Onsite COVID-19 Testing Information and Advice
We are working to keep our College as safe as possible. Along with other protective measures we are taking, access to testing, using COVID-19 ‘lateral flow tests’ for staff and learners on-site during the lockdown has been provided since 11 January 2021. Whilst this is voluntary all learners returning in March 2021 are strongly encouraged to access testing on-site. We have written to our learners and parents to advise them about the availability of “fast-track testing” at our Rochford campus prior to their return date and arrangements for on-site testing.
Learners are being carefully prepared and briefed prior to their return by tutors and consent forms will need to be completed in advance for on-site testing.
- Learners younger than 16 years - Consent must be provided by the parent or legal guardian with one consent form completed for each young person enrolled at the College. This will be emailed or posted to separately to you.
- Learners over 16 - Can complete this form themselves, having discussed participation with their parent/guardian if under 18.
Our staff are transitioning to home testing from 5 March 2021, in preparation for our wider College learners returning from Monday 8 March 2021. After learners returning for on-site delivery have taken 3 on-site tests, spaced 3-5 days apart, learners can then transition to home testing. They will be provided with instructions and support about how to undertake twice weekly testing at home.
Onsite Testing Opening Times
If you do need to take a onsite COVID-19 test, the opening times for the test centre located in the DTLA are:
W/C 22nd March
Monday 22nd, Tuesday 23rd, Wednesday 24th: 8:00am - 6:00pm
Thursday 25th, Friday 26th: 8:00am - 7:00pm
W/C 29th March
Monday 29th, Tuesday 30th, Wednesday 31st only: 8:00am - 6:00pm
Please note, after Easter onsite testing will return to the Enterprise Zone for morning tests everyday.
Taking the Test
Those taking the test will be supervised by trained staff. The ‘lateral flow’ tests are quick and easy using a swab of your nose and throat. For under 18s, staff can oversee the swab process.
Results (which take around half an hour from testing) will be shared directly with staff and learners participating. Where learners are under 16, parents or legal guardians will also be informed.
If a learner tests positive on a lateral flow device, they will be informed immediately by the College and will need to self-isolate and follow the guidance from NHS Test and Trace. Following new advice from NHS Test and Trace and Public Health England, there is now no need to take a further 'PCR test' to confirm the result.
If a learner tests positive from a home test kit, they will need to self-isolate and follow the guidance from NHS Test and Trace. They will also need to take a further 'PCR test' to confirm the result.
In both situations, the learner will need to report their positive test to the College's absence line on email@example.com
While a small number of learners or staff may need to repeat the test if the first test was invalid or void for some reason, learners who test negative will be able to stay in College and resume their activities as normal. Learners will be informed of negative test results via text/email. Where participants are under 16, parents or legal guardians will also be informed.
The staff member or learner will be notified that they are a close contact by the College, and are to self-isolate in accordance with the current Government guidelines.
This testing programme at College is for people with no symptoms. If your child develops symptoms at any time (including a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste) they must immediately self-isolate, and book a test by calling 119 or visiting https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.
For further information on taking the test and guidance on what a positive or negative test result means for your child and your household, please read the NHS Test and Trace Information booklet.
We know these tests work – in validation studies conducted by Oxford University and Public Health England, they were shown to be as accurate in identifying a case as a PCR test (99.68% specificity). The tests have lower sensitivity, but they are better at picking up cases when a person has higher viral load, hence the need to test frequently.
Testing will be offered free of charge.
Privacy Notice for COVID-19 Testing at Boston College