RPS 205 Offers Free COVID-19 Tests
Rockford Public Schools will offer students access to free COVID-19 tests starting Monday, Oct. 25. Our goal is to provide a safe learning environment for students and staff and stop the spread of COVID-19. The University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford will provide a quick, saliva-based COVID-19 test for students, called SHIELD Illinois. The rtPCR test is used across the state at universities, schools and businesses to help safely return to in-person activities. At this time, students are not required to participate in COVID-19 testing.
Current protocol: Unvaccinated students who are identified as a close contact to someone with COVID-19 must quarantine. Starting next week, students who participate in weekly SHIELD testing may not have to quarantine.
Students who have COVID-19 symptoms are currently directed to leave school and isolate from others until they test negative for COVID-19. With SHIELD Illinois, now students can take a test either at school or within RPS 205 instead of visiting a doctor’s office, immediate care facility or pharmacy. We hope this allows students to stay in school and limit interruptions.
How the SHIELD test works: Participating students will be asked to spit or drool into a small plastic tube. The test looks for three genes of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, or COVID-19. A positive test identifies COVID-19 ahead of symptoms, plus any new variants.
Access a COVID-19 test: Unvaccinated RPS 205 students can take a test through SHIELD Illinois at any RPS 205 testing site from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the specified days. Students must not eat or drink for at least one hour before the test. Any lipstick or balm must be removed.
Test locations: SHIELD tests are available 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the locations noted below, starting Monday, Oct. 25.:
|Auburn HS||East HS||Guilford HS||Barbour||Eisenhower MS|
|Lincoln MS||Jefferson HS||Kennedy MS||Flinn MS|
|RESA MS||Marshall MS||Roosevelt||West MS|
Test results: A student’s parent/guardian will be notified of their test results. Individuals who test positive must quarantine and follow guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health. For more information, visit shieldillinois.com.