Covid-19 testing for students and staff

Free and regular lateral flow testing is available to all our students and staff at the University who do not have symptoms of Covid-19.  They are designed to help keep our community safe and cases low.  Anyone who visits campus should get a test before, or when, they arrive. 

Read below to find out more about why testing is important, and which tests you can access.

If you have symptoms of Covid-19 you should book a PCR test. Information about how to book a PCR test and what to do if results are positive or negative is available here

Why getting tested is important

1 in 3 people who have Covid-19 do not have any symptoms. Therefore, getting an asymptomatic test before coming to campus, or when you arrive, is the best way to protect our community and minimise the spread of Covid-19. Testing makes it possible for us to track Covid-19 cases on campus and ensure the University remains a safe environment for everyone in our community.

We all have an individual responsibility to support the communities around us.  The test can identify whether you are carrying the Covid-19 virus, even if you are not showing any symptoms.   By taking the test you can support the national effort to reduce the spread of the virus, and protect your family, loved ones and the community around you. 

Remember – we are here to support you if you do test positive.

Who should get tested?

All students who are living on campus, and all students and staff who are visiting campus, are encouraged to take regular asymptomatic Covid-19 tests. The tests are free, very simple to do, and will give you piece of mind that you are keeping yourself and others safe.

Please remember that event if you have had one or both does of the Covid-19 vaccination, you can still catch the virus and pass it on to others. It is important that you continue to get tested regularly.

How often should you get tested?

You should get tested regularly, at least every three-four days. There is no limit on the number of tests staff and students can take. If anyone is coming to campus weekly, or if students live in halls, they should get tested twice a week, every week.

Why two tests?

Even if you don’t feel unwell, you may have very weak symptoms of Covid-19. Taking two tests allows us to pick up any cases that may have been hard to detect or were newly developed. This will help to keep cases as low as possible in our community.

What does the test involve?

The test is called a lateral-flow test. It involves taking a swab from your mouth and nose. The process takes just a few minutes. You will be notified of the test result by email or text within 24 hours by NHS Test and Protect, and possibly much faster.

The test is an effective way to identify cases but it does not mean you are negative. To identify as many cases as possible, it is necessary to take two tests ideally 3 days apart. If you can’t take two tests, one test can still provide some reassurance. A negative test still means that there is a risk of becoming infected and spreading the virus.

What tests are available?

You can have a lateral flow test at the University’s Community Testing Centre. You no longer have to book an appointment, instead you can arrive anytime when the test centre is open but please note the final arrival time is 15 minutes before the centre is due to close.

  • Monday    0800 – 1700
  • Tuesday    0800 – 1330
  • Wednesday    Closed
  • Thursday    0800 – 1700
  • Friday    0800 – 1330

Remember, to take a test you must arrive 15 minutes before the centre closes.

You can also access lateral flow tests, as outlined on the Scottish Government website, at local pharmacies or by placing an order online. More information is available here.

 

If your results are negative

Where continuing to study/work on campus

If you test negative, you will be notified of your result by text or email. You are still encouraged to book repeat tests, at least three days later, for continued peace of mind. While negative tests will help to ensure that you do not have Covid-19, we still ask that you continue to adhere to Government guidelines around physical distancing and practicing good hygiene.

If you test negative but are identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, you must still self-isolate for a period of 10 days.

Where planning to travel (e.g. students returning home/staff travelling)

If you are travelling, after your second negative test, we would ask that you travel as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours, after receiving your negative test results to minimise the risks of contracting Covid-19 before you depart. You should also continue to minimise contact with others and follow FACTS at all times.

If your results are positive

If you receive a positive lateral flow test, you will be notified by email or text and will be asked by NHS Test and Protect to take a further type of test to confirm the result. If this further test is also positive, it is really important to follow self-isolation guidelines and complete the online webform so that we can support you during self-isolation.

NHS Test and Protect will begin the full contact tracing process but you should make your housemates/household members aware that you are now required to self-isolate and that they are also required to do so and to arrange for a test. You and your whole household should then stay at home until the test results come back. If you test positive, you and your household.

 

I'm nervous about taking the test - who can I speak to?

We understand this is a nervous time for you.  We would encourage you to speak to your friends and family, but you can also get in touch with coronavirus@abdn.ac.uk, if you have any concerns.

Testing is simple and safe, and our testing site is managed in accordance with government guidance. Our testing team will provide all the support you need to complete the test.

Will the University be informed of my test results?

No. The test is personal to you. We will not be informed of your test results.

Will the test be sufficient to allow me to travel internationally?

No, the lateral flow test is not sufficient for those wishing to travel internationally. Students/staff wishing to travel overseas must check before they travel if their destination requires confirmation of a negative PCR test.  A PCR test is a different type of test from the one being provided through this route. You can find more information about external organisations who provide PCR testing here.

What do I have to consider when travelling?

You should plan ahead and try to avoid the busier times and routes for your journey. Remember to check for disruptions and follow the safe travel advice from Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government.

If driving, only travel with members of your current household or the household you will be staying with, where possible. If using public transport, you must wear a face covering (unless exempt), regularly sanitise your hands, use contactless payment and keep a 2m distance where possible.

I’m concerned over the accuracy of Lateral Flow Tests, what is the University’s position on this?

Lateral flow testing forms part of the national approach in combating Covid-19 and we continue to support the Scottish Government’s approach to minimising its spread through our asymptomatic testing centre along with other arrangements.

Test centre walk-through