Rapid Covid testing centre opens at University of Suffolk

The rapid testing centre at the University of Suffolk can take nearly 700 samples a day and return results in under an hour

The rapid testing centre at the University of Suffolk can take nearly 700 samples a day and return results in under an hour - Credit: The University of Suffolk

A rapid coronavirus testing centre has opened at the University of Suffolk for people showing no symptoms of the virus and who cannot work from home.

The centre, run by contractors Commisceo and based at the former Profiles gym at the University of Suffolk in Ipswich, can take nearly 700 samples per day and began operation on Monday, January 4.

Initially testing teachers, university students, school pupils and support staff, the centre is for Ipswich workers who cannot do their job from home and are not showing symptoms of the virus.

Lateral flow tests can deliver results in under an hour and are most useful at identifying people who are infectious on the day of the test but not showing symptoms.

Rachel Kearton is chair of the Suffolk Coordination Group

Rachel Kearton is chair of the Suffolk Coordination Group - Credit: Archant

Rachel Kearton, chair of the Suffolk Coordination Group, said: “As part of our response to the increasing cases in Suffolk we will be rolling out further rapid testing centres across Suffolk in the future to identify further individuals who are infectious but not symptomatic.


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“Together with key messages such as Hand Face and Space, rapid tests for people without symptoms are a vital tool in helping us combat the spread of the virus.”

The site, opened by Suffolk County Council in partnership with the University of Suffolk, is expected to run for an initial two months with 690 tests being carried out each day.

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Councillor Matthew Hicks, chair of the Local Outbreak Board, said: “The test is another important tool in tackling the virus whilst the vaccine is being rolled out as it can help prevent the spread from people who are infected but do not have symptoms.

“This is important as up to one in three people who have coronavirus never show any symptoms but may still be infectious.”

Councillor Matthew Hicks is chair of the Local Outbreak Board

Councillor Matthew Hicks is chair of the Local Outbreak Board - Credit: Gregg Brown

  • The test involves taking a swab from the throat and nose to see whether coronavirus is present in the body.
  • The person tested will then receive a text message giving the result within an hour.
  • Anyone giving a positive test will be told to self-isolate and advised on what to do next, including the need for further testing.
  • Anyone giving a negative result is invited back to carry out a further test after a few days. This is in case levels of the virus in a person at the earlier test were too low to be detected at that time.

Also targeted are employers and organisations in Ipswich whose staff cannot work from home — they are being urged to block-book their workforce in for tests.

Testing will be seven days a week between 7am and 7pm and appointments can be made through the booking website here or calling 0333 772 6144.

The centre is run by contractors Commisceo and based at the former Profiles gym at the University of Suffolk in Ipswich

The centre is run by contractors Commisceo and based at the former Profiles gym at the University of Suffolk in Ipswich - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown


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