• SHIELD Illinois - COVID-19 Testing
  • Students and staff have the ability to test on campus once per week. It is essential for these participants to test weekly for the program to be effective in identifying individuals who may have COVID-19 and are asymptomatic and for tracking COVID conditions on campus. 

    NOTE: SHIELD Testing will only be available on Thursdays. Also, a COVID-19 Vaccination and Booster Clinic will take place at East Campus on 1/17 with extended hours from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Additional information, can be found here

    Students may test during passing periods, at the beginning of their lunch period before eating, during homeroom study hall, or after school. 

    CENTRAL Campus | One day per week

    Thursday:  7:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

    Location: 2nd floor hallway outside the Auditorium

    EAST Campus | One day per week

    Thursday: 12:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.

    Location: K Hallway

    Testing at LTHS is not open to the public. Testing is available to students and staff members enrolled in SHIELD from Central Campus, East Campus, and the participating parents/guardians, feeder district students and staff who are already enrolled in SHIELD. For families who did not opt in prior to the start of school, an opportunity to enroll in the program may be offered in the future. 


    Getting test results:  The LTHS nurse and county health officials will be notified by the test administrator if the student tests positive. The LTHS nursing staff will immediately notify families if their students' test results are positive. 



    SHIELD Illinois

The SHIELD test is a noninvasive PCR test designed to detect the virus that causes COVID-19 in saliva. This test was successfully deployed in 2020 by the University of Illinois to enable students to remain on campus. LTHS piloted it during the summer with athletic camps and has deployed the program for the fall semester for all students and staff members participating in the program.

The saliva test has a sensitivity of 97% and a specificity of 99%, with very few false positives. High specificity combined with frequent testing makes the SHIELD saliva-based test extremely accurate.

To be most effective as a measure of the COVID infection among the student populations, all students participating should be tested regularly. Students and staff enrolled in the program will test weekly.

Large numbers of students can be tested in a matter of minutes. Details about the procedure and time students will be tested will be posted soon.

The test can detect the virus 2-3 days after COVID- 19 exposure. Rapid or other PCR tests usually cannot detect the virus until approximately 5 days after exposure.

Current notification time is 24-48 hours.

In addition to the parent receiving their child’s test results, the LTHS nurses and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) will also receive positive test results, consistent with IDPH guidance and the Illinois Control of Communicable Disease Code. All results are confidential and protected under HIPAA and FERPA.

If a vaccinated student becomes symptomatic, SHIELD could rule out the possibility of COVID-19 and enable the student to avoid quarantine.

Testing can help unvaccinated students minimize quarantine if they are exposed to COVID-19 or symptomatic. A “test to stay” protocol may be utilized this year that will enable students who have been exposed in a classroom setting but have no symptoms to stay in school as long as they continue to test negative. Specific quarantine guidelines will be published pending final state health guidance.

According to the University of Illinois website, the SHIELD test targets specific COVID-19 markers and is not able to test for other communicable diseases, substances, or DNA.

Students under the age of 18 will not be tested unless a parental consent form is on file. No opt-out election is necessary. Please note that students who are not participating in COVID testing would be subject to quarantine if they are exposed to the virus or if they become symptomatic.

For families who did not opt in prior to the start of school, an opportunity to enroll in the program may be offered in the future. For families who opted in but no longer wish to participate, there is no requirement to test once a student is enrolled in the program. A student may simply not participate. No opt out is necessary.

The SHIELD Program is administered at no cost to families or LTHS.