Asymptomatic testing for students

NEW TEST CENTRE: We have launched a new site at Hughenden Halls accommodation and students can book now here. This venue will be open for booked appointments only Monday-Friday, noon-4pm. Please note: this site will be closed between 2-18 April.

The Asymptomatic testing (ATS) team are ready to welcome you for twice weekly testing. We are open seven days a week between 8am-4pm, at the West Wing building on the High Wycombe Campus. You can either book for appointments, or walk in. But please ensure you bring your ID cards!

To thank you for doing your bit to help keep yourself and those around you safe, we are giving every student a voucher for a free small or medium hot drink from Beats each time they get a test. We have reached our fundraising target for student asymptomatic tests and have donated £1000 to the Students’ Union’s RAG charities.

Please do not attend the centre if you have any symptoms, even if you have a booked slot. You can easily cancel your appointment and follow the steps for those with symptoms.

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 remains voluntary, the testing of students on their return to campus will help to identify those with the virus so that they can self-isolate and limit the onward transmission to others. 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 part of a further drive by the Government to stop the transmission of COVID-19, we now offering twice weekly testing for students and staff. You can book your weekly tests at the same time.

You are welcome to attend the University asymptomatic testing centre, which is based at the High Wycombe campus West Wing building 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). If you live elsewhere, you are welcome to attend one of the local community asymptomatic test centres near to your home. If you use an alternate location for testing, please still follow the process for notifying the student centre if your test is positive.

NEW TEST CENTRE: We are launching the Hughenden Halls accommodation testing on Monday and students can book now here. This venue will be open for booked appointments only Monday-Friday, 9am-2pm.

It is not possible for us to set up a test centre at Aylesbury or Uxbridge because of space and practical reasons. However you can get tested at any local authority test Asymptomatic test sites close to where you live free of charge. You can locate the ones nearest to you by searching the internet.
For staff and students in Uxbridge: 
Hillingdon Local Authority have a number of sites in the Uxbridge area - click here for more information and booking links: Testing within a local community testing site - Hillingdon Council
We are also exploring the opportunity for staff and students to get tested at Brunel University and will post more information on that once confirmed.
Placement students:
A significant number of our students on placements can access testing as part of their placement.  Please use kits from placement as directed by your placements or access the university asymptomatic testing centres.
Home testing kits:
Home testing is not currently part of the universities asymptomatic testing programme and so students and staff should not attempt to visit NHS testing sites to collect the home testing kits. These kits are reserved for school children and employees in other sectors.
If you take a test elsewhere,  please follow the instructions given by the NHS. If you test positive you will need to self-isolate and also let the University know so that we can support you and handle the tracking and tracing of any close contacts on our campuses. (see 'what happens after my test' FAQ above).

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. If you develop any of COVID-19 symptoms in the meantime, please do not attend the centre.

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 and the result is invalid, it means it’s not possible to say if you were infectious when the test was done. You’ll need to take the same test again as soon as possible, by returning to the centre for a repeat test (providing you do not have any symptoms), or by following the instructions below for a PCR test. If this is the second time you’ve received an invalid result, you will have to request the PCR test. Follow the link and make sure you choose the home testing option ww.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.

If you test ‘Negative’ you are encouraged to book in for a second test in 3-4 days’ time. You may be tested twice per week, provided you do not develop any symptoms.

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

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

  • You will need to self-isolate for 10 days, and tell those who you live with to do the same.
  • You need to notify student.centre@bucks.ac.uk if you have tested positive and are needing to self-isolate, so that ongoing support can be provided.
  • You must book a follow up (PCR) test as soon as possible.
  • Follow the instructions following this confirmatory test.

There are various reasons why you may have to self isolate. You could have COVID symptoms, or have tested positive, you could live with someone else who has symptoms or tested positive or you may be traced as a close contact of a positive case and notified by the NHS App, NHS Track and Trace or the University Track and Trace team, or you may have to quarantine after foreign travel.

In all cases, you must remain in your accommodation and isolate for the notified period. This is a legal requirement and breaches of the rules carry penalties of significant police fines. It is an important measure to stop the spread of the virus and keep your fellow students, University staff, families and the wider community safe.

Please notify the Student Centre so that they can ensure that you are supported through your quarantine.

While you are in self-isolation:

  • Order online and get your food delivered. Do not go out shopping even for food.  Those in University halls can use the Freshers Helpers to get deliveries brought to their flats.
  • Do not go out to meet others or allow non-household members into your accommodation
  • Continue your studies online – do not leave your accommodation to come onto campus
  • Contact the Student Centre if you need financial support – you are not able to go out to your place of work
  • Exercise in your accommodation or take part in online gym sessions

Once you have completed your isolation period, you are strongly encouraged to take the free weekly lateral flow tests at the University testing centre if you live in halls or are coming onto our campuses for self-study, practical work or face to face teaching to protect yourself, your fellow students, university staff and the local community – read more here.

If you have a positive lateral flow test, anyone you live with must also self-isolate for 10 days from the date of your lateral flow test.

If you have a positive lateral flow test, once you notify student.centre@bucks.ac.uk, 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 have to self-isolate, 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.

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.