The University of Liège (ULiège) announces the resumption of saliva tests for its staff and students from Monday 8 February, on its various campuses in Liège (city centre and Sart Tilman), Gembloux and Arlon. The tests will be carried out using the saliva self-sampling kit developed by ULiège in the context of the health crisis.
he resumption of screening concerns staff members and students whose activities require their presence on campus. It is therefore not an invitation to travel to the campuses just to take a test. The health regulations in force at the beginning of this second semester only allow students to be present on site for practical work or laboratory activities.
As in autumn 2020, participation is voluntary, weekly, free and anonymous. Upon presentation of their ULiège professional or student badge, people receive a self-sampling kit (one every week) at one of the stands set up on the university premises, and bring their sample back on the day of their saliva collection. The samples are collected and brought on the same day to the ULiège Covid laboratory for analysis by means of a PCR test. The individual result, which can be consulted anonymously online thanks to the barcode of the sample, is available within less than 24 hours, so that a person who tests positive is placed in quarantine and no longer needs to report to the University.
As a reminder, ULiège is the first Belgian university to have organised large-scale screening of its community at the beginning of the academic year, from the end of September to the end of October 2020. The campaign had been interrupted due to the strong outbreak of the epidemic and the second containment, as well as the need to devote resources to the urgent need for follow-up in rest and care homes to protect a particularly exposed population. Saliva testing of nursing home staff in Wallonia was thus carried out by ULiège on the initiative of the Walloon government and showed excellent results.
Over the coming weeks and months, the generalised saliva tests will be a valuable tool to effectively support and monitor the different stages of resumption of face-to-face activities at ULiège and in higher education as a whole.
Screening in practice