Revealed: These UoB students actually reused the used tests they were given

‘It’s shambolic’

Used Covid tests were distributed in Selly Oak yesterday evening and then used again by students who were unaware they’d already been used.

Before the council tried to reclaim the tests, several students in one house had already reused the swab for their own sample.

The students are now isolating in case of cross-contamination.

Third-year David Lewes told The Birmingham Tab that he and four housemates used the tests before the council came to recollect them after realising the mistake.

“There were these guys who said they were from Birmingham City Council, dropping off test kits around Selly. They said they would be back in 15 minutes to collect the tests,” David told The Birmingham Tab.

When trying to do the test, David said: “I couldn’t unseal it and it was difficult to do the test in general, the ear bud was already snapped”. Having not previously seen a home test kit, they assumed it was fine and took the test anyway.

The council then came to the house to recollect the tests after being notified a mistake had been made by second-year medic student, Tasha Ashbridge.

“We had all done the test, all five of us, we had resealed the tests and put them back and they [the council] arrived again,” David told The Birmingham Tab. The housemates were asked by the council if they had used the tests to which they responded yes and the council took the tests back.

David and his housemates told the council they were concerned as “there were no leaflets but they said no, everything’s fine and they took the tests and left.”

“The council didn’t tell us what happened on the night,” David said, only that “a mistake had been made but they were trying to rectify it.”

David and his housemates only found out what had happened later on Facebook via Tasha’s post in Fab N Fresh, warning people that the tests had already been used.

Upon finding out what had happened David told The Birmingham Tab, there was a “huge amount of distress, it’s very emotional, we just felt essentially violated” and “one of us threw up we were so worried.” The housemates say they “got advice from a doctor, calling 111 and we’re self-isolating now.”

David told The Birmingham Tab, “it’s shambolic” and “a nightmare”.

David and his housemates have now spoken to the council who have issued an apology, however they told The Birmingham Tab “an apology is the least we expect.”