Last updated: 29 March 2021

Rapid Lateral Flow Tests

Booking a Covid-19 ‘Rapid’ Lateral Flow Test

Lateral Flow Tests have been introduced to help stop the spread of Covid-19 as we are able to identify those people who are infected but not displaying any symptoms. 

A Lateral Flow Test is free, self-administered and available for all staff and students whenever they wish to take one.

You are recommended to take two tests a week if you are attending campus in-person.

The questions below will tell you more about the tests, or book your tests now:

Once you've booked a test, if for any reason you are unable to attend at this time, please contact CV19Testing@worcestershire.gov.uk as soon as possible so that your slot can be opened up for someone else. 


About lateral flow tests

What is a Lateral Flow Antigen Test?

We are working with Public Health Worcestershire to offer testing for students and staff who do not have Covid-19 symptoms.

Public Health is utilising lateral flow devices (LFDs) – a clinically validated swab antigen test that does not require a laboratory for processing and can turn around rapid results, usually within an hour at the location of the test. The test detects the coronavirus antigen that is produced when a person is infectious with coronavirus.

Lateral flow antigen tests are tests for students and staff who don’t have any symptoms.

This is the test that is being offered:

Why are lateral flow tests being offered?

Around 1 in 3 people with Covid-19 do not have symptoms, so a test that rapidly detects these otherwise hidden cases is a very useful additional tool for tackling the virus.

Lateral flow tests are practical, easy to interpret and can be used in a wide range of settings. This makes them ideal for widespread use in the community.

If your test is negative, you should continue to ensure you maintain social distancing, cover your face when necessary and wash your hands regularly.

How sensitive are the tests?

‘Sensitivity’ refers to the proportion of people with Covid-19 that have a positive test.

When a person has low levels of virus in their system, lateral flow tests are less sensitive than some of the other tests, such as PCR tests which are mainly used for people with symptoms.

When levels of virus are at their highest and people are most likely to pass on the disease, lateral flow tests can detect the vast majority of cases.

PCR and lateral flow have different roles to play in controlling the virus, so it isn’t helpful to directly compare them in terms of how sensitive they are:

  • Lateral flow is useful for finding out if a person is infectious now, and able to transmit the virus to others. The level of sensitivity is high enough to detect the vast majority of these cases. Lateral flow testing is less likely to return a positive result outside the infectious window.
  • PCR is useful for confirming a suspected case of coronavirus, where the person is already self-isolating and is showing symptoms. Higher sensitivity of PCR means it can identify genetic material from Covid-19 even after the active infection has passed.

The different levels of sensitivity are therefore appropriate for the ways they are used.

What does the test involve?

The tests involve you taking a self-swab from the back of your throat and your nose.  Trained staff will be on site to guide you through the process and to assist you, if needed.

A member of staff will then arrange for your test to be processed and let you know how and when you'll receive your result.

If you’d like to see what’s involved in the test, you can watch this video from the NHS.

How long does it take to get the results of a lateral flow test? (UPDATED - 15 MARCH)

Tests don’t need to go to a lab and results are provided within an hour or so, depending on demand, so you won’t have to wait long to know.

 

Who should get a test

Who should get a lateral flow test?

All students and staff who are currently working or studying in person on campus, are encouraged to take two tests a week.

If you are returning to campus for the first time or are about to start a new placement you are strongly encouraged to access a local community testing programme near your home address, before travelling back to Worcester.

You should then aim to take two tests a week thereafter, ideally three days apart. 

You can find out about community testing programmes by Googling ‘Lateral Flow testing’ and including your location. You may also find this directory of locations in Worcestershire helpful:

Worcestershire County Council: Community Lateral Flow Testing

Do I have to have a test?

Joining in the testing programme is voluntary but people are strongly encouraged to take part to help keep others safe.  

Do I have to take the test at the University?

No. You are very welcome to take a test at a location and at a time that is convenient for you, such as at a local community testing centre.

Here are some other local options:
Worcestershire County Council: Community Lateral Flow Testing 

If you are returning to campus for the first time or are about to start a new placement you are strongly encouraged to access a local community testing programme near your home address, before travelling back to Worcester.

Is it possible to get a kit to use at home?

The Government has not identified University staff or students for home testing, so it is not possible to have a kit for use at home at this time.

If your household has school-aged children, your child’s school may issue you with home testing kits. If you take a test through home-testing, you do not need to also take a test at the University. 

Should I have a test even if I have been vaccinated?

It's recommended to have a test twice a week, even if you have already received a Covid-19 vaccination. 

Should I have a test if I have previously tested positive for Covid-19, and completed my isolation period?

If you have had a positive coronavirus (Covid-19) PCR test in the last 90 days through NHS Test and Trace and been recorded as a positive case on the national system, you do not need to be tested again within that time period unless you develop symptoms.  If you do develop symptoms please book a test through phoning 119 or online https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

I think I may have Covid-19. Should I take this test?

The Lateral Flow tests are for students and staff who do not have symptoms of Covid-19. If you are concerned that you may have Covid-19, because you have symptoms, you should immediately self-isolate and  book a test through the NHS.

There is an on-campus NHS test centre, located just behind the Arena on the Severn Campus.

I’m travelling internationally and require a ‘fit to fly’ test. Will this test cover me?

No. 

You must check with your airline and foreign office advice and guidance to find out what the country you are travelling to requires before you make plans to leave. Some countries and airlines do require a test before travelling. These tests can only be accessed privately, not through the NHS or Public Health.

There is a charge for this testing (from £120 upwards), so you should conduct your own online search to review the range of costs and timeframes for testing and results.  You may find the following local options a helpful starting point: 

Booking and taking a test at the University

When should I take a test?

All staff and students are welcome to book a test whenever they wish. If you are beginning a new placement or are returning to campus for the first time, ideally you should take a test a day or two before returning.

In order to continually monitor your Covid-status you are recommended to take two tests a week.

How many times do I need to take a test?

If you are regularly on campus or currently on placement then you are recommended to take two tests a week to monitor your Covid-status.

When is testing taking place?

The tests are available Monday to Friday each week, with slots available from 10am until 7pm. This website will be updated regularly with information about the tests and more slots may be added later if there is increased demand.

If you are returning to campus for the first time or are about to start a new placement you are particularly encouraged to take a test.

Do I have to have to book an appointment for a test?

You are encouraged to book a test in advance, as this helps to manage the flow of people though the Centre, however, if you forget to book you are also welcome to drop in between 10am to 7pm Monday to Friday. 

How do I book a test?

You should try to book a date and time slot for each test. It’s also helpful if you have your NHS number, but it’s not necessary.  Once you've booked your test, if for any reason you are unable to attend at this time, please contact CV19Testing@worcestershire.gov.uk as soon as possible so that your slot can be opened up for someone else.

If you forget to make a booking, you are welcome to drop into the Centre for a walk-in appointment.

Students

To book a test you need to visit https://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/universitytesting You will need to enter your student number in order to book a test.

Staff 

To book a test you need to visit https://capublic.worcestershire.gov.uk/COVIDTestBookingPublic/StaffTesting.aspx

If you forget to make a booking, you are welcome to drop into the Centre for a walk-in appointment. 

I am having trouble with the booking form - can you help me?

If you are having trouble making a booking, or have any questions about your booking, please email:

 CV19Testing@worcestershire.gov.uk

I need to cancel or change my booking - what do I do?

If you need to change or cancel your booking, please email:

 CV19Testing@worcestershire.gov.uk

Is there a cost for taking a test?

The tests are voluntary and free of charge. 

Where do I go for the test?

Testing is taking place at the University’s Severn Campus, in the Riverside Building.

There is also an NHS Test Centre, which is operating behind the Arena. Please make sure you come to the correct centre for your test! The Riverside Building is the glass-fronted building on your right, as you enter the Severn Campus.

There will be signage and staff directing you into the Riverside Building.

riverside-covid-testing-centre-3

What do I need to take with me to the test?

You will need to have your mobile phone with you, as this will be used as part of the registration process.

Please also remember to wear a face covering and follow all social distancing guidelines. 

Test results

How will I receive my results? (UPDATED - 15 MARCH)

You will be notified of your results by text message and receive your test result from the NHS Test and Trace service via SMS within two hours.

What does it mean if my test is negative?

If you have received a negative test, it indicates that you probably did not have Covid-19 at the time you took the test.  You should continue to ensure you maintain social distancing, cover your face when necessary and wash your hands regularly.

You don’t need to tell the University that you have tested negative.

What does it mean if my test is void?

Please return to the test centre and request another test.

You may need to show your void test result to the registration assistant.

What does it mean if my test is positive? What should I do? (UPDATED - 29 MARCH)

 

  • Immediately self-isolate, inform your household to self-isolate
  • Notify the University by logging into your SOLE page and using the ‘Report Absence’ option if you are a student, or notify your line manager if you are a staff member
  • Arrange to have a confirmatory PCR test through the national NHS testing programme (these tests are processed in a laboratory, so have an even higher accuracy rate)
  • If your confirmatory test is positive you must isolate for 10 days from your first test date and your household must for 10 days from your first test date. This means that you must not travel
  • If your confirmatory NHS test is negative you and your household may cease isolation

What happens if my test is negative, but I have coronavirus symptoms?

If you have coronavirus (Covid-19) symptoms please refer to NHS guidance.

You should isolate immediately and book a test through the NHS.

Further information

If you are a student and you have a specific question about your course, you should contact your Course Leader or Personal Academic Tutor in the first instance. Questions about the support available to you can be sent to firstpoint@worc.ac.uk