COVID-19 PCR Testing - University Service

The University has set up an in-house Early Alert testing service, detailed information on which can be found on the University coronavirus website. See also the Early Alert Privacy Notice.

How to book

  • Visit the EAS website.
  • You should be able to access this website from any computer or mobile phone and you will need your Single Sign-On.
  • The service is via online booking only. You cannot turn up unannounced.
  • If you have possible COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolate before and after the test.

Who is eligible?

  • The service is currently only open to those with symptoms associated with possible COVID-19.   
  • All students, University or college staff who have a University card and a Single Sign-On (SSO) are eligible to have a test if they are displaying symptoms.      

Where does testing take place?

  • There is a testing Portakabin at in the west area of the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter between Woodstock Road and Walton Street (in the Future Development section). This has been open since 20 August 2020.
  • At some point a second testing centre will open in Old Road Campus in Headington, behind the Triangle Day Nursery near the New Richards Building. 
  • You are asked not to take public transport when going for a test. 

What happens at the centre?

  • The test is an antigen mouth and nose swab, testing for the current presence of SARS-CoV-2. It is not an antibody test and does not test whether you had the virus earlier in the year.  
  • After the swab is taken, unless the service is very busy, you are likely to have a consultation with a nurse or senior medical student about what to do next.    

When will results be available?

  • Results from the Early Alert service should be ready within 24 hours. If your test is positive then a clinician will normally call you and pass the test details to NHS Test and Trace, who will also contact you. If it is negative you will be informed electronically. 
  • Note that if you are tested after being in recent close contact with a proven positive case, you are likely to be asked to test again 48 hours after the first swab is taken.   

NHS testing

Any symptomatic UK resident can also obtain a free test from the NHS Test and Trace service. Call 111 or visit NHS Test and Trace to arrange one. However, unless you can drive privately to the Oxford Parkway station testing site, the NHS service will take 48-72 hours to receive a couriered test kit and up to a week for results to come through. For information on the NHS testing process please see the Balliol NHS testing page.

17 May 2021 Rev 1.5

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