COVID-19 testing programme a success as staff and students return to campus

Following the roll-out of a successful COVID-19 testing programme, St Helens College and Knowsley Community College has welcomed the safe return of staff and students to their campuses.

The rigorous testing and training programme was planned over many weeks, with the installation of four dedicated test centres across all campuses, and thorough testing and infection control training provided for both volunteer staff and students.

A booking system was developed to allow students to book their test date at a suitable time, before returning to the classroom. This has been a huge success with over 3,000 tests administered since 12th March.

Students have been very cooperative with the testing programme and many have commented on how straightforward the booking process is and how organised the test centres are.

Microbiology degree student, Christine, is one of many current and previous students who has volunteered her time to support with testing operations and says: “I wanted to work on a testing site because I know how important it is to get back into the College environment to progress with my studies and the testing programme has enabled this to happen.”

She adds: “As a microbiology student, being a part of the testing process has given me hands-on experience and I feel that it has also demonstrated that staff and students are doing their part to get this pandemic under control and ensure each other’s safety.”

As onsite testing requirements come to an end at Easter, students have been provided with home testing kits to continue to test themselves twice per week. College staff are also undertaking home testing.

Simon Pierce, Principal of St Helens College and Knowsley Community College, is pleased with the progress, commenting: “The testing programme has been a great success and we are delighted that students have been able to return to face-to-face teaching thanks to the hard work and dedication of our volunteer staff and students.”

Staff and Student Volunteers at College Campus Testing Centre Staff and Student Volunteers at College Campus Testing Centre