Participation programme is another step towards our overall contribution as a community to doing what we can to reduce the spread of Covid-19
Waterford Institute of Technology’s antigen pilot programme is running for four weeks from Monday, 25 October 2021.
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD had announced that Waterford Institute of Technology is one of the campuses which will participate in the extension of rapid antigen testing pilots in third level this autumn.
An antigen test can be used to detect the virus that causes COVID-19 that can be done by an individual at home or at work and gives results within 15 minutes.
The pilot programme will see WIT staff and student volunteers take a number of antigen tests over a 4-week period (two mornings per week, three to four days apart) and fill in the results each time at the HSE ‘Report your Antigen’ website.
The antigen pilot programme is a joint initiative between the HSE, the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.
The aim of the pilot programme is to see how antigen tests could be used to help identify COVID-19 infections in third level education and the early learning and childcare sector.
Dr Derek O’Byrne, Registrar and Vice President for Academic Affairs at WIT welcomed the institute’s participation.
“Waterford Institute of Technology has contributed in any way it can over the last 18 months in the response to the pandemic emergency. From the work of our researchers to the use of the WIT Arena as a vaccination centre, to reducing on campus footfall where possible, to each student signing up to a Covid-19 Charter, our community have played a huge part already. As we return to on-campus course delivery, participation of eligible staff and students in this voluntary pilot programme is another step towards our overall contribution as a community to doing what we can to reduce the spread of Covid-19.”
Volunteers asked to 'commit to the process'
Volunteers collected their self-tests prior to 22 October and have been issued instructions and help resources by email.
Institute Nurse Elma Clancy assured volunteers that “Each participant will be provided with a video link on how to complete the test correctly and how to interpret their results. The main thing we ask is for volunteers to commit to the process. The test will take five minutes to complete, and you can read the results after 15 minutes. The test is painless, but it may be a little uncomfortable, you will take a swab from both nostrils and follow the test kit instruction and the online resource provided to process your results. The final step is adding the results to the HSE online portal.”
Paula Rochford, Compliance Officer Waterford Institute of Technology Students' Union said, “We would like to thank all WIT students who have signed up to take part. We believe that this pilot programme will make our campus safer for all of the community here in WIT, if anyone has any questions or queries we are more than happy to help them in whatever way we can and are delighted to be a part of this programme.”