University of Salford launches pre-christmas testing programme for students
- Government backed asymptomatic testing site to open at the University of Salford to test students prior to the Christmas vacation
- Testing of students to begin on Monday 30 November
An asymptomatic testing site (ATS) of lateral flow tests is launching at the University of Salford as part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to increase the availability of mass testing.
The University of Salford is working with NHS Test & Trace to set up an on-campus ATS so that students without symptoms, who may be infectious but unaware, are able to get tested and asked to self-isolate if they are, or reassured quickly if they are not. This is particularly important for those that are intending to travel home, or to another location for the Christmas vacation period.
From Monday 30 November - Friday 4 December testing will be available for all students, although the University are particularly encouraging those intending to travel home, or to another residence, to get tested. Testing will be held in the University’s sports centre, on the Peel Park campus. Students can book a free test through their University Advantage account in just a couple of clicks.
Lateral flow devices do not require a laboratory to process the test. Processing of these tests can be conducted at a dedicated testing site by trained personnel who can rapidly turn around results within a couple of hours, it may take up to 24 hours to receive results.
Use of lateral flow tests could significantly improve the detection of positive cases, so people can isolate themselves and prevent the spread of the disease. Asymptomatic testing will help to protect those at high risk by identifying those who are positive for the virus but have no symptoms.
Before travelling home, or to a non-term-time address, students are advised to book travel in advance, avoid busy times and routes and check their journey in advance to avoid disruptions. If driving, only travel with members of your household or support bubble and follow government travel advice safety guidelines.
If a student tests positive for the virus, they will be required to isolate in their term time accommodation. They should also have a PCR test (the test being used in national testing centres) to confirm the positive result. There is a PCR testing facility in a separate building, also on campus, where students can have this done by booking via the Government website. Those that test positive are asked to fill in an online form to notify the University and from there a dedicated in-house team will check on their wellbeing. Advice and support available to students can be found at https://www.salford.ac.uk/stay-safe
Pro-Vice Chancellor for Student Experience, Dr Sam Grogan said:
“We are pleased to be able to offer free, mass testing to all our students from Monday 30 November.
“I would encourage all students, particularly those intending to travel, to come and get a test so that the chances of them increasing the spread of the virus, and potentially infecting their family and friends, is reduced.
“Where students have to isolate as a result of a positive test, they will still have time to do so and, once out of isolation, travel to see loved ones ahead of Christmas.”
Universities Minister Michelle Donelan said:
“We are committed to get students back to their loved ones for the Christmas holidays as safely as possible, after this challenging year.
“Our plans already minimise the risk of students moving at the end of term, through staggered departure dates in the ‘student travel window’. But testing will offer further assurances that students can keep their families safe this winter, and I urge all students who can to take the tests on offer.”
Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them track their contacts. This will help people to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission. Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from NHS Test and Trace, asking them to stay at home for 14 days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus.
Anyone with symptoms should follow the guidance online on how to book a PCR test or call 119. Lines are open 7am to 11pm.
For media enquiries about the mass testing programme please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan Universities are also participating in the mass testing scheme, as are many other universities across England.
Universities are awaiting guidance from Government as to what the January return will look like and whether testing and / or self-isolation will be required.
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