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HSD #93 Approves Partnership with Shield Illinois (U of I.) to provide COVID-19 Testing to all students and staff participating in Hybrid Instruction.

On February 10, 2021, the Hillside School District 93 Board of Education approved a COVID-19 Testing Support Agreement with the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois for saliva-based COVID-19 screening testing for students and staff.

We are expecting to start the program for students during the week of March 8, 2021. The exact schedule for the non-invasive COVID-19 test will be forthcoming. The test will be consent based program that is free to all students and staff participating in our Hybrid In-Person Instruction Model. Students and staff will be tested on weekly basis. 

SHIELD Illinois has shown to be a proven & effective tool, with extremely high sensitivity and specificity rates of detecting the virus. This additional risk mitigation allows us to fight the transmission of COVID-19 within Hillside School and our community at large. 

The test, developed by scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, has been used over 1.1 million times since its inception and kept positivity rates below 2% on U of I campuses during the fall semester. SHIELD Illinois uses a saliva-based test that detects three genes of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which allows it to identify pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals along with new variants. Results will be sent to the school district and the Illinois Department of Public Health through a HIPAA-secure health records portal within 24 hours of the lab receiving a sample.

Additional information and resources about how the HSD #93 SHIELD Illinois COVID-19 testing program will work and what families should expect will be forthcoming.