MORE than 6,000 university students and staff will be tested for coronavirus over the next week.

Bournemouth University (BU) and Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) have teamed up to provide 12,000 tests for students and staff, ensuring they can go home for Christmas.

Jim Andrews, chief operating officer at BU, said: “We’ve been working with AUB over the last two weeks to set up a testing facility on the BU campus as part of the government’s guide to get all students tested so those who want to go home before Christmas are able to do so.

“It’s all done in partnership with NHS Track and Trace, so all the tests and all the equipment have been provided by the government, we provided the facilities and the staffing to make it happen.

“It’s great for students who want to make sure they have that confirmatory test before they go home.

“It’s something that will give a lot of reassurances to students that are going home.”

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Tom Marshall, head of estates and campus services at AUB, added: “The asymptomatic Testing Site on Talbot Campus has been an amazing example of collaboration between our two universities, where we’ve been able to kick plans into gear very quickly.

“This has been a two-week process, but the amount of work that’s gone into the site has seen a phenomenal amount of work undertaken by the BU facilities team to get the sports hall ready to support students safe return home over the holiday period.

“Throughout the testing period, AUB will be allocating booking slots which offer enough capacity to cater for our students while allowing us to gauge demand, and we’re seeing good uptake so far.”

Students who consent to take a test will register on their phone before attending the Talbot Campus sports hall.

They then take swabs from their nose and orally, before handing it to one of the clinicians to process the test.

The tests will run from December 1 until December 8 and each student is tested twice.

Dr Sara White, clinical lead, said: “The students will come in at an allotted time, they will get a card and a barcode and will log onto an app.

“Once they’ve done that, they come into the testing hall and are given a testing swab, their card and barcode to one of the private booths.

“They hand over the barcode through a safe spot to a testing operator who is behind the shield, the barcode gets put onto a test strip, the operative asks the student to do their own swab.

“They swab both sides of their tonsils for five seconds, then one nostril for five seconds, they then pass it back to the operative and they place it straight into a test tube.”

Dr White said the operative then puts the sample on a strip which will record in 30 minutes whether the student is positive or negative.

Students are then alerted via the Test and Trace app.

Student services advisor Jade Canning, who took a test, said: “I think it takes half an hour for the results to process, we get the results within 24 hours.

“I think the biggest message here is we are trying to be as safe as we can.

“It’s relatively easy, it’s really quick and definitely worth it to make sure you and your loved ones are safe this Christmas.”