On Monday, 25 January, King’s College London announced the opening of seven new “KCL TEST hubs” in the university’s halls of residence.

In an email sent to affected students, King’s Residences stated: “we expect students to get tested regularly to help reduce transmission of the virus, which is why we are making it even easier for you by having test hubs in your residence.” The email then proceeded to inform students where in their accommodation they could find the KCL TEST hub in their building.

Students have been instructed to register on the testing website to take part and provided they do not have symptoms, take a coronavirus PCR test twice a week continuously. Once registered, students will be emailed a unique link which they will need to keep track of as it will be needed each time a test is submitted to scan the barcode on the test tube in which they will place their saliva sample. Once the barcode has been scanned, students should place their test in their closest KCL TEST dropbox. Results can be expected within 48-72 hours. It is highly suggested that tests are taken three days apart. This new testing scheme, however, is not only directed at reducing transmission but also at KCL’s mission to better understand it. Thus, students have also been asked to aid their research by filling out a survey twice a week about several health and wellbeing issues. 

If the result of a student’s PCR test is positive, they have been required to adhere to government advice and self-isolate for 10 days to avoid infecting others. Additionally, anyone with a positive test conducted in their residence will be contacted by the NHS to get an NHS test to confirm its result. Students are also obliged to complete the King’s self-isolation form so that they can access the support and guidance King’s has to offer during the self-isolation period.

As for students going on clinical placement, Public Health England asks them to take two lateral flow tests prior to their start date. Tests can be booked on the King’s website. Once these two negative results have been confirmed and their placement begins, students must begin the weekly PCR testing outlined above. 

Finally, students have been reminded that this new testing scheme is only a portion of their effort to keep King’s students healthy and safe. Students have been asked to continue to adhere to guidance on wearing face coverings unless exempt, social distancing, regular hand washing, and any other measures specified at King’s campuses and residences. For any questions, students have been asked to visit the testing website or email covid-testing@kcl.ac.uk.

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