Queen’s University Belfast has welcomed the announcement of a walk-in COVID-19 (coronavirus) test centre on the University campus along with mobile testing units at Ulster University sites.
The walk-in centre will be located in the car park at the Physical Education Centre (PEC) site on the Queen’s campus and will be available to members of the local community as well as students and staff. The University has been working with the Public Health Agency (PHA) over recent weeks to establish and implement the centre on University premises. It is part of the Department of Health’s (DHSC) public testing programme through which everyone in Northern Ireland with symptoms of COVID-19 is eligible for a free test and will help ensure a robust public health response as we move through the next stages of the pandemic and will provide additional capacity of approximately 2,000 tests per week.
The availability of a walk-in testing centre on campus provides students with greater access to testing and further enhance measures to mitigate the risk of spread on campus.
The announcement follows a pilot testing programme that was carried out by Queen’s and Ulster University in collaboration with the Public Health Agency in August to examine the prevalence of current and past infection within the student community. In the study of 500 asymptomatic participants, no students tested positive for COVID-19 and 6% of participants were found to have antibodies suggesting prior infection. This is in line with previous studies that have been conducted in England to assess the prevalence of antibodies amongst the general population. No such study has been conducted in Northern Ireland.
Queen’s University fully supports the PHA testing efforts and is committed to playing a key role in the public response to the COVID-19 pandemic to assure the safety of the wider community in Northern Ireland.
The walk-in test centre will be open from Friday (25 September) and access to testing at the centre will be by appointment only, booked via the existing DHSC channels, either online or by calling 119.
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