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SHIELD Testing available on the U of I campus for anyone who needs it

The University of Illinois has reopened a community COVID-19 testing location at Campus Recreation Center East (CRCE). The saliva-based test will be available to anyone who needs one — U of I faculty, student, staff or community members — Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Walk-ins are welcome, but you’re encouraged to make an appointment online

Additional details are available in the press release below. 

SHIELD Illinois opens free testing site in Urbana

Location at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign open to all community members

URBANA – SHIELD Illinois is opening a new community location for its free, saliva-based COVID-19 testing on Sept. 19 at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Campus Recreation Center East (CRCE). The free PCR testing is made possible through a partnership between the Illinois Department of Public Health and SHIELD Illinois that utilizes federal funds.

The testing site will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at CRCE, 1102 W. Gregory Drive in Urbana. 

While the testing site is open to anyone, all University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign students, faculty and staff who are required to test weekly may not use this location for compliance with that requirement. They must continue to use the testing site at the Illini Union.

For those receiving a test at CRCE, free parking is available at marked metered spaces along Dorner Drive on the south side of the facility. Community members should use CRCE’s east entrance, which faces Allen Hall. Multiple Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District buses serve CRCE; visit for schedules. 

All members of the community are encouraged to make an appointment online at, though walk-ins are welcome. Masks or face coverings are required at the testing site. 

Instead of an invasive nasal swab, the covidSHIELD test uses a saliva sample that takes just minutes to collect. Confidential results from SHIELD Illinois are available in 24-48 hours via email.

“We are grateful to our partners at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the cities of Champaign and Urbana, who have paved the way for this new location,” said SHIELD Illinois Managing Director Ron Watkins. “We have heard from numerous community members about the need for testing in Champaign-Urbana and we are glad to be able to provide this service.”

“Public access to COVID-19 testing is an important mitigation strategy,” said Julie Pryde, the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District’s public health administrator. “Sites like this play a vital role in the fight to keep our community safer by minimizing the potential for COVID-19 outbreaks.”

CRCE is one of SHIELD Illinois’ many testing partners across Illinois, including over a dozen community testing sites and more than 600 K-12 schools. 

The effort is part of an agreement between the University of Illinois System and the state in the ongoing effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Federal funds from the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan are being used to provide free testing through SHIELD Illinois. 

SHIELD Illinois is the University of Illinois System’s in-state, non-profit COVID-testing unit that uses the highly accurate saliva-based PCR covidSHIELD test that was developed at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. For more information, please visit

1102 W Gregory Dr

Top photo screenshot from the SHIELD Illinois website.


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