spread of infection,” Heller added.

She said schools that want to start using the test this fall should sign up by July 15th.

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