Testing advice for staff and Fellows

Please find the latest information for staff and Fellows about COVID-19 testing and how St Catharine’s College is responding to the latest official advice.

If staff have any concerns not covered by these FAQs, please contact your line manager.

If Fellows have any concerns not covered by these FAQs, please contact the Bursar (

In addition, you can access the advice that the College is providing our students with at 

How does testing work if I don't have symptoms?

We are asking all staff who work in College properties to complete a rapid lateral flow test (LFT) at least twice a week this term.

Fellows should also expect organisers for larger events in College this term (e.g. matriculation dinners) to ask all attendees to take a rapid lateral flow test (LFT) – you may be asked to provide evidence of a negative result, e.g. an official Government email or text message (triggered when you report your test result) or time-stamped photo of the test itself will be accepted. Please comply with event organisers’ requests.

You can stock up on LFTs by ordering a pack from the Government or visiting a local collection point free of charge. Please avoid ordering LFTs by post to the College as there is limited space in the Porters’ Lodge to manage this number of packages.

In addition, the University operated a successful asymptomatic screening programme last year, which will restart for our students so they can get tested every Monday from 27 September. The programme will be a key component of how we will keep our community safe and enable us to act to contain any outbreaks. We expect students to use LFTs between weekly testing and for large gatherings. We have asked students to go to collection points (rather than ordering LFTs by post to the College) as there is limited space in the Porters’ Lodge to manage this number of packages.

How does testing work if I have symptoms?

Free testing should be booked through the University's online form (use the drop down menu to select 'Staff member or student of the University of Cambridge') for:

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

4. Headache

5. Sore throat

6. Runny nose

7. Muscle aches

8. New hoarseness

9. New shortness of breath

10. A new wheeze

NHS testing is also available (out of hours) for symptoms 1–3. When you book a test, remember to follow the important steps outlined on the main FAQ about COVID-19, to help us support you and limit the spread of infections.

The University offers symptomatic tests to students, University and College staff, certain defined affiliates, and individuals who live in a household with University or College staff or students, but who are not themselves staff or students. This enhanced testing is subject to capacity. Swabs are sent to the lab the same day and results are reported a further 48 hours later – please do not phone or email for your results (in one week in September 2020, the service received in excess of 3,000 calls and emails, which causes delays in the system). Find out more about the University's testing capabilities and book a test