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CONTINUOUS COVID-19 TESTING

This page was last updated on 20 May 2021

Following new government guidance issued on 21 January, we are now running a programme of continuous testing.

This means that any student or staff member coming on to campus regularly should take two LFTs every week. If you are using the campus on a less regular basis you must ensure you have had two negative tests immediately prior to returning to campus.

Home Testing

Can I collect a box of test kits on behalf of somebody else?

In certain circumstances this will be allowed e.g., if you are a carer on behalf of a student or member of staff.

Can I get more than one box of tests at a time?

No, not unless you are collecting a box on behalf of someone else and only then in limited circumstances (see next FAQ). We need to keep a careful track on test supplies so necessarily need to limit the amount we allow students and staff to collect.

Can you assure me that my personal data will be protected?

Yes, your personal information will be protected, we’ve set up processes to ensure this.

Do I have to book an appointment to collect my test kits?

No, you can collect them in line with the opening hours for Ask4Help, but you may wish to avoid busy times and will need to observe appropriate social distancing rules when queuing for your test kits.

Do I have to take 3 assisted tests before given a home test?

The 3 tests in an ATS setting are a recommendation, not a requirement so not having had 3 tests in an ATS setting should not be an unnecessary barrier to participating in home testing, the key is for those participating in home testing to understand how to conduct the test and record the result.

Do I have to test at home now that option is available?

Testing is not mandatory, but we strongly advise you to get tested. You have the option to test at home or book tests at our Asymptomatic Testing Site (ATS) at the former Lipman Café or use a blended model of both, or use the Universal offer; the key is to get 2 tests a week, especially if you are on campus using University facilities and services.

Do I need to register the result of the test?

Yes – you must register the result even if it is negative.

Do students and staff need to wear face masks at the collection point?

Face masks should be worn by staff members and participants at all times. Students and staff collecting kits should follow national guidance.

How do I dispose of the tests when I have completed them?

In each box of test kits there is a transparent sealable waste bag. Once your test is complete, all the used kit contents can be put into the waste bag provided in the test kit and disposed of in your household waste.

How do I ensure I do the home test correctly?

Before beginning home testing, you are advised to book up to 3 tests at our ATS facility in order to get the hang of how to do the test. There is also a guidance book available here.

How do I register the test result?

You should log your result at https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result

How many test kits will I be allowed to collect?

Test kits come in boxes of 7 which will allow you to take 2 tests a week for 3.5 weeks, you can then collect additional tests from the Collection Site or from the Universal offer, or test at our ATS facility.

Is there any ambition to simplify the process of recording a result online?

This process is common across several testing channels, so will be reviewed in line with test and trace strategy so for now no change. Once you have registered an account the process is much quicker with much of your details already filled out in preparation for your test result.

What are the opening hours of the Collect Sites?

Test kits can be collected in line with the opening hours for Ask4Help.

What if I do test positive?

If you return a positive LFT result, a confirmatory PCR test must be taken within 2 days of the positive result (if you do not take the test within 2 days, you must continue self-isolating for 10 days, even if the confirmatory test is negative).

You should follow the instructions given to take the follow up test at a test site, if possible, as it is faster than requesting a home test.

Until you get further advice you, and everyone in your household, must self-isolate immediately for 10 days. You should only leave home for your follow up test.

If you are self-isolating, you must also engage with our Record. Report. Support process.

Use 111 online or call 111 if you need medical help. In an emergency dial 999.

See www.gov.uk/coronavirus for more advice.

What information will I need to provide when collecting my test kits?

You will be required to provide your name and contact details (mobile phone number and email) so that we can log the barcode of the test kits you are given.

Why are my personal details required?

This is a requirement of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and is required from a traceability perspective in case there is a defective batch of tests and they need to be traced.

Will I be able to collect LFD Home Testing Kits on campus?

Yes, from Thursday 27th May – there will be a collection site on City Campus in: 

Ask4Help,

Library Building, 

City Centre Campus,

Newcastle upon Tyne,

Tyne & Wear,

NE1 8ST 

 

and at Coach Lane in:

Ask4Help,

Coach Lane Campus East, 

Coach Lane, 

Newcastle upon Tyne, 

Tyne & Wear, 

NE7 7XA 

 

or you can order tests online through the Universal Rapid Testing Offer.

Will you be offering at-home testing kits to students at our London Campus?

We are encouraging all students at our London Campus to order free at home test kits, which should arrive directly at their homes within 48 hours.

How do I view the privacy notice for taking part in at-home testing?

General Testing Guidance

Getting the results of my test

How accurate is the test and the result I will receive?

It is important to understand that no test can ever be 100% accurate. It is possible that this test can produce, in a very small number of cases, a false negative result; and the test result also only tells you that you were negative at the time you were tested. It is also perhaps obvious but helpful to remember that it is a test – not a vaccine – so your test result does not mean you are immune.

I haven’t received my result within 24 hours – what should I do?

You will need to book a re-test which will be prioritised.

What should I do while I am waiting for the result of a test – am I allowed to use University facilities?

Yes, but you must continue to observe guidelines around Hands, Face, Space at all times. If you receive a positive result test you must leave campus immediately to start your self-isolation.

What do I do if any of my tests are positive?

If you return a positive LFT result, a confirmatory PCR test must be taken within 2 days of the positive result (if you do not take the test within 2 days, you must continue self-isolating for 10 days, even if the confirmatory test is negative).

You should follow the instructions given to take the follow up test at a test site, if possible, as it is faster than requesting a home test.

Until you get further advice you, and everyone in your household, must self-isolate immediately for 10 days. You should only leave home for your follow up test.

If you are self-isolating, you must also engage with our Record. Report. Support process.

Use 111 online or call 111 if you need medical help. In an emergency dial 999.

See www.gov.uk/coronavirus for more advice.

If we test negative in both tests, are we clear of Covid-19?

If your two tests are negative, this means you can have a high degree of confidence that you don’t have Covid-19. Its vitally important for you to adhere to guidance on keeping safe - as of course the test is not a vaccine and you can still catch the virus!

What if the result is inconclusive?

You will need to book a re-test which will be prioritised.

Will there be food parcels provided for self-isolating students? 

Yes – for those students who report that they are self-isolating, support will be available.

Do I need to get a test?

Can I take a lateral flow/PCR test in Ramadan?

It is likely that Muslims will need to take Covid PCR or lateral flow tests during Ramadan. The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) has reviewed high opinions from different schools of thoughts and concluded that taking a test does not invalidate the fast during Ramadan as per the opinion of the majority of Islamic scholars. You can find more information from BIMA about Coronavirus on their dedicated web pages.

Can my housemate take a test at Northumbria, even though he goes to a different University?

The University’s insurance only covers Northumbria University students and staff so unfortunately; we are unable to offer tests to students from other institutions. 

Do I need a test if I have already had Covid?

If staff/students have recently (within 90 days) tested positive for COVID-19, they are likely to have developed some immunity. These people are exempt from testing by both PCR and LFT within 90 days of a positive test, unless they develop new symptoms. This should only be done after completion of the required self-isolation period (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection).

They are still required to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a positive case, even if this is within the 90 day window.

However, subjects may choose to take a LFT after the isolation period. If they are found positive on LFT, they will be required to self-isolate for 10 days or longer if symptomatic.

I am a student on a work placement or I am a Degree Apprentice who works off campus - how can I get tested?

If students are on a placement or on a Degree Apprentice programme and not attending university facilities, they should follow and participate in any testing regime in place at their placement or employer. It is not necessary to travel to university to be tested before travelling to a placement, unless this is advised by the placement provider. 

I am only on Campus one day a week, do I still need two tests each week?

You are strongly recommended to access two tests (with negative results) prior to your initial return to campus. However, following this, if you are only on campus one day a week, you would access a test on that day each week.

Multiple tests should be 3-5 days apart so if you are on campus more than once a week, we advise you access two tests as per this spacing guidance.

 

I have had the Covid-19 vaccine, do I still need to get tested?

Yes, you still need to get tested if you have had the Coronavirus vaccine because the vaccination may not provide 100% protection.

I’m due to start a Healthcare placement shortly – do I need to take two tests ahead of it starting?

Yes, you should take two tests before your placement begins. You can book your tests via HealthBook.

Why do we have to maintain distancing after a negative test?

While a negative test will give you a huge degree of confidence that you do not have Covid-19, you still need to be careful and follow the same safety advice and local restrictions that we have all been adhering to since March 2020.

Why should I get tested if I have no symptoms?

Lateral flow test is 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. By taking a test, you will help to stop the spread of the virus, protect other people and save lives.

Why would I take the test? If positive, I’ll have to self-isolate. Why would I take the risk?

It is of the utmost importance that we all do our bit to stop the spread of the virus and protect other members of society. Participating in the test will help our country fight the pandemic and save lives. Self-isolation, whilst disruptive for those affected, is an essential part of the fight against the virus.

Will everyone have to have a test?

We urge you to follow the testing programme in place and get tested as you return to campus. By getting tested you can ensure you have done everything you can to protect yourself and others against the virus. This means not only following the advice we are all sticking to, but also taking part in this vitally important testing so we can stop transmission of Covid-19 throughout our community.

What should I do if I have missed/need to rearrange my testing slot?

If you missed your booking slot you will be able to re-book a new slot, subject to availability. If you need to rearrange a booked slot you will be able to cancel the original booking and book a new slot.

Will I be punished for not getting a test? 

No. The test is not compulsory, but we strongly encourage you to book yourself a test. If you do not get tested, you will need to continue to observe Covid-19 protocols as set out by the university and any national restrictions that apply.  

Travelling to Campus

Now that we are in a national lockdown, can I travel back?

The Prime Minister announced a new lockdown for England on Monday 4 January. You must only leave our homes if it is absolutely necessary, such as for shopping and medical appointments.

We are advising all students that they should stay at home and not return to Newcastle to their University accommodation at this time. You should not move between your permanent home and student home during term time.

This means that all teaching will be online from week commencing 25 January 2021, except in those areas which are being allowed to continue face-to-face learning by Government. You can read more information about the latest national lockdown on the dedicated webpage.

We will be in touch with you again before on-campus teaching activities are expected to resume to explain when you should book your Covid-19 Lateral Flow Tests.

If you are in Newcastle already, will take part in face-to-face teaching in one of the Government specified subject areas, or will visit the campus for essential use, you should book your two tests as close to your return to campus as possible. 

What do I need to do when I travel to the UK from overseas to resume/start my studies?

International students should follow the latest entry rules and Covid-19 guidance from the UK Government for the country they are travelling from.

When should I return?

All teaching, except in the areas which are being allowed to continue face-to-face learning by Government as listed below, is currently online. We ask those whose learning has remained online, not to travel back to campus at this time.

  • Medicine & dentistry
  • Subjects allied to medicine/health
  • Veterinary science
  • Education (initial teacher training)
  • Social work
  • Courses which require Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) assessments and or mandatory activity which is scheduled for January and which cannot be rescheduled.

You will receive confirmation of this but if you are still unsure if this applies to you, please contact your programme leader.

We will be in touch shortly with further details about when the rest of on-campus teaching activities are expected to resume.

Will I need a LFT test when I travel to the UK from overseas to resume/start studies?

International students should follow the latest entry rules and Covid-19 guidance from the UK Government for the country they are travelling from

 

If you have been in the country for some time (more than two weeks), we would encourage you to take a test on campus as well.


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