Durham University Tech Trial Aims to Help Reduce Spread of Covid
Durham University to take part in a new technology for the Covid-19 test.
06:55 29 October 2020
Durham University will take part in a pilot aimed at using technology to identify individuals who are most likely to spread the Covid-19 virus. The pilot is launched in partnership with the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), the University of Oxford (UoO) and Public Health England (PHE).
The Lateral Flow Test (LFT) is hoped to identify asymptomatic individuals who are infected with the virus but are not aware of it. The test will determine whether they have sufficient viral load and high enough levels of the Covid-19 virus to make them infectious to others. The goal of the trial is to alter their behaviour accordingly to break the chains of transmission and reduce the infection rate.
Jeremy Cook, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Colleges and Student Experience) at Durham University, said: “Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Durham University has acted with the health, safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and the communities of which we are part as our top priority, and we will continue to do so.
“Since being invited to participate in the LFT pilot, we have liaised closely with local and national partners and student leaders to ensure that our involvement is in the best interests of our students, staff and our County and region’s effort to reduce the spread of Covid-19.”
Professor Jacqui Ramagge, Executive Dean for the Faculty of Science at Durham University and project sponsor, said: “We look forward to testing beginning shortly. As a responsible University, we are keen to do everything we can to support the local, national and international effort to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and we are proud to be involved."
Amanda Healy, Durham County Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “We continue to work closely with Durham University and Public Health England in managing the current response to positive coronavirus cases among students.
"We have a wide range of actions in place, which are being overseen by the Outbreak Control Team, including access to testing and the training of key staff to support the outbreak.
“We hope this new testing will add an additional element to our existing outbreak control and help to reduce the number of cases, not just within the university, but also the local community.
“I’d once again encourage everyone to please book a test and stay at home if you have any symptoms of coronavirus.
"Following the latest advice of handwashing, social distancing and face coverings will also help to reduce the spread of the virus and save lives.”