Rutland Grade School has partnered with the University of Illinois SHIELD program to assist with our efforts to monitor and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our school and community. Non-invasive testing for COVID-19 will be performed on a voluntary basis at school and is free to all students (K-8) and staff.
As you make this decision for your student(s) and family, please note the following details:
The SHIELD test is a free, non-invasive diagnostic test for the COVID-19 virus conducted by collecting a saliva (spit) deposit in under five minutes, which provides results in 24 hours.
SHIELD testing was developed at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and has a sensitivity rate of 97% and an accuracy rate of 99%
Individuals should not eat, drink or chew gum within 60 minutes of providing a saliva sample.
Students’ participation in this program will limit potential quarantine situations and allow students to safely remain in an in-person learning environment.
Informational Video: SHIELD Illinois K-12 Schools Collection Examples
Informational Video: SHIELD Illinois: How the Saliva-Based PCR Test Works
According to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), “screening tests for SARS-CoV-2 can support in-person learning by identifying infected persons who are asymptomatic and without known or suspected exposure to SARS-CoV-2. Screening tests are performed to identify persons who may be contagious so that measures can be taken to prevent further transmission.”
Details about testing dates and locations, and instructions to access your SHIELD parent portal will be communicated once our rosters have been developed. We aim to begin offering testing in our building in late September/early October
Additionally, testing can be used to keep students in school when identified as a classroom close contact through the Test-to-Stay protocol. “This allows students to avoid quarantine by testing on days one, three, five and seven after exposure as long as they continue to test negative.” (IDPH). Students and staff who continue to test negative will be permitted to stay in the classroom.
The ability to engage in the Test-to-Stay process is determined by our local health department, as they will assess the level of risk associated with each individual situation.
The Test-to-Stay strategy is only applicable when both the individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 and the close contact were engaged in proper and consistent mask wearing, as recommended by the CDC.
Why is screening testing done weekly?
Testing at least once a week maximizes our ability to find infections early and break the transmission chain. Testing, in combination with effective contact tracing, will give us the ability to monitor asymptomatic cases and the transmission rates in our building. The goal of this testing program, in addition to other mitigation strategies in place in schools, is to keep students learning in the classroom and help protect our community. *Approximately 20-30% of enrolled participants will be selected each week for testing.
Should vaccinated individuals participate?
According to the SHIELD program FAQ, individuals who are fully vaccinated typically do not need to be tested. However, the CDC recommends that anyone with any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 get tested, regardless of vaccination status.
If you have additional questions about the SHIELD testing process, please email our school nurse Shannon Matteson at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will work to respond to all inquiries as quickly as possible and appreciate your patience. Thank you for your continued support and cooperation as we work to ensure the safety of our students, staff and community.