Students queue for rapid Covid testing at UCLan

Students have been queuing up to get tested for Coronavirus as the University of Central Lancashire this morning rolled out free rapid tests.

Monday, 30th November 2020, 2:21 pm

The institution is of one of several across the country taking part in a mass testing pilot to help ensure students can safely return home for Christmas.

Testing stations have been set up at all three campuses, with students waiting in line at the main Foster Building when it opened this morning.

All students who have a term time address in the city and want to travel home for the holidays are being offered the one-hour self- swab, lateral flow devices which don' t require a laboratory to process them.

Students queue to get tested for Covid-109 at UCLan Photos by Neil Cross

The testing programme is aimed at students without coronavirus symptoms, but who could still be infectious and unaware of it, so they can get tested to give them enough time to self isolate before going home if necessary.

They will all be required to have two tests and after the second negative on will be expected to set off for home immediately so they don't compromise their health.

The programme is being run in conjunction with the NHS as part of the Government's drive to get students home for the holidays without risking another spike in Covid-19 cases.

UCLan has had relatively few cases compared to other universities in the region and vice-chancellor Professor Graham Baldwin said: "Thanks to the hard work of staff and students across the university our Covid infection rates on campus remain low.

Getting ready for testing at the UCLan rapid Covid-19 testing station

"However, we have worked with government to set up testing centres at our three campuses in Preston, Burnley and Westlakes to ensure that all students living in student accommodation have the opportunity to be tested and can travel home as safely as possible for Christmas."

Georgia Hunt, a first year law student, said: "I want to go back home to Penrith to spend Christmas with my family and I want to make sure that I’m free of Covid and therefore can’t spread it to my family."

First year policing student Andrew Goldsmith added: "My family are back in Leicester and I want to protect them as much as possible so I was happy to sign up and come for a test. I don’t want to take a chance with my family’s health."

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

UCLan students take advantage of rapid Covid-19 testing

On the Burnley campus Covid testing will take place in Victoria Mill on Tuesday and Friday.

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

Waiting for the results of the rapid Covid-19 tests at UCLan