University College Cork (UCC) students returning to their families this Christmas will receive free antigen tests, as the university commences a programme supported by the Department of Higher Education, Research Innovation & Science.
Under the programme UCC’s 23,000 students will receive five free antigen tests. UCC ran the most successful antigen testing system in the higher education sector recently, with 1,650 students and staff participating in the ongoing Unicov project.
UCC president John O’Halloran said: “UCC continues to roll out the most successful antigen system in Ireland’s higher education sector and that is down to great team work between our students and staff. These free antigens tests are another layer to help protect each other this Christmas.”
Professor Mary Horgan, chair of the rapid testing expert advisory group, stated: “I am delighted to welcome the further rollout of antigen testing in Ireland.
“The appropriate use of antigen test alongside other public health measures is part of the government’s Layer Up to protect ourselves, our families and friends and our community.
“Now more than ever we need to use every tool to safely get us through the next few weeks.
“By protecting ourselves we protect each other.”
Asha Woodhouse, president of the students’ union at UCC added: “It’s fantastic to see this be rolled out across UCC for students ahead of the Christmas break, thanks to healthcare professionals and students’ unions who have been lobbying for this nationally.
"Rapid antigen testing is a very welcome additional measure our students can take to suppress the spread of Covid-19 and keep everyone safe”.
Upon presentation of their student identification, UCC students can avail of the antigen tests from The Hub from 10am weekdays on the main campus.
Dr Michael Byrne, head of health services at UCC, stated: “Twice weekly antigen testing by our students over the next two weeks will help limit the spread of Covid-19 over the holiday period.”