University of Essex launches Covid-19 testing programme after small outbreak

essex university
The test will take just 15-20 minutes. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The University of Essex has launched a coronavirus testing programme for staff and students. The rapid anti-body test takes just 15-20 minutes and will be available across the three campuses in Colchester, Southend and Loughton.

It'll be offered to all students and around 1,000 members of frontline staff.

It's hoped the programme will minimise the spread of any potential infections.

Testing is voluntary, but the university says it expects staff and students to fully support them in helping the community to feel as confident as possible as the new term starts.

The test involves taking a small blood sample via a finger prick.

Students and staff will be offered the rapid test on all three of the university's campuses. Credit: ITV News Anglia

If someone tests positive for the antibodies, this means they have been infected by Covid-19 and might still be infectious. They will then get a swab test which will be sent to a laboratory to be analysed to confirm whether they currently have coronavirus.

The new testing programme is one of many measures put in place at the university to protect against the virus.

It comes after there was a small outbreak recorded amongst staff and students last week related to the university's elite sports programme and associated junior programme.

None of those affected lived on campus and they are all self-isolating.

The university says it's working the Essex contact tracing team to identify anyone who may have been in contact with those who tested positive.