Durbin Statement on FDA Emergency Use Authorization for Illinois Shield Testing

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today issued the following statement applauding an announcement that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to SHIELD T3, an innovative system of COVID-19 testing and tracing developed by the University of Illinois to help monitor the health of students.  The SHIELD test is a low-cost, rapid saliva-based test that holds the promise of being scaled up to address nationwide testing needs:

“Today’s EUA is a game changer in our efforts to combat COVID-19 across Illinois and the United States.  When the pandemic struck, University of Illinois answered the call—and this rapid, low-cost saliva-testing program could be the key to dramatically expanding our testing infrastructure.  I’m proud to stand with the remarkable work of U of I’s scientists and researchers, and I’m thankful for their efforts to improve our public health.”

Durbin has supported the University of Illinois’ research enterprise and SHIELD testing effort through support for federal research grant funding, building awareness of this SHIELD technology with federal health officials, and assisting with appropriately navigating the regulatory landscape. 

Already across its campuses, the University of Illinois has conducted more than one million tests using SHIELD.