Exeter University drops plans to test all students in September
Lifestyle Print Editor Georgia Shepherd discusses the University’s plans for students in September.
The University of Exeter has scrapped plans to test all students returning to campus in September.
Exeposé discovered that the University had initially planned to test all students and staff for COVID-19 before individuals returned to campus in September.
This would have been part of the University’s Bronze track and trace project, an aspect of the institution’s wider effort to prepare for campus life in the midst of the current pandemic.
The project, led by Sean Fielding from IRB in coordination with the University’s Bronze test and track project, found this would’ve been a “snapshot” but also had a risk of overwhelming the ability of the NHS to respond. Therefore testing all students could potentially put more people at risk.
The University is now moving towards the capacity to do “almost instantaneous tests” including couriering tests to students and staff. This way it can access results in a few hours and discover if they have a COVID-19 problem or not. The University believes this could be “a bit of a game-changer.”
A spokesperson for the University said “The test and track project is still in early stages and is obviously complex requiring partnership work with the NHS. A decision hasn’t been made yet on how this will operate.”
Additionally, as part of the University’s Project Restart, which is coordinating efforts for the safe return of students and staff to campus in September, the University recently revealed that “all colleagues and students will be provided with a personal digital thermometer.” The University added that “taking your temperature at home is a great way to ensure you do your bit to support the ongoing good health of everyone on campus.” Details on how and when individuals will be able to collect their thermometers will be released in the coming weeks.
Exeposé discovered that the idea of testing individuals upon arrival at Streatham campus was dismissed as it would likely face problems due to the areas notorious hilly terrain. However, the University is preparing “on-site temperature testing capability to be used should additional capacity be needed or if advised by Public Health England.”
All students and staff will be provided with a compulsory face covering, these will be available in three colours: green, blue and burgundy.
In further news, as part of Project Restart all students and staff will be provided with a compulsory face covering. These will be available in three colours: green, blue and burgundy. As Registrar and Secretary Mike Shore-Nye revealed, “it would be too dull to have one.”
Furthermore, the University’s Project Restart is aiming to have 30-50% of people on campus at all times, with staff who are able to continue working from home encouraged to do so until social distancing rules are relaxed.
Additionally, all 69 of the University’s buildings are undergoing rigorous testing with twenty surveyors attending each building to calculate the maximum safe capacity. In September, students can expect a different set up in campus buildings, with ‘hand sanitizer absolutely everywhere’ and increased cleaning at touchpoints.
More details about what new and current students can expect in September are due to be released next week.