Today, the University announced that it is currently developing an in-house testing service to tackle the asymptomatic transmission of Coronavirus as students and staff return to campus.
Whilst evidence is mixed on the extent of asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19, scientists have suggested that up to 80% of COVID-19 cases may be asymptomatic, or show very few symptoms. This new testing facility therefore aims to cut down on the levels of COVID-19 going undetected by asympotamtic transmission from carriers.
The testing process will involve regular saliva testing and heat inactivation
The University has already completed two successful pilot schemes over the last few six months which has led to asymptomatic testing at the University’s Vet School. It is hoped that this new development will develop the scheme further and greatly increase the already existing testing capacity.
The testing process will involve regular saliva testing and heat inactivation to extract the ribonucleic acid (RNA) needed to detect asymptomatic strands of the virus.
World-leading Virolgist, Professor Jonathan Ball, who’s been a reassuring scientific spokesperson throughout the pandemic, is leading the project, alongside Professor Chris Denning.
In a joint statement, they said: “We firmly believe that the development of the Service will help control the spread of COVID-19 and keep our communities safe and well, whilst building on the scientific excellence of our institution to provide longer-term strategies for prevention.”
The University has also been working in close collaboration with the NHS Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust to increase the effectiveness of the existing Test and Trace service.
This comes as the latest development from the University in a long research effort to tackle the spread of COVID-19 in Nottingham
“We are delighted to be working with the University of Nottingham to support them in establishing their Asymptomatic Testing Service. We recognise how closely intertwined public services are across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire and the safe return of students in Nottingham will be of benefit to us all.” said Richard Mitchell, Chief Executive of Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
This comes as the latest development from the University in a long research effort to tackle the spread of Covid-19 in Nottingham.
Other COVID-secure measures that the University are putting into place as students return to campus include two ‘walk-through’ testing centres on University Park and Jubilee Campus, expected to be in place by October, as well as, improved contract tracing technology through the Eduroam Wi-Fi system, and support packages for any students who are self-isolating.
Featured image courtesy of Tim Dennell on Flickr. Image license found here. No changes were made to this Image.
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