With the Covid-19 pandemic and its new Delta variant that was recently discovered in late July, it was logical that the school took immediate action in order to keep Covid cases under control. To prevent the unwanted widespread of the virus, the District recently implemented SHIELD testing. The goal of these saliva-based covid-tests is to identify any asymptomatic students that may be infected with the virus as well as provide easy access to quick-result Covid testing for students and family members. SHIELD Testing began being implemented on October 18th and is planned to stay implemented until further notice.
“The shield testing is a partnership with the state of Illinois [[…]] that provides districts with support to do testing for Covid-19,” states Andrea Parker, Oswego High School’s Assistant Principal of Student Services. Parker also adds that multiple testing locations make it easy for parents and students to say, “alright I have to get tested, I may be asymptomatic but here are some of the places I can go and get it done.”
The procedure is simple, but if you are under 18 you have to have a parent consent form. The diagnostic test will detect if your child is infected with the Covid-19 virus through collected saliva. Additionally, the testing will be done through the school or you can find a location near you, which can be found on the district’s homepage. Most are drive-thru which decreases the risk of you infecting others or becoming infected yourself.
Through District 308 website you can also find the code you will need to access your own or your child’s testing results, this process takes approximately 24 hours for results to be visible. Although it is not required, it is recommended that students stay at home if they are experiencing symptoms until the results are released. If the student is tested negative, then they are free to resume their everyday activities. If the results are positive the student will be excluded from school and asked to refrain from their after-school activities for a time period of about 10 days.
As of now, the unvaccinated staff is required to submit to weekly testing or provide proof of vaccination. It is uncertain whether this will extend to students if cases begin to rise. Once again, the aim is to keep all students, staff, and family members that are part of the district safe and healthy. Establishing SHIELD Testing will do just that.
Being tested should always be considered when discovering that you have come in contact with an infected person. But, it is still important to stay at home if you suspect you may be developing Covid-19 symptoms. Wearing masks correctly and maintaining a sanitized environment when possible is also vital to the safety of yourself and others.