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COVID-19 testing and reporting

The Government has been very clear that all students need to be regularly tested for COVID-19. By doing so, we can ensure the safe return of all staff and students to campus and face-to-face teaching.

When planning to come onto campus to take part in Learning and Teaching or any other activities, you must take a lateral flow rapid test before using any of our buildings or facilities, and take regular tests – ideally twice a week – thereafter. This will ensure that you are safe to carry out activities on campus and will help to minimise the risk of unknowingly infecting students and staff.

Please take a test as soon as you arrive on campus before using any University facilities or attending face-to-face sessions.  Please remember that you are required by the Government to carry out a PCR test, following a positive Lateral Flow Test result.

As we progress out of the national lockdown, and as the vaccination programme increases in scale, the approach to testing is changing. Please read through all of the important information on this page  - this will help to keep our campuses safe.

You can also view a simple step-by-step guide on testing and reporting at the University via our Beacon app. 

How can I get a test?

Undertaking a test is as simple as A, B, C.

From Monday 24 May 2021, you will be able to take a rapid lateral flow test in one of the following ways:

A: Swabbing Centre at the LRV

The University will continue to operate on-site supervised lateral flow testing at the LRV Swabbing Centre on the Stoke-on-Trent campus for staff, students, and the public. Lateral flow rapid tests are available between the hours of 9.30am and 3.30pm from Monday to Friday.

To book a lateral flow rapid test at our LRV Swabbing Centre, please follow the instructions below: 

‘Walk in’ appointments are also possible, so please call in at the LRV when you are on campus.

B: Universities Home Testing Programme

All staff and students can now be part of the Universities Home Testing Programme, which allows everyone to collect a free home testing kit from the University. These free tests are available from the following main Collection Points, Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 3.30pm:

  • Stoke-on-Trent – available at the LRV
  • Stafford – available at the Security Lodge
  • Shrewsbury – available at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital Information Point
  • London – available at Reception

We have also added the below pop-up collection points on our Stoke-on-Trent campus to give you more options for collecting:

  • Cadman Main Entrance – Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm
  • Squeeze Box – Monday to Friday from 8.00am to 4pm

Every student and member of staff can collect one box of seven tests in the first instance and then return to the collection points when they have one test remaining.

There is no need to book a slot for collecting your home testing kits, please just drop in at the nearest collection point.

Please remember, lateral flow rapid testing is only available to individuals who do not display COVID-19 symptoms.

C: Community Testing Centres

Staff and students should take advantage of the local lateral flow testing facilities operating in their local areas. Centres can be found by visiting ‘Find a rapid lateral flow test site in your area.

Many of these community testing centres now offer home testing kits that you can take away and use to test at home – this is known as ‘universal testing’.

How do I use a home test?

For a step-by-step guide on how to use your rapid lateral flow home test kit to test yourself, please visit the Government website, read the instructions in the test kit or watch this NHS video guide.

How often should I test?

Two times per week

You should undertake a test twice a week, to help maintain our COVID-secure campuses, and to protect fellow students and staff and your wider friends and family.

It is easy to think that now that infection rates are lower, and hospitalisations are down, that the threat of COVID-19 has been removed. It hasn’t. If we don’t continue to test regularly, we could unwittingly play our part in the further spread of the virus and further possible lockdowns.

Therefore, please take a test twice per week, whether you are on campus regularly or not, to keep everyone safe.

Do I have to report my test result?

Test reporting is essential. Report Each Time.

It is vital that you report that you have been tested. Universities are monitored on the testing levels of staff and students, and this information informs Government policy on how universities can operate during the pandemic. Therefore, we must test and report that we have been tested.

How do I report my test result?

Depending on how you get tested, please report your test using one of the options below:

  • If you got tested at the Swabbing Centre at the LRV – the staff at the centre will log that you have undertaken a test. There is nothing further you need to do.
  • If you visited a Community Testing Centre – you must complete our 10 second reporting form or visit Beacon and simply click the COVID-19 Test Report tile.   
  • If you used a Home Testing Kit from a Community Testing Centre
    • You must complete our 10 second reporting form or visit Beacon and simply click the COVID-19 Test Report tile.     
    • You will also be required to register your test and result with the NHS - details will be in the home testing kit instructions.
  • If you used a Universities Home Testing Kit – you will only be required to register your test and result with the NHS - details will be in the testing kit instructions. As part of this reporting, you will be able to select Staffordshire University from a drop-down menu and enter a unique code – which you will find on a sticker on the front of the box.

What happens if my test result is positive?

Students: You should self-isolate immediately and report your positive test result as follows: You MUST fill out the self-isolation form if you have symptoms, test positive, are contacted by NHS Test and Trace or need to self-isolate. On submission of the form our COVID Support and Response Team will then be in touch to offer key support. Students can also contact the team via telephone on 01782 298 500 or via email covid-19@staffs.ac.uk.

Staff: You should self-isolate immediately. Please ensure that you advise your line manager as soon as possible. You should also email AskHR@staffs.ac.uk (9am-5pm Monday to Friday), as it is vital that a centralised record of any possible cases on campus is maintained.

Following a positive Lateral Flow Test result, you must book a PCR test via the NHS portal. This is to be absolutely certain that you do have the infection, and that you do need to self-isolate for ten days from the original test result.

Find out what action you need to take if your PCR test is positive for Covid-19.