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New coronavirus asymptomatic testing sites opened at University of Central Lancashire

Posted on - 1st December, 2020 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Health, Politics, Preston City Centre, Preston News, UCLan, University campus
UCLan Engineering Innovation Centre
UCLan Engineering Innovation Centre

Three asymptomatic testing sites (ATS) have been launched at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) at its campuses at Preston, Burnley and Westlakes in West Cumbria.

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UCLan is working with NHS Test & Trace to set up the on-campus ATS facilities 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.

Testing is now available for all students in Preston with a term time address and are planning to travel home for Christmas.

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At the University’s Preston campus Covid testing will take place in Foster building Social Space every day between 8.45am and 6.15pm from Monday 30 November until Saturday 5 December inclusive.

On the University’s Burnley campus Covid testing will take place in Victoria Mill on Tuesday 1 December and Friday 4 December.

At the University’s Westlakes campus, Covid testing will take place in the Samuel Lindow Building on Tuesday 1 December and Friday 4 December.

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The testing sites at UCLan are being delivered in partnership with NHS Test & Trace and will offer self-swab tests. ​

Lateral flow devices, which will be used in the test centres, 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. ​

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Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test & 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 will be 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.

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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.”

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Baroness Dido Harding, Interim Executive Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, said:​ “NHS Test and Trace continues to play a leading role in the fight against COVID-19 with over 32 million tests processed so far. ​ 

“The work of NHS Test & Trace at UCLan will be essential in helping us explore the benefits of this new technology ​ 

“This ATS is one of many which will lay the foundations for the next phase of NHS Test and Trace – mass testing – which will allow us to test even more people, even more quickly.”​

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