Government announces University lab testing partnerships
The Government has announced another partnership with four UK universities which will aid in boosting coronavirus test processing ahead of winter this year. Tens of thousands more tests are to be processed due to this ramping up of laboratory assistance to the UK’s national testing effort. Laboratory facilities at University College London, Imperial College London, Queen Mary University of London and King’s College London will now be made available to the testing service as part of the UK’s largest ever diagnostics network which has been created in response to the large demand for testing services, a demand that is expected to rise over the winter season.
Tests will be processed at these university sites over the rest of the year and into the coming year, 2021. In addition to the announcement of this extra test processing capacity, the NHS Test and Trace service can now confirm it has reached the milestone of setting up 500 test sites across the UK for coronavirus. Baroness Dido Harding has called reaching this level of facilities “an extraordinary achievement”. Consequently, accessibility to testing services has been improved also. The median distance a person in the UK travelling to a test site now stands at 3.7 miles. This means that the testing site network has been improved in terms of its spread so that local populations are not bound to travelling very far to access testing services.
Baroness Harding also added that: “NHS Test and Trace has now reached nearly 700,000 people and advised them to self-isolate. I would like to thank each and every person playing their part in tackling this virus for the efforts they are making.” NHS Test and Trace’s app also continues to be downloaded across England and Wales, further enabling contact tracers to monitor and control virus flare-ups through mandatory self-isolation.