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Coronavirus

Coronavirus testing for students and staff

Queen Mary University of London is taking part in the Government scheme to provide Covid-19 testing for students and staff who are asymptomatic.

 

About asymptomatic testing

These test are for Queen Mary students and staff who are asymptomatic - who do not have any coronavirus symptoms. It is vital for the safety of others that you do not take the tests on offer if you are showing any symptoms. This means that if you booked the test and have since presented with symptoms, you should cancel your test and book an NHS Covid-19 test or arrange for a postal test as soon as possible. 

What to expect

This type of test uses lateral flow devices (LFD). The test itself is quick and easy to take: you administer the test yourself; it takes 5 minutes to do; you receive the results very soon after you’ve left the test centre. Ideally, you should take two tests three days apart, so you will need to book two appointments.

However, if you do show symptoms after taking the first test, you will not be able to take the second test, and should book an NHS Covid-19 test or arrange for a postal test instead.

The testing was launched in December 2020 and has been extended through January and February 2021. It is aimed particularly at students living on our campuses, and students and staff who travel regularly to our campuses. We have test facilities at our Charterhouse Square and Mile End campuses in London.

If you are a student with any special requirements, such as mobility issues or other factors that would prevent you from accessing the testing facilities, please email the Disability and Dyslexia Service (dds@qmul.ac.uk) and they will arrange for reasonable adjustments to help you access the testing.  

If you are a member of staff who may need adjustments to be made in order to access the test please email qmulstaff@ohworks.co.uk.  

For all other enquiries about this testing programme for Queen Mary students and staff, please email coronavirus@qmul.ac.uk

Book now

You will need to log in with your Queen Mary account details to access the booking form.

FAQs

Please read the following FAQs for further information and guidance about this testing scheme.

Who can get tested?

These voluntary tests are particularly aimed at students who are currently living in our halls of residence and students and staff who travel frequently onto our campuses. 

As long as you don’t have any coronavirus symptoms, you are eligible for this type of test.

Can I still book a test if I don’t regularly travel to campus?

Yes. These tests are particularly aimed at students who are currently living in our halls of residence and students and staff who travel frequently onto our campuses, but any student or member of staff can book a test. 

Do I have to have a test?

This testing is entirely voluntary.

If you have coronavirus symptoms you will not be able to take this test and must go to an NHS test facility as soon as possible, or arrange for a postal test. You must not go to one of the Queen Mary test sites on campus, as you may endanger students and staff.

I have Covid-19 symptoms. Can I get tested at one of the Queen Mary testing sites?

No. You must not go to one of the Queen Mary test sites on campus if you have Covid-19 symptoms, as you may endanger students and staff. If you have already booked a test with us, please cancel it. In all events, you should book an NHS test as soon as possible, or arrange for a postal test.

What does the test involve?

If you would like to get tested, please book through our website qmul.ac.uk/coronavirus/book-a-test. Anyone who wants to take part should ideally sign up for two tests 3 days apart. You administer the test yourself: you will be given a swab, and will swab the back of your throat and up your nose. The government have provided picture and video guidance.

When will I get the results of the tests?

You should get the results quickly - within 30 minutes, although at busy times it may take up to 24 hours following each test. You will get the result via email or text message.  

When and where will the tests be available?

Between 6 and 29 January 2021 at our Charterhouse Square and Mile End campuses.

What do I do if I get a negative result?

If the result of your first LFD test is negative, please book and attend a second test two or three days later. If that is negative as well, it tells you that you are unlikely to have Covid-19 at that point in time. Be aware though, that you can catch Covid-19 at any time: remember to maintain social distancing, wear your face covering when needed and wash/sanitise your hands frequently.

What happens if my test is negative, but I have coronavirus symptoms? 

If you have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, please self-isolate and get a test via the NHSDo not go for a test at a Queen Mary testing centre, as you could endanger staff and students.

What happens if I test positive?

If you take one of the LFD tests we offer and you get a positive result, you should book for an NHS Covid-19 testing facility to confirm whether you have Covid-19. You should self-isolate while you wait for the result. If the result is positive, you will then need to self-isolate for 10 days.

What happens if I test positive in the lateral flow (university) test but negative in the PCR (NHS Test and Trace) test?

The PCR test has a higher level of accuracy. If you test positive in the lateral flow test at the University’s facility but then negative in the follow-up PCR test then you are considered by NHS Test and Trace to be negative for Covid-19. This means that you would not need to self-isolate. 

I have tested positive for Covid-19, what does this mean for my household?

Please book for an NHS test to confirm whether you have Covid-19. If the result from the NHS test is positive, you should tell your housemates they should self-isolate for 14 days. If your housemates are willing to book for a test at a Queen Mary test centre, and the result is negative, they can if they wish trave home and complete their self-isolation at home. 

If you are worried about telling your flatmates or your family, or the financial implications of having Covid-19, we can provide support.  Please email studenthealth@qmul.ac.uk. 

What happens if one of my housemates takes part and tests positive?

If you are in close contact with someone who has received a positive test result through this testing process, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days. If you are living away from home, you can travel home and self-isolate at home if you are willing to book a test yourself at one of the Queen Mary sites, and the result is negative.

Why should I take part?

Covid-19 can be very dangerous for elderly people, and for those with underlying health conditions. Having a negative test result will give you some reassurance that you are less likely to pass on the virus to any friend or family member. Please be aware though that you can catch Covid-19 after you get tested. Wearing a face mask when needed, maintaining social distancing and washing/sanitising your hands will reduce the risk of catching Covid-19: remember to follow our Covid code and keep safe on and off or campuses.

What type of test is being offered?

The Innova SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Qualitative Test. It is commonly referred to as a lateral flow device (LFD) test.

Is the test safe to use?

The test has been performed very widely by people across the UK and is safe when performed as per the instructions. If you have any pre-existing health conditions, such as a bleeding disorder or previous nose disorders that might be affected by the nose swab, please let the staff at the test site know.  

Should I have this test if I have received a positive COVID-19 test result in the last 3 months?

You are welcome to book to be tested, as long as you are not still self-isolating and are not showing any coronavirus symptoms.

How do I perform the test?

Trained staff will be on hand to tell you how to do the test.

Can students or staff ask to use the tests for their family members?

No. These tests are for Queen Mary students and staff and are aimed particularly at students living on our campuses, and students and staff who travel regularly to our campuses.  

I am travelling overseas and my destination country requires a PCR test, how can I get one?

Unfortunately asymptomatic PCR testing is not available on the NHS. The NHS Test and Trace PCR tests are only for people with Covid-19 symptoms.  NHS Test and Trace will not provide people with travel documentation. Therefore anyone who needs a PCR test as part of their travel documentation will need to arrange for a private test. Unfortunately we are unable to recommend any private providers as we cannot assure their quality.

I have not received my test result. What should I do?

The amount of time it takes to receive results can vary.  Most people will receive their result within a few hours of the test but it can take up to 24 hours.  The length of time does not relate to whether the test result is positive or negative.  If you have not received your result 24 hours after the test please call the NHS on 119.  Please do not come back to the test centre as we do not have access to your results or any of your datac