Opt-In for SHIELD Testing
Updated October 26, 2021
As we continue to focus on the health and safety of our entire community with the ongoing COVID pandemic, DPS is implementing voluntary on-site COVID testing for students and staff. This testing is referred to as SHIELD testing and is a partnership with the University of Illinois. Our goal with on-site testing is to keep as many students and staff members as possible in school. Those who are identified as unvaccinated close contacts to COVID cases may be able to avoid quarantine if they submit to SHIELD testing.
The Macon Co. Health Dept. is allowing a test-to-stay option once SHIELD testing is up and running in DPS schools. This means any unvaccinated student or staff member who is identified as a close contact but is asymptomatic may remain at school as long as they submit to SHIELD testing on days 1, 3, 5, and 7, and results are negative every time. This test-to-stay option would also only remain available as long as community spread numbers do not rise significantly.
The tentative date for SHIELD testing to begin at on-site DPS locations is Monday, November 15. If you would like to opt your student in to SHIELD testing, you must complete the DPS Parent/Guardian Consent Form for COVID-19 Testing & Release of Records. There are three ways you can complete the form, please choose whichever option is easiest for you. Note: You will need to complete a form for each of your DPS students.
- A digital version of the form is now available in Skyward Family Access. Click on “Online Forms”, select the “Fill Out Form” link next to SHIELD Consent Form; when you are finished, click the “Complete Step 1 and Move to Step 2' button at the bottom of the form. You must click the “Submit SHIELD Consent Form” button in Step 2 to complete the form.
- Printable form linked here – please print, sign, and return to the main office at your student’s school.
- Call school office to request printed copy of form be sent home with your student – please sign and return to the main office at your student’s school.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is this form?
We are seeking your consent to test your student for COVID-19 infection. Decatur Public Schools District #61 (DPS) partnered with the University of Illinois (Testing Partner) to test DPS students, teachers, and staff members for COVID-19 infection.
How often will my student be tested?
We are arranging for our Testing Partner to test students on average one (1) time per week.
What is the SHIELD test?
If you consent, your student will receive a free diagnostic test for the COVID-19 virus conducted by collecting saliva (spit).
How will I know if my student tests positive?
You will receive access to your student’s test results via an online platform, which we will separately send you information about in future correspondence. DPS will also receive results of your student’s test and may notify you separately of any positive result.
What should I do when I receive my student’s test results?
- If your student’s test results are positive, please contact their doctor immediately to review the test results and discuss next steps. You may not send your student back to school until the end of the health department's quarantine period, indicating your student is no longer positive for the COVID-19 virus.
- If your student’s test results are negative, this means that the COVID-19 virus was not detected in their saliva (spit).
Tests sometimes produce incorrect negative results, called “false negatives,” in people who do have COVID-19. If your student tests negative but has symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have concerns about your student’s exposure to COVID-19, you should call a doctor.
Who will receive my student’s test results?
In addition to you receiving your student’s test results, DPS, the Macon County Health Department, and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) may also receive test results, consistent with IDPH guidance and the Illinois Control of Communicable Disease Code.
If my student is identified as a close contact but remains asymptomatic, can they test and not have to quarantine?
The Macon County Health Department will allow a test-to-stay option when community spread numbers remain lower. Students and staff members who are identified as close contacts but are asymptomatic may remain at school as long as they submit to testing on days 1, 3, 5, and 7, and results are negative each time. By signing this consent form, you give permission for your student to be tested if they are identified as a close contact.
Decatur Public Schools continues to monitor the health and wellness of our entire school community, as we deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The information contained on this page is just one more way we are communicating with our District family about COVID-19 cases in DPS schools.
This data is for informational purposes only. Any changes to DPS policies or procedures around COVID-19 will be communicated directly to District families as new guidance is received from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Illinois Department of Public Health, Macon County Health Department, and Illinois State Board of Education.
All DPS COVID-19 practices and procedures can be found in the 2021-22 COVID-19 Health & Safety Protocols Guidebook.
Overall Macon County COVID-19 statistics can be found on the Macon County Health Department website.