The COVID-19 saliva-based test developed by researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will now be used in some Baltimore public schools and several universities in the Washington, DC area.

American University and the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area partnered with UIUC researchers to establish and operate a new mobile lab with the anticipated capacity to process more than 50,000 tests per week.

Andrew Flagel, president and CEO of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, said the colleges that plan to most heavily use the lab initially are American University, Catholic University of America, Gallaudet University and Marymount University. The Baltimore City Public Schools will also use the lab for testing high school students.

On March 1, 2021 the University of Illinois System received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for covidSHIELD, allowing the U of I System to broadly expand use of the test beyond its own campuses.

Editor’s note: The original article by Elizabeth Redden published in Inside Higher Ed can be found here.

Organizations inside Illinois that are interested in using the SHIELD saliva test should visit or email Interested organizations outside of Illinois should contact Shield T3 at or email