Professor Sally Cutler, medical microbiologist and UEL's clinical lead for the centre, said, "The UK-wide lockdown may be ending shortly, but there is still so much we can do continue to flatten the rate of virus transmission before a vaccine becomes widely available. The goal for the University of East London's testing centre is to empower our students and staff to do what they can to protect our communities and help keep their loved ones safe."
The testing facility is located in Arena 2 at Sports Dock, which is located in the Docklands Campus. Testing will take place using Lateral Flow Devices, and results will be available the same day as testing.
The tests are simple and non-invasive, and take only a few minutes. Results are confidential. If their results are negative, students and staff will be advised to return home as soon as possible. Individuals who test positive will be asked to self-isolate for 10 days, which will still allow enough time for them to travel for the holidays.
The opening of the centre reinforces UEL's continued efforts to support the NHS in managing the pandemic. At the start of the pandemic the University offered accommodation and other critical support to healthcare workers at the NHS Nightingale at the Excel centre. Many University staff and students also assisted the NHS throughout the pandemic.
Dr Ian Pickup, pro vice chancellor (education & experience) and chief operating officer at the University of East London said, "The centre not only strengthens our commitment to keeping the UEL community safe, but provides opportunities for healthcare and bioscience students to gain frontline clinical work, working alongside others across UEL.
"The University is determined to support students and staff as the year draws to a close, especially for those returning home for the holidays."