Our Covid-19 test site is now open to staff and students at Brunel.
The lateral flow antigen test is available to Brunel students and staff who aren't showing symptoms, but could still be carrying the virus. We have set up the site in line with strict government guidance so that you can be reassured you aren't passing Covid on to family members, particularly those who are vulnerable, and so that you can do your bit to prevent the potential spread.
If you are not working or studying at Brunel, you can book a test at the London Borough of Hillingdon testing site using this booking link. The site is in the Civic Centre on Uxbridge High Street, on arrival at the Civic Centre, head towards the Middlesex Suite following the one-way system, which will be signposted.
Our test site is located in the Newton Room, upstairs in the Hamilton Centre, and we're making sure the process is quick, easy and safe - everything is socially distanced and our trained staff will wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Anybody visiting for a test will need to wear a face covering (unless exempt) and follow the guidance of the onsite team.
The whole process should take around ten minutes and you’ll be guided on how to administer the test yourself. You will receive a text or email from the NHS Test and Trace system with your result very quickly - usually within a couple of hours.
Please note, the test shouldn't be taken by anybody who has tested positive for Covid-19 in the last three months.
This test is different to the polymerise chain reaction (PCR) test that you may need in order to travel overseas. More information about overseas travel is included below.
The Government has recommended that you take two tests, three days apart for extra reassurance, and that you plan any travel to take place as soon as possible after your test to reduce your risk of later infection.
You can book your test from10.30am - 3.30pm, Monday - Friday.
If you test positive you must let us know so that we can give you the support you need - stay inside and report symptoms online using the Covid reporting task on eVision. Should you have problems filling out the form or you need advice, please email email@example.com or call (0)1895 267045. You can call Monday to Thursday between 9am and 4.30pm, and between 10am and 4.30pm on Fridays. Some frequently asked questions are answered below.
Do I have to take a test when I return to campus?
The Government has made it clear that mass testing is a key part of the return of students to universities in January, and nearly all universities in the country are now carrying out testing on campus. We are strongly encouraging all students who are coming to campus to take the test if they can for their own safety, for the safety of other students and staff and to do all they can to reduce the potential for Covid-19 spreading. If for any reason you do not take the tests before you return to campus, you will be asked to self-isolate for 10 days. If you self-isolate on campus, please let us know so that we can support you.
Is the testing site safe?
Yes, the site is being managed by Brunel in line with the strict guidelines set by DHSC and Public Health England. Tests are conducted in an entirely socially-distanced way and with strict infection control measures in place. Anybody visiting for a test will need to wear a face covering (unless exempt) and follow the guidance of the onsite team.
How do I book the tests?
You can book your test here, for an appointment between 10.30am and 3.25pm from Wednesday 6 January. The last appointment each day is at 3.25pm.
What is a lateral flow antigen test?
Lateral flow antigen tests are a new kind of technology that could be used to test a higher proportion of asymptomatic people (those who are infectious, but not aware). This would better enable the Government/NHS Test and Trace to identify asymptomatic cases who are at high likelihood of spreading the virus and break the chain of transmission. The technology has already been validated – clinical testing phases are all complete and the Government has been rolling out different field tests and pilots to identify how to best use this new technology at scale.
This is for people without any Covid symptoms - what should I do if I'm sypmtomatic?
The asymptomatic tests are lateral flow antigen tests, which are different to the PCR tests offered by the NHS to anybody with symptoms of Covid-19. If you have symptoms you should contact NHS 111 for advice and book a PCR test through the usual channels. This should enable you to book into the symptomatic testing unit on Topping Lane.
I've recently tested positive for Covid-19 - should I take the asymptomatic test?
If you have already had a positive test for Covid-19 within the last 90 days then you should not take the test as you may still have the antibodies that would give a false positive result.
How accurate is the test?
The UK government advises that lateral flow tests are very accurate, which means that only a very small proportion of people who do not have coronavirus will receive a positive result (false positive). However, in mass testing, because so many people without symptoms are being tested there is still the possibility of getting a false positive result. Therefore, if you get a positive test with the lateral flow antigen test, you will need to have a confirmatory PCR test to make sure the result is correct.
How is the test taken?
You will receive guidance on how to take the test, supported by trained on-site staff. The test involves applying a swab to the throat and nose. The sample is processed quickly and safely on-site, and the results are available in 20 to 30 minutes.
Where possible, two separate tests should be administered, three days apart for extra reassurance. A positive result will require students and staff to isolate for 10 days in the normal way, as long as they continue to show no symptoms. If there is a subsequent onset of symptoms they will need to self-isolate from that point. Students living on campus will be supported by the University into self-isolation as outlined here on BruNet.
I don't work or study at Brunel, can I use this testing centre?
You can only book a test at this centre if you work or study at Brunel. Members of the public can book a test at the London Borough of Hillingdon testing site using this booking link. The site is in the Civic Centre on Uxbridge High Street, on arrival at the Civic Centre, head towards the Middlesex Suite following the one-way system, which will be signposted.
Is the testing just for students living on campus, or commuter students too?
We would like all students attending face-to-face learning or mixing with other students or staff to take up testing. Although we have done everything possible to make the campus as safe as possible, mass testing is one of the best ways we have of protecting our community and ensuring the campus can continue to be used.
I'm a commuter student and will therefore need to travel before being tested - what should I do?
As a general rule, commuter students should aim to book a test on the same day as their return to campus where possible, and follow local restriction tier guidance on social contact and safe travel. If the first lateral flow test is negative, you should limit your social contact and interactions with other students until you receive a second negative test.
The alternative is to use your local community testing programme where possible before commuting for the first time. In this case you should also follow local restriction tier guidance on social contact.
Can I book my family in to be tested?
Unfortunately, family members cannot be tested at the centre. The legal agreement we have in place between Brunel and the Department for Health and Social Care does not permit us to test beyond the immediate student and staff population.
How will I get the result?
You will be required to register with the NHS Test and Trace system when you are tested so you can receive your results by text or email, usually very quickly and at least within a couple of hours.
Do I need to self-isolate between the two tests?
No, not if you are negative on the first test.
What happens if I test positive for Covid-19?
You will register with NHS Test and Trace at the time of your test and should receive a text/email with your result within a couple of hours. If your result is positive you will need to book a confirmatory PCR test through the usual channels. This should enable you to book into the symptomatic testing unit on Topping Lane. You will be asked to self-isolate for 10 days to help break the chain of transmission. You should inform the University using the reporting task on e-vision and we will support you through your self-isolation.
I'm already in self-isolation, can I take the test?
No, you must continue to self-isolate. If you develop symptoms, you need to complete the Covid reporting task on eVision so we can support you.
If I'm not already working on campus can I travel in to take a test?
Yes, staff who are not working on campus are able to book a test and travel to campus to take it. However you should ensure you follow appropriate travel guidance when coming into campus.
Can I use this test to travel abroad?
The test offered by Brunel is a lateral flow antigen test and it's not always accepted by countries requiring a confirmatory negative test (this is usually a PCR test).
Please check with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and follow appropriate travel advice for your destination. If you need to organise a private PCR test before travelling you may need to pay – unfortunately this is not supplied by the university.