New Covid-19 asymptomatic testing centre starts at the University of Aberdeen

An asymptomatic testing site of lateral flow tests* has opened its doors at the University of Aberdeen, as part of the Government's UK-wide continuing drive to increase the availability of mass testing.

In addition to limiting social mixing for two weeks prior to going home, testing will help to mitigate the risk of transmission among students, especially when they are infected but are not aware of it and help to ensure the safety of their loved ones.  

The University  is working with NHS Test & Protect on the Centre so that students who intend to move household over the winter break and are without symptoms, are able to get tested and asked to self-isolate if they are positive, or reassured quickly if they are not.

Today (Monday, November 30) Scotland’s Higher Education Minister Richard Lochhead MSP visited the Butchart Centre on University Road, which is open every day from 8am until 8pm until 11 December and is providing free asymptomatic testing for students from the University of Aberdeen, NESCol and Scotland’s Rural College.

The Centre has capacity to deliver 16,000 tests over that timeframe and students are being asked to take two tests - ideally three days apart – with the second test taken as close as possible to the student’s travel plans. 

More than 550 students and staff - many more than needed - volunteered their services following a University request for staffing to run the Centre. The Minister met some of those students and staff as they performed their duties.

Professor George Boyne, University Principal and Vice-Chancellor, welcomed Mr Lochhead who was given a tour of the Centre by Head of Student Experience Duncan Stuart. 

Debbie Dyker, Acting Director of Operations, said: “It’s been hugely heartening to see our University community come together to deliver a testing centre from scratch in just under two weeks. While testing is voluntary, we hope all of our students who are eligible do book a test and play their part in helping to suppress the spread of the virus.”

Professor George Boyne, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, added: “It’s been a really tough time for students here in Aberdeen and across the globe. I hope that our Centre provides our students and their loved ones with some reassurance so that they can have the winter break they need and deserve.”

Regardless of testing, students must still follow Scottish Government guidance to protect themselves and the wider community against coronavirus.