Testing on campus
The University has established two Covid-19 testing centres at City Centre and City South Campus. Testing is available for students and staff who are permitted to work on campus and show no symptoms of Covid-19.
Staff and students who are authorised to come onto campus are encouraged to take two rapid Covid-19 tests per week to help prevent asymptomatic transmission. You should not come to campus solely to take a test, but if you are authorised to attend throughout the week it is recommended to get tested twice per week while on site.
As ever, the safety of our community is our top priority.
The Government has written to all students to outline their plans and you can read this letter here.
Testing on campus
What tests are the University providing for students?
Birmingham City University will open two asymptomatic Covid-19 testing sites on campus. The sites offer lateral flow device (LFD) tests to students and staff who are permitted to return to campus, and can give results within an hour.
Can anyone take a test?
Testing is open to staff and students who are permitted to return to campus. Find details about access to campus here. This is only available for those who aren’t showing any Covid-19 symptoms. If you are showing symptoms, book a NHS test as soon as possible at your nearest test site. NHS test sites are open seven days a week.
You should not come to campus solely to take a test, but if you are authorised to attend throughout the week it is recommended to get tested twice per week while on site.
Why should I take a test?
The LFD test can detect levels of the virus on people who aren’t experiencing symptoms, so the results could help prevent the possibility of you passing the virus to others without knowing. To ensure the safety of our BCU community, we encourage any staff and students who are authorised to come onto campus to take two rapid Covid-19 tests per week to help prevent asymptomatic transmission.
Do I have to take a test?
No, the tests are not compulsory. But if you choose not to take a test, you should follow the various guidelines to reduce the risk of passing the virus to anyone you come in contact with, including your family and friends.
You should not come to campus solely to take a test, but if you have been authorised to attend throughout the week it is recommended to get tested twice per week while on site.
What does the test involve?
Once you enter the test site, you will be given a sealed sterile swab. You will be asked to enter a testing area to use the swab to collect your own sample from your nose and throat.
After you’ve used the swab, place it back into the extraction tube for it to be tested by a staff member to determine the result.
Staff members will be available on site, equipped with the appropriate personal protective equipment, to guide you through the process.
When can I take a test?
Appointments are available throughout January and February at City Centre and City South campuses, between 8.30am and 3pm on weekdays.
You should not come to campus solely to take a test, but if you are authorised to attend throughout the week it is recommended they get tested two times per week while on site.
How do I book a test?
You will need to book an appointment online before visiting a test centre.
Where are the test sites?
There will be two test sites:
- C087 (Ground Floor Lecture Theatre), Curzon Building, City Centre Campus
- Seacole Canteen (Ground Floor), Seacole Building, City South Campus
Do not attend either site without a booking confirmation.
What should I bring?
When you come to the test site, you must bring your booking confirmation and your mobile phone as you will need to register with the NHS to get your results.
If you do not have a mobile phone, please print your booking confirmation and tell staff when you arrive that you do not have a phone.
How and when will I get my results?
Results will be sent to you by SMS and/or email depending on the information you provided when registering with the NHS system on arrival at the centre.
You can expect to receive the results very quickly – usually within an hour.
Will the University know my result?
No. You receive your result directly – the University will not be told whether you have a positive or a negative test. Therefore, to ensure we can trace any close contacts, if you test positive, it is important for you to let us know using the Notify system.
What happens if I test positive?
If you test positive, you should self-isolate immediately for 10 days. You will also need to notify the University of your results the Notify system.
Government guidance has been updated and if you get a positive test result from a rapid lateral flow test, you do not need to take a confirmatory PCR test from the NHS.
What happens if my flat mate tests positive?
If a close contact tests positive from an LFD test on campus, you will be instructed to self-isolate.
What support is available if I test positive?
If you are required to self-isolate, the University will provide a package of support for you including:
- Guidance documents - Dedicated guidance documents to help you understand the NHS, navigate health services, access BCU services and support and stay well during your isolation period.
- Wellbeing check-ins - Regular wellbeing check-ins by phone, e-mail or text message, according to your preferred method and frequency (daily, twice weekly or weekly).
- Wellbeing services - Access to mental health, wellbeing or disability services following assessment of need.
- Supermarket vouchers - Free, non-means tested supermarket vouchers to purchase food and essential supplies from online shops.
- Financial advice - You will have access to financial advice from specialist advisers including access to additional means-tested financial support.
- Academic support - You will have access to support from academic teams with online digital materials and pastoral support from personal tutors who may advise you on resetting coursework hand-in dates.
- Students’ Union advice - You will have access to Students’ Union free and impartial advice, including academic advice and support with accommodation issues.
- Online social activities - You will have access to Students’ Union social activities online to keep you entertained and connected during your self-isolation.