By Khrista Davis
De Montfort University is welcoming staff and students back to campus from Monday, March 8, and is offering lateral flow tests every week to support the re-introduction of face to face classroom learning.
Students and staff have to take two tests as soon as they arrive back on campus and will then need to book two tests every week thereafter in a move to prevent outbreaks of COVID-19.
The university has re-opened a testing site inside The Watershed building, in Upperton Road, and bookings need to be made in advance via the MyDMU website. All testing will be carried out during the hours of 9:00am to 5:00pm on weekdays.
Site Manager of The Watershed, Daljit Kaur, said: “We envisage that it is going to get busier simply because the government has proposed that students need to be tested twice a week. The last few weeks have been fairly quiet and now with other areas opening up we have seen an increase of numbers.
“But we are not at full capacity, so we have no concerns in terms of how we are going to manage it to make sure that the site is not compromised in terms of safety and maintain a sterile environment; we have certain procedures in place.”
The site is an asymptomatic centre therefore tests are only for those who have no symptoms of the virus.
Students and staff are being advised to bring a form of ID, a mobile phone or other device, wear a face mask and flat shoes for health and safety reasons and if possible, bring personal alcohol hand rub to clean their hands before testing.
She added: “I think it is really, really important that students and staff take these lateral flow tests because while it can’t stop you from getting COVID-19, at least you know that if you come displaying no symptoms and your test proves positive then as far as I am concerned that is a really good result for us, because it means that you were unaware you had the virus and by notifying you, we are containing it.
“My advice to anyone who is apprehensive or nervous about testing would be, let your feet bring you to the door, don’t over-think it. Every member of staff here is so welcoming and so warm, everyone is very patient, there is no rush.
“Our main aim is to ensure that the test is conducted as accurately as possible, so if that takes you two minutes, twenty minutes or even one hour it is fine. I just want to make sure the experience is good for the staff and students. We will adjust our approach as required.
“Having a swab pushed down your throat or up your nose is not the most comfortable of experiences, however if you need to take as long as you need to, you can.
“It does make it easier for us when people are upfront about their anxieties towards testing and may need extra assistance. That really helps us as we can ensure that someone is able to help that person throughout the entire journey.”