Testing Positive for COVID-19

The University has plans and processes in place to help maximize safety and minimize the spread of COVID-19.

General information

On-campus test result notification

Individuals who take an on-campus test will be notified of results via email through the McKinley Patient Health Portal. It is critically important that you check your university email account daily and access your results in the McKinley Patient Health Portal upon receiving notification of test result availability.

Contact tracing

Contact tracing efforts are now centralized by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). If you test positive for COVID-19 you will receive an automated text message from IDPH with contact information on how to opt-in to contact tracing.

Off-campus positive COVID-19 test results

If you have previously tested positive for COVID-19 at an off-campus location, you should submit your off-campus positive test result to the MyMcKinley Portal.

Instructions after COVID-19 isolation and building access

Information for students

Text messages for students who test positive

If you are a student and you test positive for COVID-19, the university will send you a text message shortly after your test is processed. The message will look like this:

  • This is the University of Illinois COVID SHIELD TEAM 30. Your most recent on-campus COVID-19 test is positive. You must immediately isolate. If you live in university-owned housing or in private certified housing (PCH), including certified Greek houses, you will be contacted by housing staff within 24 hours to confirm your isolation location. Given space limitations, we encourage you to isolate at your permanent residence if you can safely do so. If you live off campus, remain isolated in your residence. For isolation guidance, see https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19/community-guidance/confirmed-or-possible-covid-19.html. For additional information from the university, see https://go.illinois.edu/COVID-outreach. Please reply Y to confirm you have read this message and are immediately isolating. This is an automated message.

Please remember to respond Y to the message to indicate you have taken steps to immediately isolate. 

Courses and absences

If you receive a positive test, you will need to email your instructors and let them know you will be absent from class. You do not need to share any specific health information with them.

If you are in remote courses, you may continue to attend class online if you are able.

Additional resources

You can use the OSF OnCall Connect program that provides information, support and guidance at no cost to you.

The Student Assistance Center (217-333-0050; helpdean@illinois.edu) is also available to help you understand university policies and procedures and connect you with resources, whether related to COVID-19 or other challenges that you may be experiencing.

Information for employees

Text messages for faculty/staff who test positive

If you are a faculty or staff member and you test positive for COVID-19, the university will send you a text message shortly after your test is processed. The message will look like this:

  • This is the University of Illinois COVID-19 SHIELD TEAM 30. Your most recent on-campus COVID-19 test is positive. You must immediately isolate and are not permitted to work on campus or attend any in-person activities. Please remain isolated in your residence. You need to call the confidential IHR COVID-19 hotline at 217-300-9005. IHR will explain the benefits available to cover your isolation period. For isolation guidance, see https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19/community-guidance/confirmed-or-possible-covid-19.html. Please reply Y to confirm you have read this message and are immediately isolating.

Please remember to respond Y to the message to indicate you have taken steps to immediately isolate. 

For questions about text messages for faculty and staff, please call the confidential IHR COVID-19 hotline at 217-300-9005.

Notify Illinois Human Resources and your unit

Employees who receive a positive test are required to notify Illinois Human Resources by calling 217-300-9005. Illinois Human Resources will provide information about paid leave options, as well as collect information that will help ensure we take any necessary cleaning or sanitation steps.

You must inform your unit of your absence, but you do not need to share specific health information. IHR will only provide information necessary to take any appropriate safety actions.

If you are doing remote work, you may continue to work if you are able.

Additional employee resources

You can use the OSF On Call program that provides information, support and guidance at no cost to you.

Instructions after COVID-19 isolation

If you have been released from isolation (tested positive for COVID-19), there are steps that you can follow to ease your transition back to full campus participation.

Step 1: Take guidance from Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)

IDPH will provide information about ending isolation. If you are still experiencing symptoms, you should continue to isolate. 

Step 2: Transition back to housing if applicable

  • If you are isolating at an off-campus location, including your permanent address, you can return to campus as soon as you are released from isolation.
  • If you isolated with University Housing, you will be emailed instructions. Please follow these instructions and email reshalls@housing.illinois.edu if you have any questions or concerns. 
  • If you live in a private certified hall, fraternity or sorority or off-campus apartment, you need to consult the management for your housing to see if there are any additional steps you need to take.

Step 3: Regain building access

For individuals in isolation (tested positive for COVID-19), your building access status will automatically update after Day 5 of your isolation period. Individuals are expected to follow CDC guidance and should continue to isolate if they still have symptoms. 

If your app has not been updated after 24 hours, please contact the COVID Wellness Answer Center at covidwellness@illinois.edu. Please include your name, UIN and the date you were permitted to leave isolation.

Step 4: Begin testing for COVID-19 after 90 days if you are required to do so

Individuals only need to return to their regular testing schedule if the university requires them to do so. Visit the testing page for more information on testing requirements.

  • Aligned with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if you test positive for COVID-19 on-campus (or you upload your off-campus positive test), you are no longer required to test for 90 days after your test date.
  • You will have “Building Access Denied” starting at midnight on the 90th day if you are not vaccinated and have not received a recent on-campus test.