An asymptomatic testing site (ATS) is launching at Leeds Trinity University, as part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to increase the availability of mass testing.
The University 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.
From Monday 30 November to Wednesday 9 December, Lateral Flow testing will be available for students who study on campus and do not have any symptoms. Testing will be held on weekdays from 8.20am – 7.40pm. For more information visit www.leedstrinity.ac.uk/coronavirus/.
The testing site will offer self-swab tests. 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 and can rapidly turn around results within an hour.
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, find the virus and help enable us to go back to as normal a way of life as possible.
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.
Students who study on campus at Leeds Trinity and have no symptoms are encouraged to get tested during the first week of December using Lateral Flow Devices. If they receive a negative test, they are advised to return home immediately. Should a student test positive they will receive a confirmatory PCR and need to self-isolate for 10 days, still with enough time to return home for Christmas.
Phill Dixon, Leeds Trinity University’s Chief Operating Officer said: “We welcome the Government’s plan to ensure that students who wish to travel home for the festive period are able to do so, and we are pleased to play our part in this by offering on-campus asymptomatic testing to our students.
“Students without symptoms, but who carry the virus, could spread the virus to many others. This free and simple testing will help to support them, prevent the virus from spreading and protect others.
“Our focus continues to be on the safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and community. We will continue to support any students who test positive for COVID-19 as part of this scheme, by providing provisions and mental health resources.”
Health Minister Lord Bethell said: “We’ve already come so far since first setting up a national testing programme at an unprecedented pace to help counter COVID-19, but we continue to strive to go further, faster.
“Innovations such as lateral flow technology hold the key to the next phase of our ambition to see mass, rapid testing available to people across the country.
“I’m delighted that universities are working with us to use lateral flow technology, and I look forward to seeing the fruits of their labour, in helping students return home for Christmas and to return to a normal way of life as soon as possible.”
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.”
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Leeds Trinity has worked to support its staff, students and community. To ensure every student has both the practical and well-being support they need, the institution has focused on:
- The allocation of a named member of the Student Engagement Team for each isolating student who will check in with them regularly and ensure they have academic support.
- Provision of essential food and hygiene products until isolating students are able to arrange supermarket deliveries.
- Access to our ‘head space’ and mental health resilience programme via the myLTU app.
- Provision of opportunities to take part in online social activities.
For the media
Leeds Trinity University's Senior Corporate Communications Officer, Lucy Chaplin, is the first point of contact for local, national and international media.