What is happening?
Between Monday 30 November and Wednesday 9 December, University College Birmingham will be running a Covid-19 testing site. This site will be set up on the lower ground floor of The Link building and students can book a test for free.
Why is it important?
In September and October, cases of Covid-19 were up to 7 times more prevalent among students than within local populations. This is down to many reasons but is especially relevant to students living in halls, where it is easier for the virus to spread through the shared spaces and close living arrangements. Despite measures such as online learning, masks and social distancing, students are still at risk of spreading the disease.
But I don’t feel ill
Not everyone with Covid-19 has any symptoms at all – some research suggests there could be around 40% of the population carrying Covid without displaying any symptoms. The rate of being a carrier seems higher in younger demographics, therefore many students could currently test positive without even being aware.
Will it hurt?
No, all you will experience is a throat swab.
How does it work?
The type of test that UCB is running is a lateral flow test. A swab is placed up your nostril or to the back of your throat and then placed into a solution. This solution will then be placed on a paper which contains coronavirus antibodies. If you test positive, these will bond to your solution and display a line in a similar way to a pregnancy test.
Why do I need to book two tests?
Lateral flow tests are not as accurate at detecting all cases as other forms of testing. This is the reason why you need to get tested twice so you can be extra certain that you are negative and do not need to isolate before going home for Christmas.
Do I really need to?
YES YES YES
No matter where you are planning on travelling this December – whether it’s across Birmingham, across Britain or flying abroad – we all want to keep our friends and families safe. By getting these tests early, if you do test positive you have enough time to isolate before returning home. It’s so important that we all take whatever steps we can to keep those around us protected. These tests are free, quick and painless so it’s a very convenient way to give you some peace of mind.
Why have I not booked my test?
I don’t know, I’m as confused as you! Follow this link to book your test now if you haven’t already.
I really hope this information was helpful and maybe encourages you to book your test if you haven’t already. I’ve got mine booked, it’s my first time getting tested but I’m very glad I’m able to. With all the chaos of this year, it’s nice to know I can still come home for Christmas.
Covid-19 more prevalent with students. https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/oct/12/fears-grow-student-covid-infections-england-wales-will-spread-into-local-communities
How does age relate to being symptomatic with Covid-19? https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/newsevents/news/2020/how-does-age-relate-covid-19-rates-and-symptom-severity
Rates of asymptomatic Covid-19 cases. https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/covid-19-what-proportion-are-asymptomatic/
Student Migration https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-55047597