COD Announces Start of Weekly COVID-19 Testing


Bee Bishop, Staff Writer

COVID-19 testing will begin Nov. 15 at COD. Any person who is not fully vaccinated and who is taking an in-person class must test weekly. Students with medical and religious exemptions must also adhere to weekly testing requirements. Students, faculty or staff who refuse to get tested will not be allowed on campus.

In an email sent Nov. 4, COD President Brian Caputo detailed steps to prepare for testing, as well as what the testing process would look like. The first step is to create a profile through the SHIELD Illinois portal. SHIELD Illinois is a program at the University of Illinois that developed a saliva test for COVID-19 and has partnered with COD for COVID-19 testing. 

The SHIELD Illinois profile must be set up before testing begins on Nov. 15. In a personal interview, COD Vice President Jim Bente emphasized the importance of setting up a profile prior to the start of testing.

 “If students don’t set that profile up in advance, and they show up for testing, they are going to have to set it up then, which is only going to increase the time they’re going to be there,” he said. 

Once testing starts, individuals must bring an employee or student ID to the test. Testing will take place in Student Resource Center room 2000 and will be available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays, and 8 a.m. to 5p.m. on Wednesdays. They must also sign a waiver in order for the test results to be released to COD.

“Individuals will need to sign a consent form every time they are tested,” Bente said, “They can do that at the test site or online.”

The test will involve producing a small amount of saliva to deposit into a vial.

“Individuals should not eat, drink (including water), chew gum, smoke or use tobacco products within 60 minutes prior to providing a saliva sample,” Caputo said in the email, “Doing any of these things within 60 minutes prior to providing a sample could produce an inconclusive result and require the individual to re-test.”

Test results will appear in the SHIELD Illinois portal within 24 hours of arriving at the lab. If a student tests positive, they will be contacted by the administration. 

“If a student is positive, we’ll follow up with those students to give them instructions as to what they should be doing,” Bente said. Any student who does test positive and requires accommodations due to isolation or quarantine should contact the Center for Access and Accommodations

Individuals who are not vaccinated and are required to test weekly will be notified within the coming week of that requirement. Bente also encouraged students who are fully vaccinated but have not turned in their vaccination card yet to do so soon.

“If a student is fully vaccinated, now’s the time to get the vaccination information in,” he said. “If it’s a week before and they’re just getting their vaccination information in, they will probably need to be tested because we need to process that information.”

Any students with questions about weekly testing should contact the Dean of Student Affairs at [email protected], and any faculty or staff that have questions should contact Human Resources at [email protected].