After what has felt like an eternity, NUI Galway students are back on campus. UniCoV, the free COVID-19 testing programme aims to keep it that way. Even though vaccination levels are high it is still possible to get infected with the virus and to transmit the virus to others.
By keeping COVID-19 in check, the university experience can remain safe and vibrant. Like vaccinations, hand-washing, and mask-wearing, the UniCoV rapid antigen tests (nasal swabs) and saliva PCR testing enhance and complement the existing public health strategy for reducing the extent of infections by the virus that causes COVID-19.
The UniCoV COVID-19 rapid testing system can help the student community to monitor whether the virus has recently infected you or your peers, including are any potential asymptomatic students with virus infections who may be unaware that they are infectious.
Joining up to the UniCoV programme can give an extra layer of protection to you, your friends, and your family. It involves taking two different rapid, non-invasive tests twice per week and self-reporting the results via the UniCoV app.
How does it work?
- Read the information leaflet and consent form at www.unicov.org to join the study.
- An email will instruct you how to obtain the app, your group, and when to start testing.
- Collect your free testing kit with all necessary items and instructions on campus.
- Complete 2 tests on Mondays and Thursdays: a rapid nasal swab antigen test at home and provide a saliva sample (PCR-tested) to drop off on campus before 4 PM for either two or eight-week periods. Submit antigen test results via an app.
- There is continuous sign-up and we still need 100s of volunteers! Tell your friends, flatmates and classmates! Join as a group! Join as a class!
- You can participate if you are fully, partially or un-vaccinated.
- If you had COVID-19 more than six months ago, you are eligible to take part.
What’s in UniCoV for me?
- Prizes! Win weekly raffle prizes just for taking the two tests twice each week. We are giving away small and large vouchers for Student Union-owned businesses, such as SULT. If we hit our benchmarks of 1000, and then 2000 participants, special prizes will be raffled- a Kingfisher membership and an iPad!
- FREE test!
- Feel assured when you travel home, visit health-compromised friends and relatives, work a public-facing job, share a house with ‘strangers’ or play indoor sports.
- Winter is coming. Know that you’ve done your part to keep the threat of any new restrictions at bay.
- Take more control over your health and give self-testing and self-reporting a go. It is the future.
- Contribute to the creation of a COVID-safe campus by taking the free non-invasive rapid antigen and saliva PCR tests.
- Help build a working system to maintain our lively on-campus NUI Galway community that can safely manage COVID-19.