Covid-19 testing for students

All Keele students who are attending in-person teaching sessions must get tested twice each week, until further notice. Testing takes place in the Sports Centre and is quick, easy, and free.

Book your free Covid-19 tests >

Regular Covid-19 tests for students returning to campus

All students who are attending in-person teaching sessions and using campus facilities need to ensure that they get tested every 3-4 days.

Students who are returning to Keele in March are required to take two Covid-19 tests at our asymptomatic testing centre upon their return.

Free Covid-19 tests can be booked here.

This includes students on programmes where in-person teaching resumed in January, and those living on campus who remained here over the lockdown period. Testing takes place at our on-campus testing facility in the Sports Centre. Testing is quick, easy, and free, and helps to keep our campus community safe.

This aims to provide you with an additional level of reassurance, in addition to adherence to the current national lockdown measures and the approach that the University continues to take to ensure its operations and facilities are Covid-secure.

Keele University Campus Test Centre

Our test centre for students and staff who need to be on the Keele campus is in the Sports Centre. Testing is quick, easy, and free - and can be booked here.

Appointments can be booked in advance up to 1 hour before the test time.

Students on placements have additional testing options available to them, if required.

The Government has advised that all other students should not return to campus until further announcements are made. Unless you are invited by your School to resume in-person teaching, you should continue with your online learning and remain at your current accommodation wherever possible and not return to campus. There will be a further Government review in April about when all remaining students can return, and further details for these students will be announced at that point.


On 4th January 2021 the Government announced a new national lockdown. Read more about lockdown from 5th January, and which students can return to campus.

From 8th March we will be resuming in-person teaching for some students who are studying practical courses. Read more about the return to Keele from 8th March for certain students.

FAQs about our testing programme

*Updated on 28 January to reflect the change in national guidance: no confirmatory PCR test is required, and anyone receiving notification of a positive LFD will trigger the legal duty to self-isolate for 10 days from when they receive that notification.

Please see our 'what to do' pages for guidance and support if you test positive and/or need to self-isolate.

You should:

If your test is positive, you will be required to self-isolate for 10 days after the date of the positive LFD test, following Government and University guidance. This is a legal requirement for all, from the point of notification from NHS Test and Trace. We have services in place to support you if you need to self-isolate.

If your first Covid-19 test is negative, you should limit your social contact and interaction with other students until you receive a second negative test.  

Where both tests are negative, students should then resume their in-situ learning as planned, following prevailing local area restrictions.  

Students will continue as normal unless a member of their household tests positive. In this case, their whole household would be required to self-isolate and follow Government and University guidance

Asymptomatic testing relates to testing large groups of people who are not showing any symptoms of Covid-19. If you have symptoms of Covid-19, you should notify the University and book a Covid-19 test in the usual way, through the NHS.

Working with the Government’s Department of Health and Social Care, the University will be hosting an asymptomatic testing facility on campus, offering students free “lateral flow” Covid-19 tests.

Lateral flow tests are for people without symptoms and can produce results in just 20 minutes.

Keele University Campus Test Centre

Our test centre for students and staff who need to be on the Keele campus is in the Sports Centre. Testing is quick, easy, and free - and can be booked here. 
Appointments can be booked in advance up to 1 hour before the test time.

 

We are committed to doing everything we can to minimise the spread of Coronavirus. By identifying and isolating those who are infected but do not show symptoms, the rate of transmission can be reduced.

Where tests are negative, there is a reduced risk in returning to Keele, and therefore a reduced risk of transmission to student and local communities once students return.

Lateral flow antigen tests are intended to detect the presence or absence of coronavirus by applying a swab or saliva sample to the device’s absorbent pad.

The sample runs along the surface of the pad, showing at the end a visual positive or negative result dependant on the presence of the virus.

Lateral flow devices do not require a laboratory to process the test. The devices are designed to be intuitive and require minimal training to operate.

Swabbing and processing of these tests will be conducted at a dedicated testing site either by trained personnel or as a self-test with supervision from trained personnel.

Lateral flow tests are validated technology, they are safe, inexpensive and the results are trusted.

You are strongly encouraged to get tested. This is not compulsory, but is intended to provide additional assurances that, where tests are negative, there is a reduced risk in returning to Keele, and therefore a reduced risk of transmission to student and local communities.

This not only protects your fellow students, but the wider public by minimising the spread of the virus.

As of 20th December, the Government has advised that if you do not book these tests then you will instead be required to self-isolate for ten days before returning to campus in the New Year; therefore you are strongly encouraged to please book tests in order to avoid having to do this.

Yes. Students returning to campus are required to take two Covid-19 tests at our asymptomatic testing centre upon their return. These same students should then get tested again every three to four days throughout the lockdown period.

This aims to provide you with an additional level of reassurance, in addition to adherence to the current national lockdown measures and the approach that the University continues to take to ensure its operations and facilities are Covid-secure.

Keele University Campus Test Centre

Our test centre for students and staff who need to be on the Keele campus is in the Sports Centre. Testing is quick, easy, and free - and can be booked here. 
Appointments can be booked in advance up to 1 hour before the test time.

 

Keele University Campus Test Centre

Our test centre for students and staff who need to be on the Keele campus is in the Sports Centre. Testing is quick, easy, and free - and can be booked here. 
Appointments can be booked in advance up to 1 hour before the test time.

The test centre is open 13:00 – 18:00 Monday and Thursday, and 12:00 – 17:00 Tuesday and Friday.

Please bring your student ID, your mobile phone, and ensure you have your face mask to wear.

Staff and students will receive guidance in how to take the test, supported by trained on-site staff. The test involves applying a swab to the throat and nose. The sample is processed on-site, and the results are available in 20 to 30 minutes.

While you await the result, you should not interact with other students, to avoid virus transmission.

Watch the video guide here.

On the day of your test:

  • On arrival to the testing site, you will need to self-register your personal details on the Government’s registration portal. This information will be processed by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and you can read how they handle this personal data here
  • At the testing site, you will receive a set of barcodes with a unique reference number (supplied by DHSC) and will need to use this number to complete your registration. This unique reference number is used by DHSC and NHS Test and Trace to link you to your individual test sample and results.
  • You will then self-administer a nose and throat swab under supervision and staff will process the test. You will receive notification of your result via SMS and/or email from NHS Test and Trace.

Results will be sent directly to students as a text message from NHS Test and Trace.

If you have had a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test in the last 90 days through NHS Test and Trace and been recorded as a positive case on the national system, you do not need to be tested again.

If symptoms [other than cough or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell] persist, this could be longer than the normal 10-day self-isolation period for confirmed cases. This is described in Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

In light of the updated Government guidance (31/12/2020), for those students due to attend placement or in-situ skills it is now a requirement to have a negative Covid test prior to this activity taking place.

In order to access testing, you have a number of options:

1. At any location (home or on return to University), you can book a free test via the NHS National Testing Programme by selecting the option “My local council or health protection team has asked me to get a test”.

This test will be a Polymerase Chain Reaction [PCR] test; if so, you only require a single negative test.

2. You can access free community testing in your home area if your local authority offers this. Visit the website of your local authority to find out if they are offering this service. Alternatively, when you return to your term-time address, you can book a free test via the community testing programme in Stoke-on-Trent.

This test will be a Lateral Flow Device [LFD] test; if so, you will require two negative tests, four days apart, prior to commencing clinical placement or in-situ skills.

3. The University’s own asymptomatic testing centre using Lateral Flow Devices opens at midday on January 4th 2021. Again, if you select this option, you will require two negative tests, four days apart prior to commencing clinical placement or in-situ skills.

If you cannot get tested prior to your placement or in-situ skills commencing then you will need to notify your placement or in-situ skills, as appropriate. You will need to remain absent from placement or in-situ skills until you have had a single negative PCR result or two negative LFD test results, four days apart.

If you are on placement and regular Lateral Flow Device testing is available to clinical staff within that placement area then, as a student, you should also be offered access to this.

Why we need to process your personal data

The information you provide in the Lateral Flow Test Registration form will be used by the University to ensure the safe and effective organisation of testing and movement of students during the pandemic. The University is processing this personal information as it is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest in accordance with Article 6.1(e) of the General Data Protection Regulation.

If you indicate within the form that you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, this information is processed in accordance with Article 9.2(g) of the General Data Protection Regulation as it is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest in the area of public health during the pandemic.

Information Storage and Sharing

The University’s data processor, Eventsforce, will host registration data; this will be stored securely for 21 days before deletion, during which time transfer outside of the EU may occur due to cloud storage provision.

Information may be shared with the NHS and/or Staffordshire County Council to support Test and Trace in the event of a potential or actual outbreak of COVID-19. Staffordshire County Council and NHS Test and Trace will handle all data securely and ensure it is used only for the purposes of protecting public health, including minimising the transmission of COVID-19. 

On the day of your test:

  • At the testing site, you will receive a set of barcodes with a unique reference number (supplied by DHSC) and will need to use this number to complete your registration. This unique reference number is used by DHSC and NHS Test and Trace to link you to your individual test sample and results.
  • You will then self-administer a nose and throat swab under supervision and staff will process the test. You will receive notification of your result via SMS and/or email from NHS Test and Trace.

Further Information

For further information of how the University processes your personal data, the rights you have in connection with that processing and the contact details of the Data Protection Officer, please see the University’s main privacy notice.

Gov.uk: To find out how your personal data is used when you register for a coronavirus test, read the coronavirus privacy notice.

This programme is only for Keele students.

However, there is an NHS walk-in centre on our campus which is open to the public, and tests for that service should be booked through NHS 111.

Testing at the Keele University Sports Centre is only for those students and staff who need to be on campus during this lockdown - i.e. those students allowed to take part in face-to-face teaching as per the Government guidelines, and essential operational staff. However, all residents of Staffordshire without symptoms can now book a rapid test if they need to at one of Staffordshire's asymptomatic community testing sites.

Under national lockdown people must not leave or be outside their home except where necessary, but some people may need to leave home, for example: to shop for basic necessities, go to work if they cannot work from home, or provide vital care for someone else. If people do need to leave their homes, testing is available to check whether they have the virus before they have contact with others. This is for people without symptoms of Covid-19.

You can book a test only if you have no symptoms at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/testing

Testing at the Keele University Sports Centre is only for those students and staff who need to be on campus during this lockdown - i.e. those students allowed to take part in face-to-face teaching as per the Government guidelines, and essential operational staff. However, all residents of Staffordshire without symptoms can now book a rapid test if they need to at one of Staffordshire's asymptomatic community testing sites.

Under national lockdown people must not leave or be outside their home except where necessary, but some people may need to leave home, for example: to shop for basic necessities, go to work if they cannot work from home, or provide vital care for someone else. If people do need to leave their homes, testing is available to check whether they have the virus before they have contact with others. This is for people without symptoms of Covid-19.

You can book a test only if you have no symptoms at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/testing