February 24th, 2021
The University has launched a new campaign to remind all students, and staff working regularly on campus, to take regular (at least once a week) asymptomatic Covid-19 tests via the University Testing Service.
Regular testing will help keep us safe as individuals, protect our university community, and the communities around us, and ensure that our University can remain open for essential teaching and research.
As banners, posters and digital screens bring the message to life across our campuses and social media campaigns begin, staff and students are invited to get involved and help share the message that simple and swift asymptomatic testing needs to become a part of everyday university life for the time being.
The toolkit (Sharepoint login required) is designed to give colleagues at all levels and in all Schools and Departments, ideas and tools to use to play their part in encouraging regular testing.
This could be as simple as highlighting ‘test to protect’ messages on social media accounts, flagging information at the end of teaching sessions or ensuring that your working environment displays campaign materials encouraging students and colleagues to take the test.
Professor Chris Denning, Director of the University’s Biodiscovery Institute and part of the Asymptomatic Testing Service since its inception, explains the reasons for regular testing.
He said: “Testing protects everyone around you – it is quick and easy and leads to quick identification of cases and immediate isolation to prevent the spread. It also helps to identify anyone who came into contact with people who are infected, so they can take action.
“It gives peace of mind and multiple snapshots in time – a single test tells you whether or not you were infected when you donated the sample but you may become infected soon after. So, the more frequently you test, the safer you will be.”
Proof our community takes part in regular testing shows our campuses and facilities are Covid-secure and enables them to be kept open. It also helps control the strains of the virus.
Prof Denning said: “If people test positive, they will have the chance to provide more samples so the testing team can genome sequence the virus to identify which strain it is. This will help the global effort to control the virus and any new variants.”
It’s important for everyone to remember that if you test negative, you need to continue to protect yourself and others by washing your hands frequently, physically distancing, and wearing a face mask. If you feel you’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, you should isolate immediately.
Those who test positive will be supported and the testing team will work closely with them to determine whether they are likely at the start or end of an infection, or have become re-infected.
Our measures are most effective when we work together and follow the rules to keep everyone safe.
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