What is the SHIELD test?

SHIELD is a saliva-based, non-invasive COVID-19 test that simply requires an individual to deposit a saliva sample into a provided vial at the on-campus testing site. Samples are then transported to a network of lab partners who will process and return results to Richland Community College and the individual who was tested, typically within 24 hours.

How do I contact SHIELD with an account access issue?

If you have any issues signing into the SHIELD portal or creating a SHIELD account to access your test result, please call SHIELD IL Help at (217) 265-6059. They will not release results but can assist you with account access issues. Questions may also be directed to covidtesting@richland.edu.

Where is the testing site?

SHIELD testing takes place at Richland Community College in West Wing Corridor: W167. Parking is available in Parking Lot A.

Can I get tested at a different site and provide you with those results?


I am under age 18, how does my parent/guardian sign up for a Family Portal?

If you are unable to complete your registration with SHIELD due to being under 18, your parent or guardian can sign up for a SHIELD account. Then, link you as a dependent. This will allow both student and parent to view test results as needed. Instructions linked here: Instruction for Creating Family Portals with SHIELD Illinois PDF.


The following groups should participate (but are not mandated) in SHIELD testing:

  • Students and faculty who participate in face-to-face classes, labs or clinicals on campus
  • Employees who work on campus
  • Student staff that work on campus
  • Heartland Tech Academy employees


How do I schedule my SHIELD testing appointment?

  • Sign up for an account on www.richland.edu/shieldtest.
    • Agency Code: df5brbrj
    • Richland students & employees: you must use your Richland email address when you register for your account. Heartland Technical Academy employees should use their HTA email address. 
    • Once you have an account, schedule your appointment at www.richland.edu/shieldtest
    • When it is time for your appointment, come to the on-campus testing site in West Wing Corridor: W167. The staff at the testing site will confirm your appointment & step you through the process.
    • Please Note: There are some restrictions on eating, drinking, and smoking before your test. See the note below for additional information.
    • After you have submitted your sample, it will be sent to the SHIELD testing lab.
  • If your test is negative (healthy), our systems will send a confirmation message (letting you know that we have cleared you to be on campus).
  • If you test positive, it is important to notify the college as soon as you receive the positive result. Complete the self-reporting form at www.richland.edu/coronavirus/selfreport and isolate until you receive further instruction from the Richland’s COVID-19 support team.
  • If you don’t have the ability to schedule an appointment online, you can come to the testing site and we will assist you. Walk-ins are available and welcome.


How can I prepare for my test?

  • Stay hydrated up until an hour before your test. Dehydration makes it harder to produce the saliva you need for test.
  • However, 30 minutes before your test, you must not eat, drink, smoke, brush your teeth, use mouthwash or chew gum.

What health and safety precautions are being used at the testing site?

The testing site follows the CDC guidelines and recommendations to reduce the spread of COVID. Universally masking is enforced at all times, except during the saliva collection itself, in which case each patient is more than 6 feet apart, utilizing floor markings to promote distance between patients, sanitizing all surfaces routinely as well as pens and clipboards, and providing and promoting the use of hand sanitizer, as well as participants’ time in the office.


How do I receive my test results?

You will access your test results through your MySHIELD Illinois account. You will receive a notification via email AND text from SHIELD when your test result is ready.

What happens if my SHIELD test result comes back positive?

Students and employees: If you test positive, it is important to notify the college as soon as you receive the positive result. Complete the self-reporting form at www.richland.edu/coronavirus/selfreport and isolate until you receive further instruction from the Richland’s COVID-19 support team.

Do I have to self-quarantine while I wait for my test results?

No. After your SHIELD test, you can continue your regular activities while you wait for results. You should immediately self-quarantine if you start to not feel well while you are waiting for results.

I’m having trouble accessing my SHIELD Illinois account to view my test results. What should I do?

If you get any errors messages associated with your SHIELD IL activation code or have trouble logging in to your account, please call the SHIELD IL helpline at 217-265-6059.

Alternatively visit the SHIELD testing site on campus in W167.

Your Privacy

Who is collecting the saliva samples?

College and support staff who have been trained and certified to facilitate shield testing procedures collect samples on campus. The supervisor lead is Erin Spanberger our campus COVID-19 Case Coordinator.

Who is testing the saliva and what happens once the Covid test is complete?

Our local testing site is located in Springfield. Once samples are delivered they are responsible for disposal of all samples.

How do we know the samples won’t be used for other purposes?

We’re happy to advise that SHIELD Illinois technology enforces systematic security access controls which protects electronically collected participant information and results data from unauthorized access or harm.

What mechanisms are in place to protect our right to privacy?

All information collected is confidential, secure, and shared with participants via their shields account.

How are we protected from 3rd party access to personal information without authorization?

Mandatory privacy training, periodic security awareness, and procedural physical safeguards are in place help to mitigate the risk of SHIELD Illinois authorized personnel from mishandling or abusing of samples for purposes other than reporting mandated data to the state health department.

Is there anything in writing for test takers that states how a 3rd party can use our samples, information, and limitations as to their access or dispersal of information?

Unauthorized (3rd) parties aren’t allowed to use samples or access personal info of SHIELD Illinois participants.

Additional questions? Email covidtesting@richland.edu.