Female student with a face mask

Coronavirus testing for students

Get screened to keep you, your mates and your lecturers safe

To keep the campus as safe as possible, we are offering two types of testing for our students.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus you can book a test with the NHS on campus to see if you are carrying the virus.

If you don't have symptoms of coronavirus you can book a test through the University.

If you test positive you'll be given instructions by NHS Test and Trace and you must tell the University by informing:

  1. your MyPort Hub
  2. personal tutor
  3. and the University's central COVID team using this Covid Report Form

We encourage you to participate in this free voluntary testing so that we can monitor the virus at our University, and keep each other safe.

If you don't have coronavirus symptoms

Due to technical issues, on-campus facilities including the University's asymptomatic Covid testing centre will be closed until Monday 19 April.

If you require an asymptomatic Covid test, please instead book at the City Council's community testing facility at Somerstown Central Community Hub

Book your test

Free asymptomatic tests are available at the University's test site. This testing is only for students who don’t have symptoms, but who could still be infectious and pass the virus to others. If you have symptoms please instead book a test through the NHS portal. There's also more information on travel and testing available.

Testing hours are 9.00am - 4.00pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and 10.00am - 5.00pm on Thursdays.

To book a test: 

  1. Book a test before restarting face-to-face teaching or using University facilities such as the Library.
  2. Complete the online consent form you receive by email. You will need to be logged into your university Google account to access this form.
  3. Read more about what to do at the testing site and what to do afterwards.
  4. Aim to get tested twice a week, to prevent the spread of Covid.

Face coverings are mandatory except for accompanying babies and toddlers. If you're medically exempt from wearing a face covering, you can book an alternative test through the Government portal.

For those who have hearing impairments, 9.30am - 10.30am is a 'quiet' time where music isn't played in the background. Site staff also have a supply of face masks with a plastic window to support those who lip read.

If you have any additional needs, let the site team know and they will facilitate your safe access to the testing services.

Test appointments

University screening programme FAQs and information

The University is screening students and members of staff to track Covid-19 rates in our immediate population. This testing will be open to all students and members of staff while they're on campus. A particular focus will also be placed on testing those living in halls of residence.

This is in partnership with Public Health Portsmouth and Portsmouth Hospital University Trust, following recent guidance from the Government. Other universities are taking a similar approach across the country.

We aim to test 10% of our community every few weeks to generate the information needed to keep our students and staff safe on campus and monitor infection rates at the University

We're offering antigen testing to University of Portsmouth staff and students to screen for Covid-19 in people who are not displaying any symptoms.

Antigen tests are quick and accurate tests that detect the presence of a specific viral antigen or protein, which implies current viral infection (i.e. Covid-19). Antigen tests involve taking nasal swabs, which can be analysed at the testing site instead of a hospital lab with positive tests delivered by text message within a few hours. Negative test results will be delivered by email within 24 hours. 

Antigen tests examine if you currently have the virus and should not be mistaken for antibody tests which test if you have had coronavirus in the past.

 

Where you have had a positive PCR test the normal government guidance is that you should not do a PCR test within 90 days. However, PCR and LFD tests are different- an LFD tests for the prevalence of the virus and how infectious someone is and so can be taken within the 90 day period.

The LFD test can be taken after the self isolation period of 10 days or from the end of the period of self isolation as notified by NHS test and trace following a confirmatory PCR test.  However, if the symptoms persist after self isolation you should wait until the symptoms end before you take a test. In the meantime you should continue to self isolate until you no longer have the symptoms, in particular a high temperature.

Current advice from Public Health is that even though you have received the vaccine you should continue to maintain regular testing for Covid to ensure you do not catch and pass on the virus once vaccinated. The vaccination means that the effects of the infection is likely to be less severe but the risk of spread remains. 

You will enter basic information on Eventbrite when you book your appointment online. Before your test you will also complete the data collection/consent form - this data will be retained by the university for future identification and statistical purposes.

Your contact details will also be used to contact you with the result of your antigen screening test. Results will also be provided to a designated member of University staff to track overall screening results.

If you require a confirmatory PCR test, your completed sample will be sent to the Queen Alexandra Hospital with a copy of your data sheet and with your contact details on the sample tube. This is to allow the hospital team to provide you with the result of your swab test if it is confirmed as positive for the virus. Results will also be provided to a designated member of University staff to track overall screening results. These will be held on a secure, password protected database within the University and will help track any localised outbreaks and inform proactive responsive decision making. All identifiable data will be deleted two years after the completion of the testing project.

In the future, some of the data collected may be used in ethically approved research projects. Any research projects would be reviewed prior to their start and their justification for the use of your data and the robustness of the methods being used would be approved by experts unrelated to the project itself.

The Government has consulted the British Islamic Medical Association and they have advised the following: "Our position is that PCR and LFD tests do not invalidate the fast, which is the opinion of the vast majority of Islamic scholars." 

If you have any questions at all regarding this initiative, please contact covidtesting@port.ac.uk.

The University of Portsmouth wishes to process your personal data (that is, collect, use, store and destroy data that identifies you) as part of the screening tests for Covid-19 initiative. If you have any queries about this initiative please contact covidtesting@port.ac.uk or if you have any general queries about how your data will be processed, please contact the University’s Data Protection Officer at data-protection@port.ac.uk

We ask for your consent to process the data we ask for in the initiative, so that we can send your test for analysis at the hospital and have the results returned to you and the University.

We will only share your personalised data with Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust directly. We will not store your data outside the EU. Your personal data will be held securely on University and NHS servers for up to 2 years, and securely destroyed after that date.

You have the right to request a copy of the personal data we hold about you, to restrict the use of your personal data, the right to be forgotten, the right to data portability and the right to withdraw your consent to the use of your data.

For more information on these rights, please contact the University’s Data Protection Officer at data-protection@port.ac.uk or see the University's data protection policy. You also have the right to lodge a complaint about the use of your personal data to the University’s Data Protection Officer at data-protection@port.ac.uk then to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

If you have coronavirus symptoms

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, book your test through the Government's national booking portal to one of a network of testing sites including the facility at Eldon car park. This is run in partnership with the Government and Portsmouth City Council. Please be aware that availability may be limited at times as the national system deals with increased demand, and any changes in Government testing policy will affect this system.

Face coverings are mandatory at this facility except for babies and toddlers. If you are medically exempt from wearing a face covering, you can book an alternative test through the government portal below.

  1. Book an appointment through the Government's national booking portal
  2. Arrive at the facility at the correct time, and administer the swab test yourself. Follow the instructions provided.
  3. Test results will be sent by text or email.
  4. If you test positive you'll automatically be entered into the NHS test and trace system. You must also inform your MyPort Hub, Personal Tutor and the University's central COVID team using this Covid Report Form.

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