Image: Wikimedia Commons / Stan Zurek

Cardiff University creates coronavirus testing service for students to use

Cardiff University has invited its incoming pupils to take part in an in-house coronavirus testing service.

This news arrives as the University and College Union (UCU) argued that the movement of a million students around the UK could create an “avalanche of infections”, according to the BBC.

Pro vice-chancellor Claire Morgan stated that students would be “invited to attend one of our testing stations” and that “the test is very safe” in an email to students.

Ms Morgan also told students that anyone testing positive would need to self-isolate and “all other household members would also need to stay at home and self-isolate”.

The university’s vice-chancellor Colin Riordan, however, had previously warned that in-house tests were “not a silver bullet”, according to Wales Online.

Cardiff University students will be given a packet of reuseable masks upon their arrival with masks being mandatory in the university buildings.

Students and staff members engaging in in-person activities should be regularly tested and have access to local testing

– Becky Ricketts, President of the National Union of Students Wales 

By contrast, Swansea University will not be introducing an in-house testing service, after its Chief Operating Officer Andrew Rhodes stated that Swansea Bay University Health Board would “absolutely not support the university running their own testing programme”.

Aberystwyth University, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Wrexham Glyndwr University and the University of South Wales all stated they were not at present introducing an in-house testing system.

National Union of Students (NUS) Wales president Becky Ricketts stated that staff and students’ health must be the “number one priority” as “students and staff members engaging in in-person activities should be regularly tested and have access to local testing”.

Ms Ricketts also remarked that the Welsh government and universities should “work together to consider how this can be achieved across the whole of Wales”.

The Welsh government has published guidance exploring how universities can re-open and resume teaching while also keeping students, staff and visitors safe.

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