COVID-19 Update to all staff and students - 15 March 2020
We have several reported cases of COVID-19 in our community. We are providing the individuals concerned with all necessary support. Our thoughts are with them and we hope they will recover quickly.
Our first priority is the health and wellbeing of our community and we will take precautions and appropriate steps in line with PHE guidance. We will notify people who come in regular contact with individuals confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19 so they can be alert to any symptoms developing. If you have not been contacted by someone from the College, then you are not in this category.
Since the Government has moved from the ‘Containment’ phase to the ‘Delay’ phase, PHE guidance and testing protocol has changed.
The latest guidance from PHE:
- Anyone with a ‘new, continuous’ cough or a high temperature (37.8C or 100F and above) is advised to self-isolate for 7 days. If you do not have these symptoms you are advised to carry on as normal and you do not need to self-isolate.
- Anyone self-isolating should follow PHE stay at home guidance and do not need to contact NHS 111 online to report they are self-isolating for the first 7 days
- Symptomatic people should only contact NHS 111 online if they feel they cannot cope with their symptoms at home, their condition gets worse or their symptoms do not get better after 7 days
- Staff and students who are not able to return after 7 days should follow the medical advice provided by NHS 111 online and notify their Senior Tutor or line manager
As part of this new PHE guidance, testing will only focus on identifying people with the virus in hospital. We are expecting further guidance from Government in the coming week. We will continue to share with you all that we know, through emails and the College’s COVID-19 website. The situation is changing rapidly and everyone is understandably concerned about the uncertainty.
At this stage, our campuses and buildings will remain open for those who want to work, study or visit.
Latest guidance from College:
- We continue to allow remote working for our staff if approved by their line manager. Please refer to guidance on the webpage relating to flexible working.
- All teaching will be delivered remotely for the rest of the academic year and from Wednesday 18 March all formal written examinations will be delivered remotely or rescheduled.
- Staff should let their line manager know if self-isolating and log it in TeamSeer as a COVID-19 related absence
- Students should let their Senior Tutor know if self-isolating
- If you have an existing underlying health condition and you are concerned you should speak to your GP for medical advice. Staff should discuss with their line manager and students should speak to their Senior Tutor.
We know this is a difficult time. Please be mindful of how your actions may affect others and the importance of confidentiality and be cautious about sharing unconfirmed information.
We are monitoring the situation closely and will update you with any changes to our advice. Your support for each other throughout these exceptional circumstances will ensure the College is safe, respectful and resilient.
Alice and Ian