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COVID-19 Testing

Individuals with questions, comments, or constructive feedback can email covid-19@wiu.edu. In addition, a comments/concerns form has been established for easy submission.

COVID-19 Fall 2021 Testing Plan

All students, faculty, and staff who physically come to campus are REQUIRED to participate in COVID-19 testing. Individuals may opt out of testing if they provide proof of vaccination. Testing is required (1) time weekly for individuals who do not want to receive the vaccination or who have failed to show proof of vaccination. Please see the COVID-19 vaccination section for more information regarding vaccinations.

COVID-19 Testing Information

WIU-Macomb Testing

Testing Site: The WIU Testing Site is located at the Recreation Center MAC Gym.

Testing Dates/Times: Fall 2021 test clinics on the Macomb campus will be held from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday thru Thursday in the WIU Student Recreation Center MAC Gym (south gym). 

Testing Modality: WIU-Macomb faculty, staff and students will utilize the SHIELD Illinois fast-turnaround saliva- based COVID-19 tests created by the University of Illinois. The SHIELD test requires individuals to deposit a small amount of saliva in a vial, which usually takes less than 10-20 minutes to complete. The test will provide results within 24 hours of samples reaching a SHIELD Illinois Lab. Participants will receive their test results through the SHIELD Portal that they will register on their first day of testing.

Things to Know:
  • This is a saliva based test where individuals will drool into a tube.
  • Individuals on the Macomb campus MUST register in advance at the following site: https://www.wiu.edu/covidtest/.
  • Please note that we have received several reports of users attempting to register with the message "Credentials did not match anyone in SHIELD Illinois system". If this occurs, please do a walk-in appointment where staff in the testing center will help create an account for you.
  • Quad Cities faculty, staff, and students do not need to register in advance for the CRL brand tests used at the QC campus.
  • Please do not eat, drink, chew gum, use tobacco products or brush your teeth at least 60 minutes prior to performing the test.
  • Results will be provided within 24 hours.
  • No cost for testing.
  • Testing at this location is limited to current WIU students, faculty, and staff only.
  • Please bring your WIU ID with you
  • You do not need to bring your insurance card.

Schedule a COVID-19 Test Appt.

WIU-Quad Cities Testing

Testing Site: The WIU-QC testing site is a pickup and drop-off location located at Riverfront Hall.

Testing Dates: Test clinics will be held in Riverfront Hall on the WIU-Quad Cities campus from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday/Wednesday/Thursday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday, and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday.

Testing Modality: WIU-QC faculty, staff and students will utilize the CRL saliva- based COVID-19 tests administered by Clinical Reference Laboratory in Lenexa, KS. The CRL test requires individuals to deposit a small amount of saliva in a vial, which usually takes less than 10-15 minutes to complete. The test will provide results within 24-36 hours of samples reaching the CRL Labs.

Things to Know
  • This is a saliva based test where individuals will drool into a tube.
  • Quad Cities faculty, staff, and students do not need to register in advance for the CRL brand tests used at the QC campus.
  • Please do not eat, drink, chew gum, use tobacco products or brush your teeth at least 30 minutes prior to performing the test.
  • Results will be provided within 24-36 hours.
  • No cost for testing.
  • Testing at this location is limited to current WIU students, faculty, and staff only.
  • You do not need to bring your insurance card.
Test Results

Individuals who test positive must isolate for 10 days. The ten day count begins on the day the test was administered. WIU-Macomb has residential facilities set up to ensure comfortable and safe accommodations for any student who must isolate. Faculty, staff and commuter students on both campuses who test positive must isolate at home for 10 days. For more information pertaining to isolation, please see the "Quarantine and Isolation" page.

Individuals who are Symptomatic

Any individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should NOT visit the COVID-19 testing center. Instead, individuals on the WIU Macomb Campus should call the Beu Health Center at 309-298-1888. Individuals on the WIU-QC Campus should NOT come to campus and call their primary care provider.

COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
Individuals who have previously tested positive for COVID-19

Individuals who have had COVID-19 should not get tested for up to (90) days after recovery as long as they do not develop symptoms again. People who develop symptoms again within 90 days of their 1st bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms.

If you are an individual who has tested positive within the last (90) days and you are unvaccinated, please report this to covidstudenthelp@wiu.edu. You will be required to provide a positive test result or doctor's slip to verify. You will then be added to a testing exemption list for the 90 days. Failure to report this information will mean that an individual is not compliant with University policy and will be required to continue weekly testing.

Individuals who complete testing at an off-site location

Individuals do have the option of testing at a location off-campus, however, the method of testing, must be a PCR based test to be equal to the test modality provided at the on-campus testing clinic. Once results are received, they can be sent to covidstudenthelp@wiu.edu. In order to be compliant for the previous week, test results must be received by 12:00am Mondays.

Disciplinary Action for Testing Non-compliance

Individuals who do not participate in the required weekly testing and do not upload/present a vaccination card will be subject to disciplinary action consistent with Western Illinois University’s Human Resources and Student Conduct procedures. 

Disciplinary action will be progressive and will not reset with compliance.

For the purposes of meeting the weekly testing requirement, a week is defined as Monday through Sunday.

Students
  • First missed test clinic:
    Letter of reprimand
  • Second & third missed test clinic:
    Referred to Student Rights & Responsibilities for disciplinary action
  • Fourth & beyond missed test clinic:
    Further progressive discipline up to, and including, dismissal from WIU
Employees

Employees should complete testing during their regular work hours or as directed by their supervisor. Overtime pay will not be provided if the employees choose, on their own, to obtain a PCR-based COVID test outside of their normal work hours.

  1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense

Administrative/Professional

Written warning/reprimand (kept in personnel file); copied to supervisor Pre-disciplinary meeting before suspension; 2 day unpaid suspension Unpaid suspension until compliance; Upon compliance, return to work the next scheduled work day

Civil Service

Written warning/reprimand (kept in personnel file); copied to supervisor Pre-disciplinary meeting before suspension; 2 day unpaid suspension Unpaid suspension until compliance; Upon compliance, return to work the next scheduled work day

Employees covered under a union contract will be disciplined according to the negotiated agreement.

Incentive Contest for Testing Program

Please see “Incentive Contest for Vaccinations and Testing Program” section on Vaccination page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I required to participate in the COVID-19 testing program?

Western Illinois University faculty, students, and staff are REQUIRED to participate in the University’s weekly testing program if they do not provide proof of vaccination.

If I have received my first dose of a two-dose vaccine, do I need to participate in the required testing?

Yes, in order to opt out of the required testing, all individuals must be fully vaccinated. (Fully vaccinated is defined as taking any of the current three vaccine options – Pfizer (2 shots required- 21 days between shot 1 and shot 2), Moderna (2 shots required-28 days between shot 1 and shot 2), or the Johnson and Johnson (1 shot required), plus 14 days following the last shot.). In addition to these three common vaccinations within the United States, WIU will acknowledge other vaccines approved through the World Health Organization (WHO). For a complete list of WHO approved vaccines, please see above.)

If I have a COVID-19 test result from another entity, can I turn that in in lieu of having to participate in the University testing?

Yes, as long as the test provided is a PCR based test, it can be emailed to BD-Slater@wiu.edu

What if I am taking classes remotely and do not come to campus?

The required testing program is for individuals who are physically the WIU-Macomb or WIU-QC campus. If an individual does not physically come to campus, they do not need to participate, however, can do so if they choose.

What if I do not want to participate in either vaccination or the testing program?

Members of the WIU campus community have two options:

  1. Provide proof of vaccination and opt out, or
  2. Participate in the required testing program.

Failure to cooperate with either of these two options will result in disciplinary action either through the Student Conduct Office or Human Resources.

What if I have been positive with COVID-19 in the last 90 days?

Individuals who have been positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days will still be responsible for informing health care staff of their current situation. Individuals should still plan on coming through the testing clinic at this time.

Why aren’t individuals who are vaccinated required to test?

The CDC does not recommend testing for fully vaccinated individuals unless they develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Individuals should self-monitor for signs of infection for 14 days after exposure to someone with COVID-19 infection.

How can an employer be allowed to mandate an employee to test for Covid when they are not their health care provider?

The ADA requires that any mandatory medical test of employees be “job related and consistent with business necessity.” Applying this standard to the current circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers may take screening steps to determine if employees entering the workplace have COVID-19 because an individual with the virus will pose a direct threat to the health of others. Therefore an employer may choose to administer COVID-19 testing to employees before initially permitting them to enter the workplace and/or periodically to determine if their presence in the workplace poses a direct threat to others. The ADA does not interfere with employers following recommendations by the CDC or other public health authorities regarding whether, when, and for whom testing or other screening is appropriate. Testing administered by employers consistent with current CDC guidance will meet the ADA’s “business necessity” standard.

Consistent with the ADA standard, employers should ensure that the tests are considered accurate and reliable. For example, employers may review information from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about what may or may not be considered safe and accurate testing, as well as guidance from CDC or other public health authorities. Because the CDC and FDA may revise their recommendations based on new information, it may be helpful to check these agency websites for updates. Employers may wish to consider the incidence of false-positives or false-negatives associated with a particular test. Note that a positive test result reveals that an individual most likely has a current infection and may be able to transmit the virus to others. A negative test result means that the individual did not have detectable COVID-19 at the time of testing.

A negative test does not mean the employee will not acquire the virus later. Based on guidance from medical and public health authorities, employers should still require–to the greatest extent possible–that employees observe infection control practices (such as social distancing, regular handwashing, and other measures) in the workplace to prevent transmission of COVID-19.

May employers ask all employees physically entering the workplace if they have been diagnosed with or tested for COVID-19?

Employers are responsible for maintaining a safe and healthy workplace and there is nothing in Illinois or federal law that prohibits an employer from requiring a doctor’s note or COVID-19 test before an employee reports to the workplace. Employers may ask all employees who will be physically entering the workplace if they have COVID-19 or symptoms associated with COVID-19, and ask if they have been tested for COVID-19. Symptoms associated with COVID-19 include, for example, fever, chills, cough, and shortness of breath. The CDC has identified a current list of symptoms. An employer may exclude those with COVID-19, or symptoms associated with COVID-19, from the workplace because, as EEOC has stated, their presence would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others. However, for those employees who are teleworking and are not physically interacting with coworkers or others (for example, customers), the employer would generally not be permitted to ask these questions.

What is the reliability of the COVID-19 test being provided?

The saliva test has a sensitivity of 97% and a specificity of 99%.

Will I test positive for COVID-19 if I just got a COVID-19 vaccine?

No, per the CDC none of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines will cause you to test positive on a PCR or Antigen test.

It has been found that even individuals who are vaccinated can still become infected or transmit the COVID-19 virus. Why isn't everyone in the campus community required to test?

At this time the CDC does not recommend testing for fully vaccinated individuals unless they develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19. With that being said, if there are vaccinated individuals who do wish to be tested, they will not be turned away and are welcome to participate.

Isn't making one population test and another not, discriminatory?

WIU's process is not discriminatory, but a means of infection control. While it is not recommended by the CDC to have vaccinated individuals test, we have continued to state that even vaccinated individuals who wish to test can do so. In addition, we are testing individuals who are vaccinated and symptomatic who come through the testing center. The University has an obligation to maintain the health and wellbeing of all members of the campus community to the best of their abilities while at the same time valuing individuals' choice whether to be vaccinated or not. The testing process is the modality in which the University has elected to utilize for monitoring purposes.

What if I am not attending class in person, but still want to participate in clubs, organizations, field trips, etc.?

Students participating in any in-person activity endorsed by WIU have to follow the University protocols and will either need to test for that week when they are participating in the activity or provide proof of vaccination in advance of participation.