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Table 2 Illustrative quotes

From: How do we engage people in testing for COVID-19? A rapid qualitative evaluation of a testing programme in schools, GP surgeries and a university

Theme Quote
1. What made people engage with the testing programme?
 Communication I would say that communication-wise from school to parents to communities - it has been strengthened… Our head teachers have been incredibly good with communication. ID46 School staff, Focus Group
Firstly, I didn’t know what it was about. Then when I got the newsletter, it told me all about it and when it told me all about it, I was feeling more confident and more calm. ID50 School pupils, Focus Group
 Community We know that we are keeping everyone healthy….It’s about our whole community, we are all in this together. ID50 School pupils, Focus Group
We have a WhatsApp group.. Its been good in that people have been like ‘I have some glitches and stuff, I have, you know, or I’m late to deliver’.... I didn’t actually see the message on my phone [test result], it was more that I heard that other people had received their message on their phone.... we have that WhatsApp group and people are quite active on that. ID03 GP staff, Interview
When they [the children] had all the activities, they absolutely loved that and [it] helped them to understand a lot better what’s going on around them. They loved the story, the mask, the glitter and [it] made them understand what’s actually going on. ID46 School staff, Focus Group
 Convenience It’s quite easy. The instructions were really clear, so I understood it. ID54 Parent & Child, Interview
It’s good that you can just walk up to campus and drop it off, and you know very quickly what the result is. ID72 University students, Focus Group
2. How could engagement with the testing programme be improved?
 Building trust People are a little bit wary that samples of their saliva, their nose cells, their cheek swabs are being kept. ID83 University student, Interview
I wouldn’t want to share any data with Test and Trace at all. ID10 Decliner, Interview
 Extra support for testing positive I think my primary concern would be, obviously everyone I’ve come into contact with and then also income... a lot of student work is casual and obviously I can’t be furloughed and sick-pay isn’t the best with casual contracts. ID63 University students, Focus Group
They [NHS Test and Trace] were ringing, you know, nearly every single day, saying you need to stay home. Constantly ringing, constantly, literally. ID68_School parent, Interview (Child with Positive result)
 Increasing accessibility If they live a little bit further out they’d have to take public transport to get to campus which is obviously putting themselves and others at risk … to drop off. ID80 University students, Focus Group
 Practical improvements With the labelling I did just double check it as I wasn’t sure whether to stick the label over the existing label on the pot, or write it on in pen. ID44 University students, Focus Group
The only not so successful bit for us was my three year old really struggled to provide enough [saliva] so unfortunately we couldn’t get him part of the testing programme but that was more the logistics of getting a three year old to spit. ID43 University students & staff, Focus Group
But it’s been a case of collating the packs for staff, you know, using our time to do that. Creating emails for internal staff to say actually we are going to summarise the booklet … it’s been a bit time heavy. ID09 GP representative, Interview
3. What were the impacts on participants of engaging with the screening programme?
 Reassurance My partner’s grandparents live quite close by. Being able to do the test and know that we didn’t have it on the day that we then went to see them and could give them a hug, was an amazing thing. ID15 University staff, Interview
It is a huge reassurance. This empowered parents to be able to make decisions about whether to send their child to school. This head teacher has volunteered to advise other schools entering the programme to iterate how amazing this programme is in keeping communities safe, and ensuring the continuity of education. ID92 Senior school representative, Interview
 Pride I thought it [the testing programme] was a good idea and it’s an honour to be part of a test trial for what could help the world. ID49 School pupil, Focus Group
We’re really grateful for being involved and it’s been a real privilege. I had a conversation with [member of staff] this morning and again they thanked me for organising it. ID90 Senior school representative, Interview
It’s given an example to the local community of the benefit of having research-intensive, quality university on their doorstep. You can imagine ‘what’s the university ever done for us?’... The University has received letters particularly from schools that are a part of Phase II, just saying how much they welcome the role the University has played in making them feel safer. ID94 Senior University representative, Interview
 Environmental impact The other thing that came back from my team that they thought about was the amount of plastic that was part of the pack and no way really to recycle it. Using quite a lot of plastic as part of the process was one of the not so positive things I think. ID43 University students & staff, Focus Group
 Increased chance of infection You have got to actually touch a receptacle to put the bags in [at the drop-off point] and there was no gel or wipes or anything close by and they [friend] were a bit panicky and had to use their own stuff. ID47 University students & staff Focus Group
 Feelings of anxiety I would panic if I tested positive because I have asthma… With all the [reports] I hear, I would be intubated. I would die. That would be the end of my life. ID43 University students & staff, Focus Group
 Cultural beliefs There is language barrier at our school as well. … Yesterday we were on the verge of finishing this lovely programme, we got the translation letters. … We’ve got Urdu, Pashto, Romanian, Somali, Polish, Bengali, so we have these six translations. I think that will make a difference for next week and increase the uptake of the programme. ID46 School staff, Focus Group
In, especially Hong Kong right now its quite scary. If you have the saliva test or swab test right now the testing company or the government might get your DNA. Some of my friends are quite concerned about this part but because I just had to explain to them that the UK is different, they treat privacy very seriously. I try to tell them and reassure them but they are quite worried because in Hong Kong they are scared about the DNA or that the samples are being sent to China.But the UK might still have possibility to have accidental leaks if there are like other situations from airline companies, they have glitches in the system, some privacy just leaked out. …. Some freshers coming in this year, they are quite worried about the situation as it’s been a long-standing issue there. ID48 University students & staff, Focus Group