Report symptoms and get a test

COVID monitoring form

Fill in this form if you have received a positive test result, if you have any symptoms, or if you are self-isolating for any reason. Both students and staff should use this form.

 

Information on testing during Lent Term 2021

 

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Tracking cases of COVID-19 at the University

The COVID Helpdesk is a central part of the University’s response to the COVID pandemic. The Helpdesk works closely with local and national public health teams, with Colleges and the NHS Test and Trace service, to record and monitor suspected and confirmed cases, to identify and support staff and students who test positive for COVID-19, and to deal with a potential outbreak of COVID-19.  

If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, or have a positive test result, or are self-isolating for any reason (such as being a contact), you must let your College know and fill in the COVID-19 monitoring form.

The pooled asymptomatic screening programme for students living in College accommodation is a separate process. If you test positive as part of the asymptomatic screening programme you will only need to follow the guidance on this page if you receive a positive individual test. For more details, please see the asymptomatic screening programme page.

COVID-19 symptoms

From Friday 22 January, we will be broadening the list of possible criteria for which you are eligible for a test at one of the dedicated University testing pods. The new criteria include milder, but clinically relevant symptoms.

Symptoms of COVID requiring a test by Public Health England

1. High temperature – this means a feeling of feverishness, or a measured temperature above 37.8° C

2. New cough – this means a new intermittent or persistent cough, or worsening of your usual cough (if you have one)

3. A loss or change in your sense of taste or smell, particularly in the absence of nasal congestion

If you meet one or more of the above criteria, then please see below for information on what you need to do and how to book a test.

Minor symptoms the University now tests

4. A sore throat

5. Nasal discharge or congestion

6. Muscle aches

7. New hoarseness

8. New shortness of breath

9. A new wheeze

If you meet one or more of criteria 4-9, you do no need to self-isolate, but can request a test at one of the dedicated University testing pods.

 

 

Students: Report symptoms and get a test

If you meet one or more of symptoms 1-3 for possible COVID-19, you must follow these steps:

  1. Self-isolate.
  2. Let your College know that you are self-isolating (your College will have informed you of the key contact to notify).
  3. Your household will need to isolate too. Your College will tell them this, but it makes sense for you to tell them as well.
  4. Take a test either through the University Testing Process or an NHS-approved test
  5. Complete the University’s COVID-19 monitoring form.
  6. Read the support and guidance materials sent to you by the COVID-19 helpdesk.
  7. Follow the instructions provided by your College on how to access remote teaching and learning.
  8. If you will miss face-to-face teaching, let your department and supervisor know that you are self-isolating.

If you receive a positive test result you must:

  1. Self-isolate for 10 days.
  2. Let your household know they must self-isolate for 10 days.
  3. Let your College know (even if you do not live in college accommodation) and update your test results on the University’s COVID-19 monitoring form.
  4. Provide contact details on the University’s COVID-19 monitoring form in order to initiate track and tracing.
  5. Read the additional support and guidance materials sent to you by the COVID-19 helpdesk.
  6. Follow the guidance and support given to you by your College, including the continued access to ongoing remote teaching and learning.
  7. Positive pooled results from the asymptomatic screening programme should not be reported via the COVID-19 monitoring form. But students who have received a positive pooled result may use the form to report that they are isolating. If your household receives a positive pooled result, students will be individually tested and advised how to report their results. 

If you receive a negative test result: 

  1. Let your College know your result.
  2. Update your test results on the University’s COVID-19 monitoring form.
  3. Don’t assume that you (and your household) can stop self-isolating at this point, as this may be affected by the condition of other close contacts (yours or others in your household). Continue to self-isolate and consult with your College to be given the all-clear to stop self-isolation. If you have any queries about this process please contact the COVID-19 Helpdesk on covid-helpdesk@admin.cam.ac.uk.

If you have concerns about your symptoms you should contact your College Nurse, your GP or NHS 111 (out of office hours) for advice.

You can view a diagram summarising the steps you should take as a student (PDF).

 

Staff: Report symptoms and get a test

If you meet one or more of symptoms 1-3 for possible COVID-19, you must follow these steps:

  1. Self-isolate.
  2. Inform your line manager.
  3. Let the people you live with know they must self-isolate as well.
  4. Take a test either through the University Testing Process or an NHS-approved test.
  5. Complete the University’s COVID-19 monitoring form.
  6. Read the support and guidance materials sent to you by the COVID-19 helpdesk.

If you receive a positive test result:

  1. Self-isolate for 10 days.
  2. Tell your line manager and update your test results on the University’s COVID-19 monitoring form.
  3. Let the people you live with know they must self-isolate for 10 days.
  4. Provide contact details on the University’s COVID-19 monitoring form in order to initiate track and tracing.
  5. Read the additional support and guidance materials sent to you by the COVID-19 helpdesk.

If you receive a negative test result:

  1. Let your line manager know your result.
  2. Update your test results on the University’s COVID-19 monitoring form.
  3. You may be able to stop self-isolating. Please follow the government's guidance.

If you have any queries about this process please contact the COVID-19 helpdesk by phone 01223 339514 or email covid-helpdesk@admin.cam.ac.uk.

If you have concerns about your symptoms you should contact your GP or NHS 111 (out of office hours) for advice.

You can view a diagram of the steps you should take as a member of staff (PDF).

 

How to get tested

The University offers swab tests to College and University staff and students who meet one or more of the above criteria for possible COVID-19

  • You can book your test online via the web portal. If you develop symptoms out of hours, please request a test using the NHS website.
  • Self-isolate (if you meet one or more of criteria 1-3) until you receive further instructions from the Addenbrooke's Hospital Occupational Health or Infectious Diseases teams, in accordance with Public Health England (PHE) guidance.

We can currently offer swab tests only to students, University and college staff, and certain defined affiliates, but NOT household contacts of staff and students. This is because testing capacity is limited. We therefore need to focus this capacity on directly reducing transmission within the University. This decision may be revised if greater capacity becomes available.

*All tests booked via the University or through the NHS are free of charge. All tracing of contacts will be conducted by either the University or the NHS Test and Trace system and this is also conducted free of charge.

Where can you get tested?

You will be offered a choice between tests at one of two locations: 

If you develop symptoms after the closure of the Pod on Friday, or any time on Saturday or Sunday, or cannot access either of these two locations, you can arrange a test at an alternative location using the NHS website. Please note: you will only be able to request a test via the NHS website if you meet one or more of critera 1-3 above.

Getting your test: what to expect

This video walks you through one of Cambridge's COVID-19 testing sites so you know what expect:

 

Getting your results 

Your test results will be available within 24 hours via ‘MyChart’, a web-based application that enables access to results from your Addenbrooke’s electronic record. If your test is positive, you will be called by the Addenbrooke’s Hospital Occupational Health and you must continue to self-isolate in your accommodation for 10 days from the date upon which you first experienced symptoms. Everyone else in your household group will be required to self-isolate for 10 days from that same date. You should continue to self-isolate until you receive your result but you can come out of isolation if your test is negative, as can other members of your household. 

If you receive a positive test result, you must update the COVID monitoring form and follow the instructions. This will help your College provide you with support and also allows us to fulfil our obligations to local public health authorities. 

Further advice will be given on receipt of positive and negative testing results. Your College, along with any nominated self-isolation supporters you already named, will offer support to you during this time. Refer to your College website for FAQs on this and related matters. If you are a member of staff, you should not enter the workplace under any circumstances, and ensure that you keep your line manager up to date. 

Ensure you are familiar with government advice on when to self-isolate or household isolate.

 

Information on self-isolation periods

On the 11th December the UK Chief Medical Officers' announced that the self-isolation period would change from 14 days to 10 days.

You will need to self-isolate if you or someone in your household has symptoms or has received a positive test result, including as part of the asymptomatic screening programme.

The basic principles as to the period of self-isolation are as outlined here: Stay at home guidance for households with possible COVID-19 infection

If you have symptoms or a positive test

  1. If you develop symptoms you must self-isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms.
  2. If you access a test (from the University or NHS) because you are showing symptoms, and it is positive, the start date for self-isolation is the date of the onset of symptoms.
  3. If you receive a positive test result from the asymptomatic testing screening programme you must self-isolate for 10 days from the date your individual sample was taken (NOT from the date of the pooled test). 

If you are informed you have been a close contact of someone who has tested positive

  1. If you are informed either via the NHS Test & Trace or University COVID Helpdesk that you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive, you should self-isolate for 10 days from the day you last saw the person who has tested positive. Your household does not also need to isolate unless you or someone in the household develops symptoms or receives a positive test.

If someone in your household has symptoms or receives a positive test

  1.  If you are a member of a household where an individual has either developed symptoms or received a positive test result you must self-isolate for 10 days, from the date on which that person either developed symptoms or the test sample was taken.
  2. For students self-isolating for 10 days as members of a household where there is a confirmed case, this period is not extended beyond 10 days if another member of the same household goes on to develop symptoms or receive a positive test within that 10 days.
  3. Once all members in an affected household have completed the appropriate period of self-isolation, the ‘clock’ is reset. If any new cases develop in the household after the first period of isolation is complete, members of the household will need to self-isolate according to this guidance again.

Any student who has previously had a confirmed case of COVID-19 whether symptomatic or asymptomatic must self-isolate with the rest of their household if another member tests positive. This is because it is not guaranteed that immunity is acquired through a previous infection.

If you are self-isolating as a member of your household has developed symptoms or received a positive test result, and develop symptoms yourself.

If you are experiencing symptoms, including while you are already self-isolating, you should follow the steps outlined above to report your symptoms and book a test

  1. If you are already self-isolating and go on to develop symptoms yourself, and receive a positive test, you will need to self-isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms started. 
  2.  If you develop symptoms and receive a negative test result you must still complete the initial 10 days of self-isolation.

 

Further information