University of Portsmouth sets up Covid-19 test site for staff, students and the community

PORTSMOUTH’S university has become the country’s first to offer a Covid-19 testing service for staff and students thanks to a partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care.

Thursday, 13th August 2020, 2:29 pm
Updated Friday, 14th August 2020, 10:10 am

A testing centre has been built in the car park of the institution’s Eldon building in Middle Street, Southsea.

University of Portsmouth staff have been told the testing site can be used by anyone feeling unwell on campus or in the city from today.

The site is supplementary to the NHS testing provision already in Portsmouth, including a drive-thru site in Tipner.

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The Covid-19 testing site in the car park of the University of Portsmouth's Eldon building in Middle Street, Southsea. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

People using the site in Middle Street can access its walk-in service or get a same-day appointment using the government’s online booking portal.

Anyone who tests positive will be entered into the NHS Track and Trace scheme and receive automatic contact.

Bob Nichol, the university's pro-vice chancellor for research and innovation, told staff in an email today: ‘As the University of Portsmouth prepares to welcome staff and students back to campus, we are putting in a series of measures that will help keep all of us safe.

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The Covid-19 testing site in the car park of the University of Portsmouth's Eldon building in Middle Street, Southsea. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

‘In partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care and Portsmouth City Council, we are pleased to provide a local testing site for Covid-19 on campus for the benefit of staff, students and our local community.

‘We are the first university in the country to partner with DHSC to offer this service.

‘While Portsmouth has been fortunate to have a low infection rate compared to some cities, we're not complacent and the virus remains a concern.’

Prof Nichol added: ‘We hope that by increasing the availability of such testing on campus brings a level of reassurance that we are doing all we reasonably can to help provide a safe environment for everyone.’

The Covid-19 testing site in the car park of the University of Portsmouth's Eldon building, in Middle Street, Southsea. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

Access to the Eldon building’s car park has been forbidden for staff while the testing centre is in place.

Staff with valid parking permits can access all other university car parks until the end of 2020, but are encouraged to walk, cycle or take public transport to work where possible.

The University of Portsmouth’s first teaching block begins on Monday, October 5, running until Friday, January 2021.

The Covid-19 testing site in the car park of the University of Portsmouth's Eldon building in Middle Street, Southsea. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

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