Why getting tested matters
Did you know 1 in 3 people who have COVID-19 do not have any symptoms? This is why getting tested before anyone comes to campus is the best way they can protect our community and minimise the spread of COVID-19. Testing makes it possible for us to track any cases of COVID-19 on campus and ensure the University remains a safe and secure environment for everybody in our community.
Who should get tested
All students who are living on campus, arriving on campus for scheduled in-person teaching or practicals, or to use our LRC and study spaces, should get a COVID-19 test even if they feel fine – as it is possible to have COVID-19 without showing any symptoms. The test is free, very simple to do and average results are within the hour.
How often you should get tested
There is no limit on the number of tests staff and students can take, so you can book as many times as you wish. If anyone is coming onto campus weekly, or if students live in halls, they should get tested every week, and this does still include the need to book 2 tests (ideally 3 days apart).
Why two? Even if you don’t feel unwell, you may have very weak symptoms of COVID-19. By taking two tests it allows us to pick up any cases that may have been hard to detect or were newly developed.
This will help to keep cases as low as possible in our community.
Rapid COVID-19 Testing Unit
The testing process
- Book a test (look out for an email invite)
- Arrive at the Forum Restaurant at the allocated date and time. Remember to:
- wear a face covering (if you can) and remember to maintain social distancing
- bring a copy of the email confirmation (on students’ phones or printed out)
- be punctual so we can minimise queuing
- Turn off NHS contact tracing in the NHS COVID-19 app
- Collect a test kit and scan the QR code. This will register students’ details to the test.
- Enter a testing booth. Students will be called forward when a booth has been sanitised and is ready.
- Take the test. Follow the instructions on the kit to self-administer the test (or ask a member of staff for assistance).
- Hand in the test to the member of staff in the booth and exit the testing unit, following the signs and directions from staff.
- Turn back on NHS contact tracing in the NHS COVID-19 app.
- Go home immediately to await the test results. The NHS will send the results by text or email. Average results time is within one hour.
- Tell us if the test result is positive. Students will receive a message from the University asking for their results. Please let us know so we can provide support if they need to self-isolate. Telling us the results will also help us to protect our community.
The difference between rapid testing and standard COVID-19 tests
The new rapid tests are called ‘Lateral Flow Antigen’ tests. They use a new kind of technology that can test a higher proportion of asymptomatic people (those who are infectious, but not aware of it). The average results time is within one hour. We are carrying out these tests in partnership with the NHS for students only at this stage.
The standard COVID-19 test is called the Polymerase Chain Reaction test. This is the main test used in NHS testing centres, including the NHS COVID-19 testing facility on campus. Results take longer to process; currently the NHS is committing to provide results within 48 hours or 72 hours for a home test.
If a student tests negative for COVID-19
Students who test negative are still encouraged to book a second test (three days later) for added peace of mind. A second negative test will help to ensure that students do not have COVID-19, but we do ask that students still adhere to Government guidelines around social distancing and practicing good hygiene.
If a student tests negative but is identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, they must still self-isolate for a period of 14 days – whether this is at home when they travel home for Christmas, or at University when they return in the new year.
If a student tests positive for COVID-19
Students who test positive will need to self-isolate and book a second test via the government’s website for the NHS COVID-19 testing facility on campus. If this result is also positive, students will need to self-isolate for 10 days and notify the Dean of Students team.
During the period of self-isolation, lots of support is available for students, including food packages, cleaning supplies and mental health and wellbeing support. Click here for more information.
After students have taken the rapid test they will receive a message from the University asking for their results. They should let us know the outcome so we can provide support if they need to self-isolate. Telling us their results will also help us to protect our community.
Availability of rapid testing
Opening times for the Testing Unit are from 10:00 (every Monday - Saturday) from Monday 4 January to Friday 21 February. Appointments beyond Feb 5 will show up on our booking system from 11th January.