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Free COVID-19 tests for everyone, new community site opens on campus Monday

URBANA -- Starting Monday, Champaign County residents will be able to take saliva-based COVID-19 test for free at SHIELD Illinois' new location at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Campus Recreation Center East (CRCE). The free PCR tests will be available to anyone in the community and are being made available through a partnership between the Illinois Department of Public Health and SHIELD Illinois through federal funding.

“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.”

While walk-in testing will be available, appointments can be made online at Masks or face coverings must be worn at the testing site.

Testing will occur from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at CRCE, 1102 W. Gregory Drive in Urbana. Free parking is available at metered spaces conveniently marked along Dorner Drive on the south side of the building and the location is on multiple MTD bus routes. Bus schedules can be found on Access to the testing site is through the doors on the east side of the building.

Results from SHIELD Illinois testing are emailed within 24-48 hours and are completely confidential.

Funding from the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan is being used to provide the free testing to the community to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and its multiple variants.

“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.”

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign students, faculty, and staff who are required to test weekly will not be allowed to use the new site. Campus employees and students must continue to go to the Illini Union for testing.