COVID 19 testing

Thousands of students register for free COVID tests before winter break

Thousands of students have already signed up to take free COVID-19 tests, ahead of travelling away from University for the winter break.

This week has seen the launch of the University of Hull’s asymptomatic testing centre, located at the Allam Sport Centre, as part of the Government’s UK-wide efforts to ensure students can travel in confidence this month.

Students are encouraged to take two tests, within three days of each other, before travelling. So far, 99.9% of all tests taken by students have been negative for COVID-19.

Staff are also now being offered the chance of a free test, as the University continues to play its part in protecting those most at risk from the virus.

Professor Susan Lea, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Hull, said: “From the outset of COVID-19 in March, the safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and the wider community have been our top priority. We have worked hard to make sure all the necessary COVID-safe measures are in place to keep our community as safe as possible.

“As part of the Government’s National Testing Programme to test more people who do not have symptoms, the University is offering a large-scale testing programme on campus.

“Supporting the Government’s Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), the University is hosting an NHS Test and Trace facility, giving students an opportunity to participate in two Lateral Flow antigen tests.”

The testing centre, which opened on Monday 30 November, uses what is known as a lateral flow test.

Lateral flow devices do not require a laboratory to process the test. Processing of these tests can be conducted at the dedicated testing site by trained personnel and results can be released within an hour.

Use of lateral flow tests could significantly improve the detection of positive cases, and so help to prevent the spread of Covid-19. People can isolate themselves following a positive result helping to protect those at high risk.

COVID 19 testing

COVID-19 testing on campus

Professor Lea said: “We anticipate this testing will help give students the confidence that they can return home safely for the holidays.

“It will help them to make decisions about travel prior to the winter break and provide them with assurance regarding the risk of COVID transmission when they return home or spend the holiday away from campus.

“Colleagues across the University continue to work hard to support progress with end of term arrangements for students to travel home or elsewhere during the ‘student travel window’ (3-9 December).

“This includes support for those students who are travelling, as well as for those who will be staying with us on campus over the winter break.”

Students are being encouraged to get tested twice during the first week of December using Lateral Flow Devices.

If they receive two negative tests, they are advised to return home immediately. Should a student test positive they will receive a confirmatory PCR test and have to self-isolate for 10 days, still with enough time to return home for 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.”

Before travelling home, 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 their household or support bubble, and follow safety guidelines.

On public transport it is important that travellers wear a face covering unless exempt, wash or sanitise hands regularly, use contactless payment and keep 2m distance where possible.

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