Make time to get tested
for a safer festive season

The Christmas break is almost upon us and with the arrival of a new variant of coronavirus in our midst, it’s more important than ever for UCA students to keep testing to stay safe this Winter.

07 Dec 2021

It’s been a rough year for all of us for sure, but with our regular testing programme and the arrival of vaccinations for all (yay!) we’re in a far better position than we’ve been in for a long time, so that’s definitely something to celebrate!

But, with Christmas and precious time with family and friends upon us, now’s not the time to get complacent. Testing is a part of university life now — it’s not what you had in mind when you packed your bags for uni earlier this year but, for the greater good, it’s definitely worth it.

And in the next few weeks, it’s more important than ever to keep testing as you have been all term – to stay safe on campus but also to protect loved ones when you return home.

So, let’s recap how testing works at UCA, and what you’ll need to do in the next few weeks!

Teamwork makes the dream work

Let’s get the cliché out the way — we’re in this together. It’s a phrase that’s been said time and time again, everywhere you look, but it is true.

Schitts Creek in this together

We’re doing all we can to ensure your safety from COVID-19, including blended learning, face coverings on campus and lots of other safety measures besides, but testing really is one of the best ways for us all to keep UCA virus-free. To achieve this, we need your help.

The more we work together and give it our best — testing included — the quicker you can have the complete university experience you quite rightly expect.

And relax…

Of course, aside from the fact that getting regularly tested means you can come onto campus and do your thing, there are other benefits. Like knowing you’re not passing anything on to family and friends.

There’s something quite freeing about knowing that, giving peace of mind to you and your closest circle, don’t you think? It’s certainly a weight off our shoulders!

Home and away

Since we opened our testing centres, you’ve been able to visit us on campus to get your tests, but now the government has announced that you can get free tests to conduct at home while watching your favourite box set! You can collect your home tests kits from our campus libraries from 9.30 am to 12.30 am on weekdays. And if you test positive we’ve got you covered, there is support on hand and you’ll be able to follow your course online.

The medical bit…

Now you may not yet be familiar with the self-testing process, which is fine if not. We’re here to let you know that it’s really not as bad as you might think.

Come join me for a nasal swab

You can see the full process in this step-by-step guide but essentially what we need you to do is use the long cotton bud tip in the kit and swipe it across your tonsils or back of the throat where your tonsils used to be for ten seconds, and then up one of your nostrils, again for ten seconds. You pop it in the liquid in the tube, squeeze it onto the test kits and wait about half an hour for the results.

The more thoroughly you can do this, the more accurate the result will be, so if you can, get stuck in!

Whatever the result you’ll need to register it at If you’re negative, you can carry on about your business and come onto campus, if it’s inconclusive, take another test as soon as you can, and if it’s positive, report your result to our campus registry, book in for a PCR test via the government website and, most importantly, self-isolate with your household  — we really need you to keep to this one.

All of our FAQs are available for you to access via myUCA at any time — if you don’t see your question there, then just drop us a line at and we’ll do our best to help.

And finally…

We don’t want to be preachy — if you’re testing negative consistently (which is great by the way!) then please don’t be complacent. It’s really tempting with those results in your pocket to think you’re protected.

And with this new variant on our shores and potentially causing some concern in the coming weeks, we need to buckle down and do all we can to stay as safe as we can – and have a fantastic festive break!

Follow the current rules — swat up on the Government website. And, of course, get tested! 

Characters from Anchorman leap into the air with joy