West Highland College offers Covid testing to students in term-time accommodation

West Highland College campus in Fort William. F33 FW College 01NO.

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The West Highland College is offering students who are currently staying in term-time accommodation a voluntary Covid test before returning home for the festive period.

During a visit this week to a testing facility at Aberdeen University this week, Scottish Further and Higher Education Minister Richard Lochhead said: ‘Across Scotland, universities and colleges have made tremendous efforts working in partnership with students to put similar facilities in place and I thank them for their efforts.

‘I’m really pleased that 24,000 tests have already been booked across the country and I expect many more will follow as students understand the importance of keeping themselves, their families, friends and communities safe.

Further and Higher Education Minister Richard Lochhead. NO F49 Richard Lochhead 01
Further and Higher Education Minister Richard Lochhead.

‘The tests do not, however, provide a guarantee and students should continue to observe the social distancing rules and hygiene protocols.’

On the situation at West Highland College UHI campuses in Lochaber, a spokesperson told the Lochaber Times: ‘Our key priority is to provide a safe learning and teaching environment for our students, staff and our local communities.

‘In line with Scottish Government plans, we are working with our colleagues in the University of the Highlands and Islands and the NHS to offer students who are currently staying in term-time accommodation a voluntary Covid test before returning home for the festive period.

‘Due to the very specific nature of our West Highland College UHI centre locations, the NHS is providing a PCR test for our students. This test is different from the Lateral Flow Devices (LFD) being used by most other universities and colleges in Scotland but its more appropriate for our multi-campus structure.

‘Unlike the Lateral Flow (asymptomatic testing) students will only require one test and we are in communication with students now to make arrangements for that purpose.’