This Notts student is working to test people for Covid-19

She says the test doesn’t hurt.

Many students during lockdown find themselves with little to do to pass their time. Katie, a soon-to-be Notts biology grad, was one of these people. So, she found something to do in her spare time: volunteering as a Covid-19 Tester at the Boots’ Nottingham campus.

The Nottingham Tab caught up with Katie to find out more about what inspired her to get involved and what the job of a tester is actually like.

Katie with her dissertation at Highfields Park.

Katie was initially searching for a temporary job when she saw an advert for the role. Seeing as she was furloughed by the university with 100% of her normal pay, she realised that she “could do something useful instead of a job” and decided to instead apply to volunteer as a tester for Covid-19.

Katie says she is “just waiting around for exams” and, as such, “may as well get involved” in the “important cause” seeing as she is “young and healthy.”

Another part of her motivation to sign up was due to the fact her degree is in biology. “Although not directly in the field that I’ve had experience, it’s kind of linked to my degree,” she says.

Katie on her first day.

On her first day, she was tested for Covid-19 and taught how to test herself. The test procedure is a nose and throat swab and it tests for antigens. She says, it was “painless” and wanted to reassure anyone who might be “scared of going” that it “doesn’t hurt at all” despite feeling “unusual”.

She noted how the the PPE regulations are strict, adding that it was “rightly so.”

The testing facility is made up of multiple lanes and Katie says spirits are high among all the volunteers there. “Everyone is so enthusiastic,” she told.

Katie’s message to other students is as follows: “I’d say if you’re healthy and feel comfortable, then definitely look into ways that you can help local communities and bigger areas by volunteering or just helping your neighbours in a time like this.” She added that it was also very “rewarding.”