UEA intends to offer coronavirus testing to all students and staff working on campus at the start of term.
The enhanced testing to everyone working or studying on campus is aimed at preventing the silent spread of the virus and to provide reassurance to students, staff and the Norwich community.
Dylan Edwards Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences said: “Testing is essential in helping to prevent the silent spread of the virus.
“We are offering, and strongly recommending, that staff and students do a test and that they follow our covid-secure measures.
“We believe this approach will help UEA to identify, as early as possible, any cases of coronavirus. This will help to protect the UEA community and the people of Norwich.
“Our intent is to offer testing during the early weeks of term on a voluntary basis. We would be looking for ways to increase the testing of all people on campus as part of the extension of the successful testing pilot with the Earlham Institute, which completed earlier this summer. This could see pooling testing or sentinel testing on a more regular basis.”
Asymptomatic testing will be offered to all students at UEA – undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students as well as to staff who are regularly working on campus.
The testing plans build on the successful pilot testing carried out with the Earlham Institute earlier this summer which carried out 3000 samples from around 800 Norwich Research Park staff and students, with each participant asked to self-administer nose and throat swabs.
For the pilot samples were dropped off at dedicated collection points and analysed in secure facilities at the Earlham Institute. The majority of samples were processed within 24 hours, with the fastest results returned to participants nine hours after dropping the sample off. No positive samples were detected during the study.
Further details about how the testing will be carried out and the detailed logistics will be announced next week.