CoronavirusStaff update: 23 November

Dear Colleagues,

When I last wrote to you, I highlighted that colleagues across the University are working with the Scottish and UK governments on ambitious plans to provide Covid-19 tests for students who plan to travel home, or to another household, over the Christmas break.

These asymptomatic tests will play a critical role in ensuring that those students who want to spend the festive season with loved ones can do so, giving them confidence that they are keeping their families, friends and home communities as safe as possible.

We are now asking for your help as we roll out this ambitious programme. We need 100 volunteer members of staff to support the delivery of our campus testing facility at the Barony Hall.

The core period for volunteers will be between Monday 30 November and Wednesday 9 December, although a smaller number of people may be required in the days before and after.

Volunteers will be asked to undertake a range of roles, from queue management and registration, to processing and the recording of results, with full training and PPE provided. Training will take place between Thursday 26 and Friday 27 November, and staff working at the site will also be able to benefit from asymptomatic testing, should they wish.

The test site will enable students who do not have any symptoms to take a lateral flow test, which detects the coronavirus antigen that is produced when a person is infectious with coronavirus. These self-administered tests do not require a lab to process the results, meaning results can be turned around within an hour.

Students will be encouraged to get tested twice during a three to five day period. If they receive two negative tests, they will be advised to travel home immediately. Should a student test positive, they will have to self-isolate for 10 days – still with enough time to return home for Christmas.

If you think you are in a position to help with this important work, please speak to your line manager in the first instance, and then email your interest to as soon as possible, and before 5pm on Tuesday 24 November. Please include your full name, department and line manager and, if you have it, your staff number.

Line managers are asked to look favourably on requests to volunteer.

Thank you again for your continued support.

Best wishes,