New COVID-19 asymptomatic testing site to open at Coventry University

Prof Ian Marshall
Student news

Wednesday 25 November 2020

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An asymptomatic testing site (ATS) offering lateral flow tests is launching at Coventry University, as part of the Government’s continuing UK-wide drive to increase the availability of mass testing.

  • Government-backed asymptomatic testing site to open at Coventry University to help protect people most at risk
  • Partnership between Coventry University and NHS Test and Trace to work towards returning life to as much normality as possible
  • Testing of students to begin on 30th November 2020

Coventry University is working with NHS Test & Trace to set up an on-campus ATS so that students without symptoms, who may be infectious but unaware, are able to be tested and asked to self isolate if they test positive for Covid-19, or reassured quickly if they are not.

From 30th November 2020 testing will be available for students. Testing will be held at Coventry University’s Priory Sports Hall starting on November 30th. For more information visit

From the start of the pandemic, the Government has been working around the clock with a range of partners to fight coronavirus. The testing site at Coventry University is being delivered in partnership with the NHS and will offer self-swab tests.

Lateral flow devices do not require a laboratory to process the test. Processing of these tests can be conducted at a dedicated testing site by trained personnel and can rapidly turn around results within an hour.

Use of lateral flow tests could significantly improve the detection of positive cases, so people can isolate themselves and prevent the spread of the disease. Asymptomatic testing will help to protect those at high risk, find the virus and enable us to go back to as normal a way of life as possible.

Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them track their contacts. This will help people to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission. Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from NHS Test and Trace, asking them to stay at home for 14 days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus.

We want to ensure that we are continuing to support our students, colleagues and the communities in which we are located effectively in what must continue to be a united effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The new testing programme is voluntary, but we will do everything we can to encourage students to take up the opportunity to be tested.

Professor Ian Marshall, Coventry University’s Deputy-Vice-Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer

Anyone with symptoms should follow the guidance online on how to book a PCR test – by following this link – or calling 119. Lines are open from 7am until 11pm.

The government is working closely with universities to get asymptomatic university students tested in early December in order to help students return home safely for Christmas.

Testing will help to break chains of transmission amongst students, especially when they are infected but are not aware of it, whilst also helping to ensure the safety of their loved ones at home.

 Students will be encouraged to get tested twice during early December using Lateral Flow Devices. If they receive two negative tests, they are advised to return home immediately. Should a student test positive they will receive a confirmatory PCR and have to self-isolate for 10 days, still giving them enough time to return home for Christmas.

Before travelling home, students are advised to: book travel in advance, avoid busy times and routes and check their journey in advance to avoid disruptions. If driving only travel with members of your household or support bubble, and follow safer travel advice safety guidelines. On public transport it is important that travellers wear a face covering unless exempt, wash or sanitise hands regularly, use contactless payment and keep 2m distance where possible.

All students are urged to get tested if there is availability at their university to help protect themselves and their friends, families and home communities when returning home this Christmas.

We’ve already come so far since first setting up a national testing programme at an unprecedented pace to help counter COVID-19, but we continue to strive to go further, faster. Innovations such as lateral flow technology hold the key to the next phase of our ambition to see mass, rapid testing available to people across the country.  I’m delighted that Coventry University are working with us to use lateral flow technology, and I look forward to seeing the fruits of their labour, in helping students return home for Christmas and to return to a normal way of life as soon as possible.

Lord Bethell , Health Minister

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