COVID testing begins


Hope Beelman

Morgan Thompson, an IVCC student, fills her test tube as part of SHIELD testing on Aug. 26 at IVCC. Students and community members who use the saliva-based test get a rapid response. The test identifies symptomatic, asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic cases. The SHIELD testing is free.

Drake Weber, Staff Writer

IVCC has begun offering a saliva-based COVID test twice weekly, even as Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced new requirements for vaccination and testing on college campuses.

IVCC will offer SHIELD testing, a saliva-based test, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays and 2-5 p.m. Thursdays in the reception area outside of CTC 124 and 125.

The testing is open to anyone in the school and even community members.

The college is in the process of trying to create a website that will help with pre-registration. However, community members and students can register at the time of the testing for now.

Athletic Director Cory Tomasson said the SHIELD testing is a highly accurate test that IVCC athletes will participate in at least once weekly. The test not only identifies both symptomatic and asymptomatic cases, but it can also detect pre-symptomatic cases.

Tomasson said it will take up to 24 hours for participants to get results, but the results can come back quicker depending on the location of the laboratory and where the specific samples are taken.

Mark Grzybowski, Vice President of Student Services, says that when getting tested individuals should not eat, drink (this includes water), chew gum, smoke, or use tobacco products within 60 minutes of providing a saliva sample.

If any of the these things are done within 60 minutes of providing a sample, it could produce an inconclusive result and therefore require the  individual to re-test.

People must register before getting tested and the results will be sent individually via the information provided.

Grzybowski also stated that at the moment student-athletes have to get tested at least once per week, but if the offering of testing times and availability expands it could change to twice a week.

While IVCC has the COVID testing in place, the college still is planning for how it will implement Pritzker’s Aug. 26 call for all employees and students in higher education institutions across the state to be vaccinated.

IVCC began the semester Aug. 18 with a mask mandate in effect; however, no one on campus was required to be vaccinated.

IVCC President Jerry Corcoran told employees in an email that the school is assessing vaccination and testing capabilities to decide next steps in line with Illinois Community College Board expectations.