A COLLEGE is now offering onsite Covid-19 testing for it's staff and students.

Eastleigh College's new testing centre opened last week and has been built to the high clinical standards required by the published government guidance.

It can accommodate up to 300 rapid-turnaround lateral flow tests a day that produce quick results and can be used to identify Covid-19 in those without symptoms.

It is hoped that running these tests across the college will result in faster detection of cases, and achieve a more effective prevention of infection.

The six-bay testing centre is initially available to onsite vulnerable learners, those taking exams and assessments onsite, and staff on a weekly basis, but will be open to all learners and staff as they return to the college.

The college's Chief Executive and Principal, Paul Cox, added: “We continue to do everything we can to support learners and staff through the Covid-19 pandemic.

"I’m extremely proud of the college team who, after planning the testing centre in the Christmas break, swiftly created the testing centre in under two working weeks.”

Participation is entirely voluntary, although the college says most learners and staff have given consent to take part.

Learners and staff who show a positive result will be supported by the college’s Covid-19 Support and Response Team as they return home to self-isolate and take a follow up PCR test with the NHS.

Eastleigh College’s Tracey McAdam, head of the Support and Response Team, said: “The onsite testing centre provides an added service for both staff and learners.

"It has been developed with a one-way system, and there are minimal touch points as learners and staff register, swabs are taken and the tests administered onsite."

One of the first to have a test, Apprenticeship Officer, Claire Seaborne, said: “I think it’s great that schools and colleges are providing onsite testing as it provides some additional reassurance.

"The support team explained the process very clearly from the beginning to end so I didn’t need any help, although it was nice to know they were around.”