Large number of Bristol University students asked to take part in ‘surge testing’


By Emilie Robinson, Digital News Editor

The University of Bristol has announced its support for Bristol City Council’s plans for extra community testing after new mutations of coronavirus were identified in the city.

Students in eligible areas were sent an email on 10 February by Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sarah Purdy, explaining they are eligible to take part in ‘surge testing.’

The main student postcodes targeted include BS1, BS2, BS6 and BS8. University residences within these codes include Marlborough House (BS1 3NX), St Michael’s Park (BS2 8BW) and Woodland Court (BS8 2AA).

Tests are not mandatory, but it is hoped those who choose to take part in the testing plans will help in discovering more about the mutated coronavirus variant, identified in Bristol and Liverpool.

Students not displaying symptoms can book a test at one of the new mobile test sites at Bristol and Bath Science Park, Bristol City Council Testing Centre and Imperial Retail Park.

However, if students have COVID-19 symptoms they must book a test via the NHS.

Coronavirus ‘mutations of concern’ identified in Bristol

Professor Purdy has reassured students that the new variant at the moment is considered ‘no more dangerous than the original strain of COVID, but like the Kent variant from which it has mutated, it does appear to be more infectious and likely to spread more rapidly.’

Links to the Wellbeing Access service and self-help resources online are also included in the email for those that might find the news of the new variant distressing.

Information collected from the Council’s community testing will be given to Public Health England.

The ultimate aim, the email explained, is ‘to reduce the spread of infection by identifying asymptomatic cases and prompting people to self-isolate.’

Featured Image: Epigram/Lucy O'Neill

Does your postcode make you eligible for community testing? Check the University of Bristol website for information on community surge testing.