press release
Published: 21 October 2020

University plays its part to increase testing facilities for local community

By Robert Blevin

The University of Surrey is today announcing how it will play its part in enhancing Covid-19 testing to support its students, staff and the local community.

  • This week the University will be offering fast-turnaround tests that it has brought in for students and staff. These will initially prioritise anyone with symptoms, however mild, to relieve ongoing pressures affecting local NHS testing facilities and reduce waiting times for our students and staff.
  • From next week the University will also host an additional NHS Test and Trace testing facility near the entrance to our Stag Hill campus. This Local Test Site will be available to the general public via the usual NHS testing systems, will increase local capacity and will be of particular benefit to residents who do not have a car as it is more easily accessible on foot than other local centres.

These new testing capabilities are in addition to the local drive-in testing facility at the Onslow Park and Ride, which has been hosted on this University-owned site since early in the pandemic, and other testing facilities the University is hosting for the Royal Surrey Country Hospital, all of which support wider Guildford Borough Council action plans.

Andy Chalklin, Chief Operating Officer at the University of Surrey, said:

“We’re proud to have provided support for local NHS testing capacity throughout the pandemic, and are delighted to play our part by supporting again with this new test centre. With case numbers rising nationwide now is the time to be extra vigilant to reduce the spread of the virus. The enhanced testing capacity we’re making available to our staff and students will help reduce pressure on NHS testing facilities – and is one more measure alongside the extensive steps we have already taken to ensure our campus remains a Covid-secure place to study, work and live.”

Cllr Joss Bigmore, Leader of Guildford Borough Council, said:

“Thank you to the University for supporting this new Local Test Site alongside the existing sites. We welcome this extra facility for the Borough, especially as our residents can access it without a car. We also thank the University for their extensive work this year, from providing cutting-edge international research on Coronavirus (Covid-19) to working closely with us and town centre partners to make the campus and our town safe to welcome the next generation of top-class students back this term. We have been so proud of how our communities have played and continue to play their part over the outbreak, and as community leaders we are committed to collaborating with our local public services and partners to help and support Guildford through these increasingly challenging times.”

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