SHIELD Illinois opens COVID-19 testing site at CRCE


Jacob Slabosz

Grainger College of Engineering Freshman Em Warshaw hands over their PCR test to testing facility worker at the new CRCE testing center on Monday. SHIELD’s COVID-19 testing center at CRCE opened on Monday after high demand of requests for more testing facilities.

By Jacob Slabosz, Contributing Writer

Students, faculty and community members alike now have a new option for PCR COVID-19 testing after a testing site opened in the Campus Recreation Center East.

The testing site, which is owned and operated by SHIELD Illinois, first opened Monday and will be available for testing weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., according to a COVID-19 Massmail sent on Friday.

As the site is not operated by the University, it is open to the general public in addition to students, faculty and staff. This differs from the testing location at the Illini Union which is exclusive to those with active i-cards.

“Anyone can use this site, but all (University) students, faculty and staff who are required to test weekly may not use this location for compliance with that requirement,” said Benjamin Taylor, the marketing and communications lead at SHIELD Illinois. “They must continue to use the testing site at the Illini Union.”

Accordingly, those required by the University to test weekly may still use the CRCE testing location but will still need to test at the Union to satisfy the requirement.

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    Em Warshaw, freshman in Engineering, was among the first to utilize the new location.

    “It is a bit more difficult (than the Union) because of having to make an account, but it was less crowded,” Warshaw said. “I had to stand in line at the Union, but here there were no lines.”

    According to Taylor, there are ways to expedite this process, such as registering an account using the agency code “df5brbrj” and making an appointment via the SHIELD Illinois portal.

    “(Individuals) can schedule the time they’ll visit the site, and they will be notified when their result is available,” Taylor said. 

    As it was their first visit, Warshaw was required to create an account via SHIELD Illinois. 

    “(In the future) I could make an appointment and just use a QR code, which means that they do not have to ask for my name or anything — they can just scan that,” Warshaw said.

    The opening of the new site came in response to increased demand for testing in the community.

    “Our University community has been asking for more COVID-19 testing capacity,” said Allison Vance, director of institutional communications for the University. “The SHIELD Illinois site also allows the University to help provide testing resources to the larger community.”

    According to Taylor, CRCE previously hosted a “SHIELD CU community testing site,” which closed in June.

    “Operationally, we knew how a community testing site would fit within CRCE,” Taylor said.

    The CRCE testing site will remain open indefinitely and has no set end date, Taylor mentioned.

    Individuals seeking the free testing should follow the white signs in front of CRCE and enter on the east side closest to Allen Hall.


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