This section contains information about coronavirus testing for all staff of the University of Cambridge, its Colleges, Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press, with symptoms of possible COVID-19.

In partnership with Addenbrooke's Hospital, we are offering a swab (PCR) test to all staff at the University of Cambridge, its Colleges, Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press, with symptoms of possible COVID-19, and to members of their household (anyone with whom you share a bathroom, toilet or kitchen).  


If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, a change in your sense of smell/taste, or any other flu-like symptoms such as sore throat or muscle aches. 

If you develop any of these symptoms you should:

  • Call Addenbrooke’s Hospital Occupational Health on 01223 216767 (8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Thursday), stating that you wish to be tested as part of the University of Cambridge’s testing programme. If you develop symptoms out of hours, please request a test using the NHS website.
  • Inform your Line Manager immediately
  • Stay at home and self-isolate until you receive further instructions from the Addenbrooke's Hospital Occupational Health or Infectious Diseases teams, in accordance with Public Health England (PHE) guidance

If you prefer, you may request a PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 using the NHS website. However, if you use our dedicated testing service, you may receive your result faster. Please do not request more than one test.


Your test

Before the test

When you call Addenbrooke's Hospital Occupational Health, a nurse will discuss your symptoms and, in most cases, book you a PCR (swab) test for the virus that causes coronavirus: SARS-CoV-2.

You will be offered a test at one of two locations:


During the test

The test involves taking a swab from your nose and throat.

This type of test (antigen) checks whether you have COVID-19 at the time the swab is taken. There is another type of test (for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies) which checks whether you have previously been exposed to the virus. We do not offer that type of test, which is not yet widely available.

After the test

If your test is positive, you will be called by the Infectious Diseases team from Addenbrooke's Hospital. If your test is negative, you will receive an email or text message from Addenbrooke's Hospital Occupational Health. Please continue to self-isolate until you receive your result, which will be available within 48 hours of the test.

Any staff member who tests positive will be invited to take part in important research that is being conducted at the Cambridge Institute of Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Disease, which is aimed at helping us better understand and treat COVID-19.


About the testing scheme

The PCR (swab) test we use was developed in collaboration with the Public Health England (PHE) laboratory at Addenbrooke's Hospital, and all results are integrated with the hospital system and reported to PHE. We have already tested more than 5,000 Addenbrooke's Hospital staff, with and without symptoms.