St Mary’s University, Twickenham is to launch rapid Covid-19 tests for students and staff ahead of the Christmas break.
The University is working closely with the Government’s Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) to establish and host a new asymptomatic testing centre on campus. The test centre will offer free Lateral Flow tests for St Mary’s students and staff.
Lateral Flow tests are designed to be used by people without Covid-19 symptoms to minimise the risk of asymptomatic spread of the virus. The test is designed to detect the presence of Covid-19 by applying a swab or saliva sample to the device’s absorbent pad. The sample runs along the surface of the pad, and shows a visual positive or negative result dependent on the presence of the virus.
The tests can produce results faster than the standard Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests currently used across the NHS to test those with symptoms, and have been validated by Public Health England to deliver safe and reliable results.
Speaking of the new rapid testing centre, St Mary’s Vice-Chancellor Anthony McClaran said, “We are pleased to be taking part in this Government initiative to help our students return to their permanent addresses ahead of the end of term to spend Christmas with their loved ones. I would like to thank all members of the St Mary’s community for their resilience throughout the term, which helped ensure we could maintain a Covid-secure learning environment.”
The test centre, which will be located in the Students’ Union Lounge, will be open from 30th November to 9th December and will be operated separately from the public NHS Test Centre located at the St Mary’s Teddington Lock campus. As a designated facility for St Mary’s, the new testing centre is not open to members of the public. If you are a member of the public and wish to book a Covid-19 Test, please visit the government website where you can find a test centre near you.
If you would like to find out more about how we have made our campus Covid-secure, please visit our Stay Safe at St Mary’s website.