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St George’s, along with many other universities across the UK, is operating an asymptomatic testing centre on campus. 

Students are strongly encouraged to undertake coronavirus testing on their return to the St George’s site or to Halls after the break since anyone without symptoms, but who carries the virus, could unknowingly spread it to many others. By getting tested you will be helping to break the chain of transmission, protecting those you live with and other members of our community. 

As per the instructions for testing in December, you should take two tests three days apart if possible. The first test should be taken as soon as possible following your return to the St George’s site, then another three days later. Between the tests you can access teaching spaces if you maintain strict social distancing, wear a mask and follow good infection control practices until you receive a second negative test. You must limit your social contact to your household bubble only in line with Tier 4 restrictions. 

If you are on a clinical placement at the start of next term and can access testing via your provider, you should do so, but all are welcome to have testing at our centre if needed. 

If you have had a partial or full vaccination, you should still book a test before you return to the St George's site for the first time.

Testing is currently available at our centre on specified dates between Monday 4 January and Thursday 21 January. Test dates and locations for students returning to face-to-face teaching after that date will be confirmed soon. View the testing schedule here.

Booking your January tests

You should book two tests, scheduling them at least three days apart

View the testing schedule here.

Book a test

When clicking on the booking link, you will see at the top the list of dates when testing is available. Once you have selected your option, please scroll down and click on the date when you wish to book a test in the calendar view. Please then select one of the times which will appear to the right before adding your details below to make your booking.

Frequently asked questions

Our testing programme

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Do I need to have a test?

We strongly encourage you to undertake testing (ideally two tests three days apart or at least one test) on your return to the St George’s site after the break since anyone without symptoms, but who carries the virus, could unknowingly spread it to many others. By getting tested you will be helping to break the chain of transmission, protecting those you live with and other members of our community.

We hope you will take seriously the responsibilities we all hold for preventing transmission of coronavirus, but participation in testing is entirely voluntary, on an “opt in” basis, and individuals may withdraw from the testing activity at any point.
I live at home, do I have to have a test?
While testing is primarily for students who are travelling to a different address for the break, it is open to commuter students too.
I already tested positive for Covid-19 – do I need to have another test now?

If you have recently (within 90 days) tested positive for COVID-19, you are likely to have developed some immunity, and therefore a repeat LFD test is unlikely to be necessary within this period. If having recently tested positive for COVID-19, you choose to have an LFD test as part of this programme, please ensure the LFD test is not taken whilst still within your period of isolation following the last confirmed test, which if symptoms persist could be longer than the typical 10-day period for confirmed cases.

How do I book a January test?

Please book both of your tests at the same time, scheduling them at least three days apart.

Book your test here.

When clicking on the booking link, you will see at the top the list of dates when testing is available. Once you have selected your option, please scroll down and click on the date when you wish to book a test in the calendar view. Please then select one of the times which will appear to the right before adding your details below to make your booking.

How do I change or cancel my test booking?

Please email cancelmytestbooking@sgul.ac.uk if you wish to cancel or change your test booking. 

What if I’m on a clinical placement?

If you are on a clinical placement at the start of next term and you can access testing via your provider, please do so, but you are welcome to have testing at our centre if needed. Testing will be available at our centre between Monday 4 January and Thursday 21 January, we recommend you book a test in line with course specific advice.

What if I've had a vaccination?
If you have had a partial or full vaccination, you should still book a test before you return to the St George's site for the first time.
Why do I need two tests?

We encourage you to take two tests with a minimum three-day gap in-between. 

We are offering rapid "lateral flow” tests, which are designed to detect the level of virus in individuals who do not experience and show any symptoms. These tests do not need a laboratory for analysis so can be processed quickly. 

Lateral tests have slightly lower sensitivity than PCR tests, which are currently used more commonly in the NHS, but by taking two lateral flow tests three days apart the total sensitivity increases to almost the same. You will therefore minimise the risk of an asymptomatic case being missed through a false negative result. 

Will you be offering testing for staff and students working in the test centre?
Staff and students working in the test centre will be the first to be tested.

About the test

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Where is the testing centre?

Testing will take place at the Robert Lowe Sports Centre.

simplified-site-Covid-map
What should I bring to the test centre?

Please wear a face covering, unless you are exempt from doing so, in which case please wear a visor to the site and alert the site manager to your position when you arrive so that additional precautions can be taken. 

Please bring your mobile phone with you, which you will need to use for registering for your test.

How long will the test take?

You should allow at least 20 minutes for the testing process.

What does the test involve?

Lateral flow antigen tests are intended to detect the presence or absence of coronavirus by applying a swab or saliva sample to the device’s absorbent pad. The sample runs along the surface of the pad, showing at the end a visual positive or negative result dependant on the presence of the virus. Lateral flow devices do not require a laboratory to process the test. The devices are designed to be intuitive and require minimal training to operate. Swabbing and processing of these tests will be conducted at a dedicated testing site either by trained personnel or as a self-test with supervision from trained personnel. Lateral flow tests are validated technology, they are safe, inexpensive and the results are trusted.

testing process graphic

What testing technology is being used?

Lateral Flow Technology (LFT), a point of care antigen test which uses a throat and/or nasal swab sample. 

University-based Asymptomatic Testing Sites will use a product manufactured by Innova, called the Biotime SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Qualitative Test.

Why not use the standard PCR test rather than after an initial positive test?

Lateral flow tests are designed to detect the level of virus in individuals who do not experience and show any symptoms (they are asymptomatic), but who could still be infectious and pass the virus to others. 

These are quicker tests than the standard PCR test and do not require a laboratory to be processed so are better for mass testing.

About your results

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I have my results, what should I do?
  • If the first test is negative, you should limit your social contact and interaction with other students until you receive a second negative test. You can access teaching spaces between your first and second test if you maintain strict social distancing, wear a mask and follow good infection control practices. You should only go out for essential tasks if absolutely necessary, observing social distancing and wearing a mask. You should not meet up with others outside your household bubble.

  • If either test is positive, you must self-isolate immediately and arrange a confirmatory PCR test via www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test on the same day or as soon as possible, choosing to visit a test site if possible, as it is faster than requesting a home test. Until you get further advice, you must self-isolate immediately for 10 days and everyone in your household must also self-isolate for 10 days This is a legal requirement for all, from the point of notification from NHS Test and Trace. You should only leave home for your follow-up test. You must also notify the University. Advice on steps you should take is available in our Covid information hub. The purpose of this policy is to mitigate the impact of false positive results. Without a rapid confirmatory testing result, contact tracing will not be initiated quickly and this will impact on the overall effectiveness of the public health intervention.

  • If you return two negative tests, you do not need to self-isolate unless:

    • You are symptomatic (in which case book a test via www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test)

    • Someone you live with tests positive (or has symptoms and has not been tested yet)

    • You’ve been traced as a contact of someone who tested positive.

  • If you have an invalid result via the lateral flow device (LFD) test, you are recommended to return to the test centre as soon as possible to take a second test. If the second LFD test is invalid, or it is not feasible for you to return to the test centre, you should book a PCR test via www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. While awaiting a follow-up test, you’ll only need to self-isolate immediately if you symptomatic (meaning you should book a test via www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test); if someone you live with tests positive (or has symptoms and has not been tested yet); or you’ve been traced as a contact of someone who tested positive.

When can I expect to receive my results?

In most cases results should be available from NHS Test and Trace within 24-48 hours of taking a test. If you have not received your results after 5 days, please call 119.

How will I receive my results?

You will receive a message with your results by text or email, depending on which details you provided when you registered. 

How accurate are the results?

Lateral flow tests are highly specific, which means that only a small proportion of people who do not have coronavirus will receive a positive result (false positive).

Although they give a result much more quickly, lateral flow tests are not as sensitive as tests offered through other channels (e.g. PCR tests available in other channels like Local Testing Sites). Sensitivity measures how likely a test will return a positive result when that person is infected. This is mitigated by testing people regularly, because the more times someone with the disease is tested, the more likely they are to be picked up by the test. 

This also means that if you test positive on a lateral flow test, it is likely that you are infectious at that moment, whereas people testing positive on more sensitive tests could be in the less infectious early or late stages of disease.

What do I do if I test positive?

If you test positive, you should take a confirmatory PCR test. You will need to arrange your own follow-up PCR test via https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. You are required to self-isolate after a positive lateral flow test, so should request a home PCR test kit. Please contact coronavirusconcern@sgul.ac.uk for further advice from the University.  

If the initial positive test was your first lateral flow test, you can cancel your second lateral flow test by emailing cancelmytestbooking@sgul.ac.uk

See www.gov.uk/coronavirus for more advice 

Will a positive test affect my studies?

If you are ill, your well-being is the over-riding priority and you should not be concerned about the impact on any learning or assessments.

In that event, please email Student Services on coronavirusconcern@sgul.ac.uk. The Registry will contact your course team and you will be contacted regarding how you can best engage with your studies.

If I test positive, who is responsible for organising a follow up PCR test?

Students who receive a positive LFD test are responsible for organising a follow-up PCR test themselves via https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. You are required to self-isolate after a positive lateral flow test, so should request a home PCR test kit.  

 

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