New coronavirus testing site at Keele University

A new walk-through coronavirus testing facility is being installed on-campus at Keele University, as part of the National Testing Programme.

The testing site will be available to students, staff, and members of the public with coronavirus symptoms.

Having this facility at Keele will not only make the testing process more convenient and accessible to students and staff living on-campus, but will also relieve pressure on local services in the Newcastle-under-Lyme and North Staffordshire area.

Anybody wanting to use the new testing centre must book in advance via the national portal on the NHS website.

The new walk-through testing site will be operational from early October, and will be located on the Keele University Science and Innovation Park.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Trevor McMillan said: "We are delighted to be working with our partners and supporting the NHS in setting up this essential new facility for the community on our campus. Keele has already played a significant role in the national effort to tackle Covid-19 and we are pleased to further that support and relieve pressures on local services.

“We are taking our student welfare and civic responsibilities very seriously and are committed to doing everything we can to help our communities and to support the NHS.”

The site is part of the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history, which now comprises 75 drive-through sites, 108 walk-through sites, 258 mobile units, home testing and satellite kits and five mega laboratories.

Health Minister Lord Bethell said: “We continue to expand testing to make sure that everyone with symptoms can get a test, with our new walk-in sites making it even easier no matter where you live.

“This new site forms part of our national testing network, which has the capacity to test more than a million people a week and is growing all the time.

“If you have symptoms of coronavirus, I urge you to book a test today and follow the advice of NHS Test and Trace if you are contacted to protect others around you and stop the spread of the virus.”

The testing centre is being operated by the NHS in partnership with Sodexo and will offer self-administered tests.

Simon Tagg, Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, said: “Making sure local people who have symptoms get a test is hugely important and we are delighted to secure a second testing site in the borough, which will be particularly useful for students and others who don’t have access to a car.”

Staffordshire County Council has been working with the Government to offer more testing across Staffordshire in light of increasing demand.

Dr Johnny McMahon, the county council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing, said: “Knowing if people are positive helps us to identify who needs to self-isolate and in turn help stop the spread of infection.

“It is great news to have this new testing site right on campus, but I would ask everyone to only a book a test if they have symptoms or we have asked them to do so, as this will help more people who really need a test get one.”

Find out more about how we are working to keep our communities safe at Keele.