On Friday, 27th November, I was invited to visit Northampton University’s new Waterside campus to meet the University’s leadership team including Nick Petford, the Vice-Chancellor. The team at the University have worked tremendously hard throughout what has been a very difficult period, and they are now participating in the testing of asymptomatic students.
The University is rolling out free testing for students, including those without symptoms, and will be integral to facilitate students getting home safely for Christmas, combatting the risks of taking the virus home with them.
They are taking significant steps in keeping their students safe, and in doing so are substantially contributing to the public good and playing their part in controlling the virus’s transmission.
The country’s testing capacity has risen over the course of the last eight months, from being able to conduct some 2,000 tests per day, to now having capacity for more than half-a-million tests each day.
Our testing capacity, which is now the largest in Europe, allows us to support Universities in getting their students home safely for Christmas, and we are similarly capable of carrying out regular testing for NHS and care staff. There is hope now that (lateral flow) rapid testing in care homes will help facilitate the visits of patients’ loved ones by Christmas.