Letter to students 2 March
2 March 2021
COVID-19 Lateral Flow Device (LFD) Testing for Students
This letter provides you more details on the testing at College and how to get involved.
The Government has asked that students returning to College from March 8th undertake 3 Lateral Flow Device tests at College, followed by students testing themselves at home. Whilst you do not have to take the tests to return to College (they are not compulsory), we would like you to take part if you can. It will help us keep you and your friends safe as many people who have COVID-19 do not know they are carrying it and these tests will identify those individuals so they can self-isolate.
This letter provides you with the details of how we will make the testing happen.
How the tests work
The test will be supervised by trained staff. The lateral flow device tests are quick and easy to undertake, using a swab of the nose and throat which you will administer on yourselves. Results (which take around half an hour from testing) will be sent directly to you via a text / email notification from the online NHS system.
How often should I be tested?
We will schedule your first test as close as possible to the time when you return to College. This will be sometime on or after Monday March 8th. You will then be scheduled for a second and third test, three to five days later (or as close as possible to this as your timetable allows).
We will be scheduling the tests by teaching groups of students to ensure that you can be supported to attend testing with the minimum of disruption to your studies.
Telling us if you wish to be tested
Please review all the information provided in this letter and inform us if you wish to be tested or not. To do this please COMPLETE THE CONSENT FORM HERE as soon as you can as you will not be able to be tested without doing this. Included on the consent form are links to the Privacy Notice which tells you how we will collect and use the data we produce from the testing procedures. Please review that prior to completing the consent form. Once you have completed the consent form you will get an email from us confirming you have consented. Please keep this email as we may need to see it at a later date. If you do not wish to be tested, you can let us know on the same web page so that we can record your choice.
Preparing for your test
Your teachers will support you in preparing for your test. The NHS registration process for your test works best if you can register yourself via your smartphone and we will support you to do this in class immediately prior to your test. If you do not have a smartphone, do not worry there will be an alternative process.
Arriving for your test appointment
Your teachers will support you in attending the Testing centres at college for your appointment. You will need to bring your smartphone (if you have one) and your student badge.
Remember that all of our control measures regarding social distancing and
face coverings are in place whilst waiting for and completing your test.
What if I test positive?
If you test positive on a lateral flow device test, you will be informed immediately by a college manager and you will need to leave site immediately and self-isolate. You will also get a confirmatory text/email message from the NHS. You will not be required to take a further confirmatory test (known as a PCR test) as you have undertaken a supervised Lateral Flow Device test at College.
What happens if the test is negative?
While a small number of participants may need to repeat the test if the first test was invalid or void for some reason, if you test negative you will be able to stay in College and continue with your learning (still observing all social distancing and other control measures). Participants will be informed of negative test results via a text/email from the NHS.
How long will I need to be tested for?
The Government has asked for students to be tested in College for up to three times in the weeks between March 8th and Easter. Once you have been tested three times and know how the testing works, you will be issued with Lateral Flow Device test kits for you to test yourself at home twice a week. You will be provided with instructions to take home with these kits and you will need to continue to report the test results to the NHS and to the College.
Can my family be tested?
The Government has announced a way for families of College students to also get home testing Lateral Flow Device testing kits. Please see here for more information as these kits are not picked up from the College.
What if I develop symptoms?
This testing programme at College is for people with no symptoms. If you develop symptoms at any time (such as a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) you must immediately self-isolate, and book a test by calling 119 or visiting https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.
We will support you throughout this process, but please contact me if you have any questions.