Between the 3rd-9th December, Salford University will begin the process of mass testing students for coronavirus before their return home over Christmas .

After booking a slot online, students will head over to the University’s Sports Centre at Peel Park Campus and perform the swab themselves, which will then be given to an operator to process.

Testing Kit at Salford University. Credit: Ellie McDonald

Doctor James Quigley, testing supervisor at the site, said: “We get the results within half an hour. Students will get them within a day as it has to go through the system.

“These are called Lateral Flow tests.”

Such tests are for those without symptoms, compared with PRC tests for people with symptoms. Although quicker to use, Lateral Flow tests are potentially far less effective in recognising the infection.

Doctor Quigley on the swabbing process:

There is plenty of guidance to ensure the swab is done correctly. Doctor Quigley stated: “There will be operatives there to guide you through taking the swab, along with mirrors in the booths so students can perform it as best as possible.”

For those students finding the process more difficult, he said: “Myself and several other senior staff are involved, we can guide you through it or even do the swab for you.”

“We are doing it before students go back for Christmas to prevent onward transmission of Coronavirus. We need to protect their vulnerable families.”

Individual barcodes given to students. credit: Ellie MacDonald 

Many of the Salford community are pleased with the announcement of rapid testing for students. A local claimed: “It’s best that they’re doing it, especially in universities with students having parties when they’re not meant to. It will keep their relatives at home safe.”

However, there are no plans as of yet to continue the testing after Christmas.


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