CUC provides free on-campus COVID testing to staff, students, and faculty


Stefan Kovacevic, M.D, and Tylar Pon, R.N., check in students in CC 200 for their on-campus COVID test on Thursday January 28th, 2021.

Kayla McCloud

While we wait for new COVID-19 vaccines to slow down a pandemic that started almost one year ago, Concordia University Chicago has worked to keep the campus as safe as possible. In October 2020, CUC chose Loop Medical Center as the provider for their free on-campus testing, available to all staff, students, and faculty. 

Loop Medical Center, a Chicagoland-based medical center, offers on-campus testing at CUC three days a week, including same-day results for their rapid tests.  Because the NCAA requires college athletes to receive COVID-19 tests multiple times each week, many athletic teams would not be able to participate in practice or competitive play without available on-campus testing. 

“The testing procedure was a series of trial and error at first,” said Tylar Pon, R.N. After bottlenecks in the earlier months of testing, Loop transitioned to using a more efficient check-in process that uses immediately printed labels and temperature checks upon arrival. “We try to maintain the same team of staff members from Loop Medical Center to create cohesiveness of the process, and to encourage familiar faces,” Pon said. 

Loop maintains safe testing and accurate results by following the policies and procedures outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What many students previously knew as the lecture hall Christopher Center 200 became CUC’s COVID testing location. The former lecture hall is now marked with social distancing signs as well as hand sanitizer provided in front of every available seat. Every round of testing is followed by germicidal cleaning.  

Two COVID-19 tests are conducted at CUC: the polymerase chain reaction test and the rapid test. The PCR test is the most accurate test provided.  The rapid test offers quicker results, but a lower accuracy rate based on the machinery used to read the test, which can produce a false negative.  Despite the lower rates of accuracy, there are still many benefits of using the rapid test.  “Rapid testing on site has effectively helped health care providers catch individuals who tested positive on their PCR tests,” Pon said. “The combination of both tests helps to effectively detect the virus so that we can do our part to keep the students and staff of Concordia safe.”

Staff, students, and faculty can obtain a free COVID test on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. in room CC 200. Patients must register in advance online here.