University students in Cornwall are to receive rapid coronavirus testing on campus with same day results.

It is after the University of Exeter University agreed a partnership with Halo, the UK’s first commercial provider of saliva-based PCR tests for Covid-19.

The university said that the agreement will ensure rapid testing of students and staff at campuses in both Exeter and Penryn, providing both same day and next day results.

Students from Falmouth University will also be access the same testing, thanks to the two universities having a shared services provider, FXPlus.

In a statement Exeter University said: "The simple test and fast results will enable the university to both quickly reassure people with possible symptoms but who are not infected and also identify any positive cases who can then be isolated and supported to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

"The university has put in place a full suite of measures to protect the whole community including providing face coverings, digital thermometers, covid-secure buildings and protocols for staff and student behaviour."

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The saliva tests involve a simple spit sample into an approved container and the same type of RT-PCR analysis that is used for national testing.

The system is managed by an app, which records a small amount of contact information and delivers the result to the participant.

It means students can make use of a rapid testing service without having to leave their accommodation.

Participants who take tests in the morning will receive same day results, while participants in the afternoon will receive results the next day. The test results will then be fed into the national Test and Trace system.

Both universities have also set up Rapid Response Hubs for all students and staff to report symptoms and request tests. The Hubs will gather information and manage responses. Further investment has also gone into student health centres so that students will be able to get medical help if they need it.

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A spokesperson for Falmouth University said: "Much like in Exeter, we have set up a Rapid Response Team on the Cornwall campuses, which will be able to support any member of the campus community who starts to experience any symptoms of Covid.

"They’ll be ensuring quick and effective isolation and fast, reliable tests via Halo. This means we can help prevent the spread Covid-19 in the instance of any confirmed cases and provide reassurance to those who are not infected, so they can get back to work or study."

Sean Fielding who has been coordinating Exeter University’s testing plans, said: “We have been working hard to make our campuses and the communities around us as safe as possible.

"Offering rapid and reliable saliva tests is a simple way of encouraging more people to get tested and that will help us spot any potential problems early so we can take the necessary steps, working closely with local public health teams and health care providers.

"It’s a new service and we were keen to be one of the first organisations to lead this approach in the UK.”