Thousands of students to be tested in new asymptomatic testing site on campus

A new testing site has been set up on university campus in order to help get students home for Christmas safely.

Ella Williams
27th November 2020
An asymptomatic testing site of lateral flow tests has been set up on campus as part the government drive to mass-test students before the Christmas break.  

Students will be able to pre-book a slot at the testing site, which will be open in the Frederick Douglass Centre at the Newcastle Helix from 1 to 7 December, 10am to 6pm. 

This follows the announcement earlier this month of a “student travel window” allowing students to travel home between 3 to 9 December, with all remaining teaching being taken online. The mass-testing aims to identify students who may be contagious with the virus but unaware, and quickly reassure those who test negative that they are safe to return home. 

Lateral flow devices do not require laboratory processing and can provide results in under an hour. Students who test negative will be encouraged to return home immediately after receiving results, within the travel window.

Image: five pallets of lateral flow tests arriving at the Frederick Douglass Centre, Source: Newcastle University

Executive Director of Academic Affairs at Newcastle University, Colin Campbell, said: “We have been working with the Government in recent weeks to establish a large-scale testing facility which will mean students can get tested before returning home safely for the winter break.”

“Our students have been incredibly supportive of the steps being taken that will help them to protect their families and loved ones.”

We continue to support all our students whether they have to self-isolate for a period of time before they return home, or if they remain here over the festive break.

“We continue to support all our students whether they have to self-isolate for a period of time before they return home, or if they remain here over the festive break. For those who need to stay, we will provide a full package of support. 

“Subject to Government guidance in the New Year, the University intends to resume a blended model of face to face teaching and online learning for Semester 2 and the testing facility will help us achieve this.”  

The testing site is hoped be used again to aid the safe return of students in January for Semester 2, pending further government guidance.

To book a slot for a test at the new site, you can do so using this link.

What should I do if I test positive?

The testing site is part of the UK-wide NHS Test & Trace system. 

Those who test positive will be contacted by NHS Test & Trace to receive a confirmatory PCR test (polymerase chain reaction test). This type of test is more commonly used by the NHS in hospitals and testing centres over the UK. 

If this second test also comes back positive, you will be contacted by NHS Test & Trace to self-isolate for 10 days.

Due to the early end to in-person teaching and travel window, students should still be able to get back in time for Christmas following this period of isolation. 

If you have been required to self-isolate, you should notify the University using the forms in place here in order to receive support over the isolation period.

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