Unvaccinated SIUE students, staff required to take weekly COVID-19 tests

Illinois

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Students return to on-campus classes Monday at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. For those unvaccinated, they must undergo weekly COVID-19 tests. 

Masks are required in all buildings on campus and even outdoors if you’re unvaccinated. As students, faculty, and staff settle into a routine, there’s another weekly stop for those unvaccinated, the Student Success Center.    

On Wednesday afternoon, there was a steady trickle of people dropping off two-milliliter samples of their saliva for a COVID-19 test.    

For 30 years, Mike Schultz was director of housing here at SIUE and then he retired, but the pandemic put him back in action as the campus COVID-19 coordinator, making sure thousands of FDA approved saliva tests are available and ready for the students who have made appointments to stop by and take a test. 

“It’s extremely easy,” student Hayden Isham said about taking the COVID test. “Takes just a little bit of saliva and only about five minutes.”

Manager Hilary Moll with Shield Illinois explained how the saliva tests work.

“They get the test and it has a little funnel on the top,” she said. “They add just a little bit of saliva and there’s a cap and then they drop it off into the bin.”

Schultz said that the tests are mandatory for faculty, students, and staff. Those exempted are people who have been vaccinated or who have tested positive within the last 90 days.

Officials expect to see 1,500 students, staff, and faculty per week take the FDA-approved COVID-19 saliva tests inside the Student Success Center.

Those tests get driven to Springfield, Illinois daily. The University of Illinois is working with a number of colleges and universities in the state.

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