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Targeted COVID-19 rapid community testing now available for university students

Bookings can also be made for new Trowbridge centre

Published 8 March 2021
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Students who need to have a lateral flow test before they go back to university can get tested at one of Wiltshire Council's symptom-free testing centres - with a new site opening in Trowbridge.

Wiltshire Council recently rolled out the government's targeted rapid COVID-19 community testing initiative locally to help drive down transmission rates.

The council's programme, in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care, was initially aimed at asymptomatic people at small businesses, private early years settings and childminders. It's now been confirmed that university students can also use the service too, which provides eligible people the opportunity to take a lateral flow test.

With its targeted approach, community testing aims to reduce the prevalence of the virus.

Testing sites are currently located at:

  • Chippenham, Monkton Park
  • Devizes Leisure Centre
  • Salisbury, Five Rivers Health and Wellbeing Centre

A centre will also be opening up in Trowbridge at County Hall from tomorrow 9 March 2021. Each centre is open on weekdays and same day appointments are available.

The centres cannot accept people dropping in, and everyone must book an appointment and not have any symptoms of COVID-19. The self-administered test should take no more than 15 minutes and results should be known within half an hour.

Free testing continues to be available to everyone in Wiltshire who has COVID-19 symptoms - high temperature, continuous cough or loss of/change in taste or smell. People should visit the NHS Coronavirus (opens new window) page or call 119 to book a test in that instance.

Anyone who receives a positive Lateral Flow Test result automatically activate legal obligations to self-isolate, and may also claim for a Test and Trace payment if they are eligible.

Kate Blackburn, Director of Public Health for Wiltshire, said:  

Rapid community testing continues to be a useful tool at our disposal to help drive down case rates and break transmission.

When used alongside an effective test and trace system and people isolating when they are required to, then these collective measures will have a positive impact and help us get back to a level of normality sooner rather than later.

We knew when implementing these rapid symptom-free sites that the scope of them could change, and we're pleased that university students have the opportunity to use them should they need to.

More information about the council's rapid community testing sites, including FAQs and how to book a slot at our .

With schools opening their gates to all pupils again, the Government also recently announced that in addition to secondary staff and pupils getting regularly tested,  people who are a member of a household, childcare bubble or support bubble of staff or a pupil can also get a twice-weekly test. Tests can be currently collected from Salisbury Beehive Park and Ride and Trowbridge Greyhound test site. More information on this Government-run programme, including how to get access to the tests, can be found at the GOV.UK: Guidance Households and bubbles of pupils, students and staff of schools, nurseries and colleges: get rapid lateral flow tests (opens new window).

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