Asymptomatic testing for students

Asymptomatic testing will begin again to enable our students to return to University and back onto campus for their first face-to-face sessions in their hybrid curriculum. The test centre will be open from 10am-1.45pm on 2 & 3 January for walk in appointments (you must bring your student ID), and students can also book for appointments taking place from 4 January.

For more details about the testing, how and where to get tested please read the FAQs below.

Lateral flow antigen tests are a new kind of technology that can be used to test a higher proportion of asymptomatic people (asymptomatic means ‘without symptoms)’. This better enables the Government to identify asymptomatic cases who are at high likelihood of spreading the virus and break the chain of transmission.

Lateral flow antigen tests detect the presence or absence of coronavirus by applying a swab sample to a sampling device’s absorbent pad. The sample runs along the surface of the pad, showing a visual positive or negative result dependant on the presence of the virus. The tests have been validated by Public Health England. They are safe and offer reliable results.

The UK Government has set out its priority groups for testing in a document, which is available on the GOV.UK website. Asymptomatic students (who don’t have any symptoms) are not currently a priority group for symptomatic PCR (polymerise chain reaction) testing, but they are one of the groups covered by the new testing technology for those without symptoms.

While testing remain voluntary, the Testing of students on their return to university for the Spring term will help to identify those with the virus so that they can self isolate and limit the onward transmission to other students, University staff and the local community. The Government and the University are strongly encouraging students that they should get tested although this does remain voluntary.

Students who choose not to take a test for whatever reason are asked to self isolate for 10 days before coming back to campus / face to face teaching to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

If you are under 18 years old you will need to have proof of parental permission before you can take a test.

The test is designed to detect the level of virus in individuals who do not experience and show any symptoms, but who could still be infectious and pass the virus to others. This testing process will help to stop the spread of the virus, protect other people and ultimately save lives.

Studies suggest that it is possible to catch COVID-19 for a second time. It is also evident that traces of COVID remain in the body for a period of time after an early infection. Therefore if you have had a positive COVID-19 test in the last 90 days you should not take a lateral flow test as it may detect traces of the older past infection.

It is of the utmost importance that we all do our bit to stop the spread of the virus and protect other students, staff and members of our communities. The development of lateral flow testing, a new kind of technology that can be used to test a higher proportion of asymptomatic people, could be a real step forward in the UK’s ability to contain COVID-19. If you do test positive, you should follow the guidelines and self-isolate. Self-isolation, whilst disruptive for those affected, is an essential part of the fight against the virus.

No. This test is only for people who do not have coronavirus symptoms. If you get symptoms you’ll need to self-isolate and book a test you can take at home or attend an NHS COVID test site (we have one on the High Wycombe campus in the Workshop buildings which you can book online).

See www.gov.uk/coronavirus for more advice. Use 111 online or call 111 if you need medical help. In an emergency dial 999.

Please use our booking system to organise your test and make sure you use your Bucks email (<StudentID>@bucks.ac.uk) when you book in order to receive the confirmation. You will receive all the information and details you need after you book.  As there is a requirement for a second test 2-3 days after your first it is useful to book both at once.

Testing will take place at High Wycombe Campus West Wing, at the far end of the main car park closest to Eden Shopping Centre opposite the exit barrier (NOT the public testing centre in the middle car park - this is for those with symptoms).

Ideally yes, but the testing is voluntary. If you all do want to be tested, then students from the same household or bubble should get a test on the same day where possible.

In most cases LFT results will be communicated within a day of the test – most likely within a few hours. If you have not received your result after 48 hrs, please return to the test site for another LFD test.

Only your GP and Public Health England will see you results. To find out how your personal data will be used when you register for a coronavirus test read the Government’s coronavirus privacy notice.

The University and NHS Test and Trace also takes the protection of your privacy very seriously. To find out how we use your personal data when you register for a coronavirus test.

If we can’t read the sample it means it’s not possible to say if you were infectious when the test was done. You’ll need to take the same tests again as soon as possible. If this is the second time you’ve got this result, you’ll need to book a different test – follow the advice you were given when you were tested or go to ww.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.

If you test ‘Negative’ you are encouraged to book in for a second test in 3 days time.

If you test ‘Invalid’ (the sample could not be read) you will need to book another test.

If you test ‘Positive’ you will need to follow the NHS guidance provided in the notification:

You need to notify student.centre@bucks.ac.uk if you have tested positive and are needing to self isolate. You will also need to tell them the results of your PCR test so they know that you are either negative and ending the isolation or that you are a confirmed case so that ongoing support can be provided

You only need to self-isolate If you get a positive result from the lateral flow test you will ned to self isolate until you arrange for and take a confirmatory PCR test. This also applies to those that you live with

If this also tests positive then you will need to isolate for a total of 10 days from the date of your lateral flow test

You will also need to self-isolate if

  • you have or get symptoms of coronavirus – you’ll need to book a different test
  • someone you live with tests positive, or has symptoms and has not been tested yet
  • you’ve been traced as a contact of someone who tested positive

If you have a positive lateral flow test, anyone you live with must also self-isolate. If the results of your confirmatory PCR test is negative then you and they can end the isolation, however if you test positive then they must isolate for 10 days from the date of your lateral flow test.

Even when you have a positive lateral flow test, no action will be taken until you have a confirmatory PCR test. If you have a positive confirmatory PCR test result, your personal contacts will be traced by NHS Test and Trace. The University Track and trace team will also contact you to discuss any contacts you may have had with other staff colleagues and students on our campuses.  They will then be contacted and be required to self-isolate until 10 days after their most recent contact with you.

After a negative test, an individual is still susceptible to becoming infected and spreading the virus. Respecting social distancing and other rules is the most powerful way of stopping the spread of the virus. You should also continue to follow guidance on face coverings, washing of hands etc.

No, these tests are aimed at university students and staff only. If family members experience COVID-19 symptoms, they must follow standard government guidance, including self-isolating immediately and booking a test through gov.uk.

Additional support will be available for anyone who requires extra help with the process. If any additional assistance is required for example with reading instructions, please inform staff upon arrival, when completing registration. Support with the administration of the swab may also be available. Although, most people will be able to self-swab with some additional support. Alternatively you may bring a trusted person from your support bubble who can do the swabbing for you, under the guidance of site staff. Or you can request home testing through the normal channels and seek the support of family/friend at home to complete the test.

The University test site was identified as a suitable location for the testing centre because it has wheelchair access throughout the building.

If you test positive on your lateral flow test and have to self-isolate, while waiting for your confirmatory PCR test or after getting a positive PCR test  your learning will be delivered online.

You must ensure that the Student Centre student.centre@bucks.ac.uk and your Personal Tutor know that you are self-isolating. You can continue with your learning with support materials to help you to engage wherever you are. These won’t be an exact replica of any sessions that you have missed, but will include enough information and materials to ensure that you won’t fall behind during your period of self-isolation.

The support materials will differ between courses, due to the different teaching approaches they adopt and the topics under study, so please talk to your tutor to find out what is on offer for you and how best to engage with it. Please also remember that if you feel your learning has been negatively impacted by any absence during Semester 1 or 2 then the No Detriment Policy: Emergency Measures is in place.