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Students in Selly Oak are being given used Covid tests

‘We weren’t given any info on what to do as obviously all the tests had been mixed up’


Students in Selly Oak are being given used Covid-19 tests on Tiverton Road by Birmingham City Council.

The sealed test kits were delivered to front doors across Selly Oak by members of the City Council as part of the government’s efforts to increase coronavirus testing.

Residents realised the mistake had been made and found the distributors further up the road, who were still handing out tests.

“The tests were sealed but we obviously didn’t expect that to mean they were used”, Tasha Ashbridge, a second year medical student, told The Birmingham Tab.

Her housemate, Sophie Dunne, also a second year medic, said “this was the first at home test I had done” and so did not know what to expect. After opening the test, “I could see that they had already been completed due to snapped off swabs in the test tube and sealed bags!!”

Fortunately, the girls made the discovery before using the kit and alerted the council workers who told Sophie they “had no idea” what had happened. “When I went back to them there were loads of people at their doors saying the same thing”, she told The Birmingham Tab.

However, another student and his housemates weren’t so lucky, using the sealed kits they were given to self-test for coronavirus, the girls claim.

Tasha Ashbridge further told The Birmingham Tab: “It was obviously a mix up as they went door to door collecting them when I told them but some students had already opened the kits by then.”

It remains unclear what caused the chaos, although Sophie claims she was told by council workers that they were given the “seemingly new packages externally to distribute.

“I would have at least thought the workers would have been advised what packaging was supposed to look like in event of tampering or contamination”, she told The Birmingham Tab.

The tests were quickly recollected, although, according to Sophie, students “weren’t given any info on what to do as obviously all the tests had been mixed up.”

The girls were clearly shaken by the mistake, describing it as “such a scary thing to happen”.

The confusion comes after students on Heeley Road were approached by BBC News camera crews and members of the army, as well as journalists from Birmingham Mail. Residents were given tests to complete for the cameras and interviewed about their response to new coronavirus restrictions.

Currently, Selly Oak sits at number 27 on the list of areas with the most new positive Covid cases.

Birmingham City Council have been contacted for comment.