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Collecting Covid-19 tests on campus

BCU staff and students can also collect lateral flow device (LFD) testing kits from campus to use at home. You will be able to collect a home testing kit from any of the on-campus testing centres during opening times.

Alterntatively, you can order home testing kits from your nearest site online or by phone. Visit the Birmingham City Council website for more information.

What tests are the University providing for staff and students?

Birmingham City University is offering asymptomatic Covid-19 testing kits for staff and students to use at home. Each kit includes seven lateral flow device (LFD) tests, which give results in 30 minutes.

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 coming onto campus to take two rapid Covid-19 tests per week to help prevent asymptomatic transmission.

How often should I get tested?

If you are on campus regularly, you should take two tests per week. These should be taken three days apart.

Do I have to take a test?

No, the tests are not compulsory. However, we would strongly encourage all staff and students to be tested regularly to reduce the risk of spreading the virus on campus and within our communities.

Where can I collect a test kit?

Home testing kits are available from the following buildings:

  • Curzon Building, City Centre Campus
  • Seacole Building, City South Campus
Do I need to book to collect a home testing kit?

You do not need to book to collect kits, but you will need to register, using your name, ID number and telephone number.

How many tests can I collect?

Staff and students can collect one pack of tests at a time, which contains seven tests.

How do I use the test?

A test consists of a swab, inside a sealed wrapper, extraction tube, nozzle cap, extraction buffer bottle and rapid test strip. You should use the swab to take a sample from your mouth and nose, following the instructions carefully. You should then leave your test for at least 30 minutes before reading it.

Whether the result was positive or negative, you should report the result online the same day. On the Government website, you should select the options of working for a ‘nursery, school, college, childcare provider or other education provider’ and then enter ‘Birmingham City University’ as the name of the school, college or university. Students on placement should also register their results against BCU unless their placement provider has asked them to register their results against them.

Can I collect a home testing kit if I have symptoms?

No. Home testing kits are for those who are not showing coronavirus symptoms. If you are experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19, you should stay at home and request a PCR test from the NHS.

Getting your results

How and when will I get my results?

Rapid lateral flow tests use a device similar to a pregnancy test to give a quick result in 30 minutes. Your result will show on the device provided in your pack, with one of the following results:

  • Negative result: one line next to C shows the test is negative.
  • Void: no lines, or one line next to T, means the test is void. You will need to re-take with a fresh test kit.
  • Positive result: 2 lines, one next to C and one next to T, even faint lines, shows the test is positive. You or your test provider must report this test result to the NHS.
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.