Eureka College to Offer Free COVID-19 Testing to Community
August 20, 2021
EUREKA – Eureka College has announced it will begin offering free COVID-19 testing to the general public through a partnership with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and SHIELD Illinois.
Members of the community -- whether they are showing symptoms or not – can go to portal.shieldillinois.com to register and make an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome.
The testing site opens to the public on Tuesday, Aug. 24. Hours will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday in the basement of Melick Library. Parking is available nearby on Darst Street; people getting tested can use the library’s southwest side entrance that leads directly to the basement.
Instead of an invasive nasal swab, the covidSHIELD test uses saliva and takes just minutes to collect. Confidential results are known in 6 to 24 hours.
Eureka College is a SHIELD Illinois partner and is using covidSHIELD testing for students, faculty and staff, but wanted the public to have free access, too.
“As the country moved into a new phase in the pandemic (more focused on the vaccine as opposed to testing), many free testing sites in our area closed or started limiting hours,” said Craig A. Maynard, the college’s vice president for finance & facilities/CFO. “We had a number of families and students reach out to the college asking where they could get tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus. We wanted to try and help fill the need for our campus, as well as the surrounding community.”
IDPH is using federal funds from the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan to offer the free, rapid PCR testing to members of the community through SHIELD Illinois, a nonprofit of the University of Illinois System.
The effort is part of an agreement between the University of Illinois System and the state to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The innovative saliva-based covidSHIELD test detects three genes of SARS-CoV-2 virus, allowing it to quickly detect the virus that causes COVID-19 and its variants, including among people who do not have symptoms.
Eureka College is among more than 900 SHIELD Illinois testing sites across the state, including universities, community colleges, K-12 schools and a dozen free community testing locations.
For more information, contact Brittany Parker, Eureka College’s Director of Marketing, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Alex Quigley, SHIELD Assistant Director of Marketing, at email@example.com or 217-333-0387.
To learn more about becoming a community testing site, contact Anna Pinsoneault, SHIELD’s Director of Public Health Relationships at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pioneered by researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, covidSHIELD is a comprehensive solution to curb and control the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. The covidSHIELD testing process is currently in use across the University of Illinois System.
About Eureka College
Located in Eureka, Illinois, and chartered in 1855, Eureka College cultivates excellence in learning, service and leadership while providing students uniquely personalized and custom educational opportunities.
Originally founded by abolitionist members of Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Eureka College holds the unique distinction of being the first college in Illinois and only the third in the nation to admit men and women on an equal basis. The College, which is located on nearly 70 wooded acres in central Illinois, is the smallest of only 24 colleges and universities to ever award a bachelor’s degree to a future President of the United States.