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How to access testing

Testing and contact tracing is a key measure in preventing the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19). Anyone with symptoms is eligible for a coronavirus test via the NHS.

DMU is offering new 'lateral flow' tests to all students and staff. These have a rapid turnaround and are available to all staff and students who aren't displaying symptoms of Covid-19.

When to get a test

If you develop one of the three main coronavirus symptoms, you should seek a Covid-19 test as soon as possible, and you must self-isolate until you get a result. This means not leaving your accommodation or home for any reason other than getting a test. People living in your household must also self-isolate for 10 days. The 10-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.

Household members should not go to university or work and exercise should be taken within the home. Household members staying at home for 10 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.

The three main coronavirus (Covid-19) symptoms are:

  • a high temperature – this means feeling hot to touch on the chest or back (temperature does not need to be measured)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing frequently for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if someone usually has a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – this means not being able to smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

It is important to only get a test if you have coronavirus symptoms or have been asked to get tested. This will help make sure people who need a test can get one.

For most people, coronavirus will be a mild illness. If you or anyone in the household does develop symptoms, you can also seek advice from NHS 111 online or by phoning 111.

How to access testing?

If you develop symptoms of Covid-19, you should remain at home for at least 10 days from the date when your symptoms appeared, and go to this NHS testing website to arrange a test.

There are different ways in which you can get tested. These are:

Local testing sites (LTS)

Local testing sites are walk-through and are the most accessible testing channel for students. The nearest walk-in centre to DMU’s campus is Jubilee Square (but you must still book first). The number of walk-through sites is changing regularly so please check Leicester City Council’s coronavirus website and the ‘Get Tested’ section for the latest list of walk-in testing sites in the city.

Site locations are identified by local authorities on the basis of locally identified need. Walk-through test sites are the preferred testing channel option for students due to their improved accessibility and fast turnaround of test results.

Home testing

Home test kits can be ordered online to be delivered to your door so you can test yourself without leaving your accommodation. This is a swab test which needs to be taken within the first five days of developing any of the three main coronavirus (Covid-19) symptoms (see above). The turnaround times for home testing are not as fast as for local, regional or mobile testing sites, so we recommend using these other channels wherever possible.

Students who are without a credit footprint and are therefore unable to order a home test online can instead call 119 to order over the phone. See below for some useful resources:

Regional testing sites

A network of drive-through regional test sites have been established nationally. We recognise that many students do not have their own transport and may be new to their area’s public transport network. However, drive-through sites are a suitable option for those who live locally or work at the university. Please check Leicester City Council’s coronavirus website and the ‘Get Tested’ section for the latest list of drive-through testing sites in the city.

What to do if you test positive

If you return a positive test, it is essential to continue self-isolating to prevent transmitting the virus to other people. You must continue to self-isolate for 10 days from when you first developed symptoms – or longer if you still have a high temperature.

Please follow DMU’s reporting process flow.

However, if coronavirus symptoms get worse it is important that you seek medical attention. Other members of your household must continue to self-isolate for 10 days from symptom onset. There is guidance at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/what-to-do-if-symptoms-get-worse/.

How you'll be contacted

You'll be contacted by email, text or phone (the NHS will try several times over a 72 hour period if there is no response).

Text messages will come from NHStracing. Calls will come from 0300 0135000.

More information on how you’ll be contacted is available.  

Contact Tracing

NHS Test and Trace helps trace close recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus (Covid-19) and, if necessary, notifies them that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus. DMU Safe Trace complements this by collecting details and maintaining records of staff, students and visitors using our campus. This means that NHS Test and Trace can then contact people if, for instance, there is an outbreak linked to those premises and give them appropriate public health advice.

NHS Test and Trace asks anyone ordering a test to provide details of people who they have been in close contact with. A 'close contact' is a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (Covid-19). This is any time from two days before the person was symptomatic up to seven days from the onset of symptoms (this is when they are infectious to others). Close contact means:

  • having face-to-face contact with someone less than 1 metre away (this will include times where you have worn a face covering or a face mask)
  • having been within 2 metres of someone for more than 15 minutes (either as a one-off contact, or added up together over one day)
  • travelling in a car or other small vehicle with someone (even on a short journey) or close to them on a plane
  • if you work in – or have recently visited – a setting with other people (for example, a GP surgery, a school or a workplace). The use of face masks and other forms PPE does not exclude somebody from being considered a close contact, unless they are providing direct care with patients or residents in a health and care setting

Further information is available in the guidance for people who have had close contact with someone who has coronavirus.