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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs

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    Information for students, staff and Fellows concerned about coronavirus (COVID-19)

    If your question is not answered below, please do speak to your Line Manager or your Tutor.

    The University and Colleges are cooperating closely with Public Health England (PHE). New information relevant to the University and Colleges is published on the University website.

    General information

    How can I protect myself against COVID-19?

    • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Dry your hands using an air dryer or disposable paper towel.
    • Catch all coughs and sneezes in tissues, and dispose of the tissues in a bin as soon as possible.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
    • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever or cough.

    What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

    Common symptoms include: fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties.

    What should I do if I become unwell and believe I have been exposed to COVID-19?

    Please use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service in the first instance. 

    If you are unwell you should not go to the Porters' Lodge, visit the College Nurse or visit a GP, pharmacy or hospital.

    Travel guidance and advice

    The Foreign and Commonwealth Office currently advises British nationals against international travel unless it is essential. This advice is under constant review and you can keep up-to-date here.

    What are travel corridors?

    Coronavirus regulations mean that you must self-isolate for 14 days if you arrive in the UK from a country outside the common travel area.

    The UK government is satisfied that it is now safe to ease these measures in England and has introduced travel corridor exemptions for some countries and territories. You may not have to self-isolate when you arrive in England, if you are travelling from one of the countries or territories listed on this page.

    Accommodation

    I have left College but my possessions are still in my room. Can I collect them?

    Communications were sent to all students about how to collect their belongings. Please contact Accommodation for further information.

    Are my belongings covered by insurance?

    Block possessions cover is in place to cover Fire, Theft and Flood.
     
    You may have suddenly left your accommodation to return home; as a result, you may not have taken all your possessions with you. To support this, the un-occupancy exclusion of 60 days has been waived and student possessions will be covered under the policy for an unlimited period of time during the policy period. 
     
    When travelling back home, you may be carrying important items. As an additional benefit, students will be covered in transit against theft for up to £500 per bag of possessions, within the UK. 
     
    If your possessions are in secure storage, please be reassured that cover for these items will still apply in storage. 
     
    If you are having to move into temporary accommodation, the block policy will provide full coverage for you during the time of stay. 

    What should students who are renting privately do?

    If you are renting accommodation privately (not from College or the University), you will have a contract or licence with your landlord. You should comply with this contract; paying rent and giving notice as required. You should contact your landlord if you feel you need to shorten the rental period for any reason. You should still heed the advice from PHE on whether it is better to be in Cambridge or elsewhere, and you should follow the advice on self-isolation and social distancing.

    The College remains responsible for supporting you, so please complete the census if you are anywhere in Cambridge. Anyone who is in difficulty should contact their Tutor. In particular, please let us know immediately if you are self-isolating or unwell.

    What facilities in College are available for students in residence?

    The Dome is currently open from 12:00-13:00 Monday to Friday. There are no hot options but there are sandwiches, fruit, frozen meals, crisps and chocolate available for purchase. 

    The Porters' Lodge is still operational, and many services including tutorial, nursing and pastoral support continue to be available remotely, via working from home.

    However, all indoor spaces have been closed in College, including the JCR and MCR, the College Library (although online services remain available as advised by the Librarian), the computer room, the College bar and the College gym. Re-opening will be considered as soon as Government advice permits this.

     

    Academic matters

    I am a postgraduate research student. Can I return to Cambridge to continue my research?

    Recent changes to government guidance on moving home means that postgraduate research students who wish to move back to Cambridge may now do so. Please let your Tutor and the Accommodation Office know as soon as possible if you are intending to return, even if you do not require College accommodation. This will allow us to offer you practical advice on matters such as COVID-19 testing and to plan for an orderly return for those who do require College accommodation.

    The University has put together the protocol and guidance for postgraduate research students (PhD and MPhil) who are returning to Cambridge, and who intend to take up College accommodation or use College facilities in the coming weeks. The guidance is available on the University website:

    In addition, we have produced our own guidance (which should be read in conjunction with University guidance) for students returning to College accommodation, and for those using College facilities. This guidance covers:

    • College accommodation
    • Provision of key College services 
    • Community, study and social spaces around the College
    • Visitors in College
    • Pastoral and wellbeing matters

    How will I know if there are any changes to my course for the 2020/21 academic year?

    During the 2020/21 academic year, teaching will be delivered through a blend of in-person and online provision.

    In light of COVID-19 and government guidance, changes have been made to some courses to ensure they deliver the best possible education in the circumstances. These changes are detailed on the relevant Faculty or Departmental webpage and can be found via links here.

    I am an undergraduate and I have questions about changes to my course. What should I do?

    If you have questions or concerns about any changes to your course, please get in touch with your Director of Studies.

    I am a postgraduate and I have questions about changes to my course and/or research. What should I do?

    If you have questions or concerns, please contact your Faculty or Department. 

     

    College library

    Is the College library open?

    The library and IT suite are closed. However, library staff are still operating a remote enquiry and support service via the library email: library@murrayedwards.cam.ac.uk between 09:30 and 17:00 Monday to Friday. We hope to answer all enquiries within 24 hours.

    Can I get a book/item out of the College library?

    While the College library is closed, it is not possible to borrow physical books/items. Please use iDiscover (the library catalogue) to search for electronic versions of the books/items you require.

    There is no electronic version of the book/item I want on iDiscover. How can I get access to the book/item I need?

    It may still be possible to get electronic access to the books/items you want through other e-resources that have been made freely available to students at this time. You may wish to try the following options:

    • Textbooks on Cambridge Core – all 700 textbooks across all subjects on Cambridge Core have been opened up until the end of July. You can access the textbook collections here. These e-books should also appear on iDiscover searches.
    • EBSCO eBook Academic Collection has now been subscribed to by the University. There are 195,000 ebook titles covering a wide range of subjects and many publishers.
    • Medical students have access to key online textbooks until 31 August, via Elsevier’s ClinicalKey Student platform.
    • IMAIOS e-Anatomy and vet-Anatomy have now been added to the list of permanent databases, all available via the Databases A-Z.
    • JSTOR: An extra 35,000 titles have been added to the JSTOR platform until 31 August. Remember to click on 'Book chapters' in the left-hand column after doing a keyword search to narrow the results to books.
    • Lyell Collection (Geological Society Publications) until 30 September.
    • Manchester Hive ebook collections is now available until 31 August. See this blog post for what is available.
    • Oxford Handbooks subject collections have been purchased in perpetuity for Cambridge registered users. This purchase adds to the considerable backfile of handbooks already available to the Cambridge community via Oxford Handbooks Online
    • Oxford Medicine Online. Access to Oxford medical titles has been extended to 2 September.
    • For Oxford University Press titles, try Oxford Scholarship Online.
    • Other publishers have also opened up their collections via Project Muse.  
    • Members of the University now have access to more e-books via ProQuest Academic Complete. These e-books will soon appear on iDiscover searches.
    • Proquest One Literature is an update to the LION database (Literature Online). It contains primary texts, ebooks, historic literary criticism, full text journals, videos and dissertations.
    • Springer Mathematics and Statistics 2015-2020 collection is now available until 31 December.

    For further information about ebooks, please see the ebook LibGuide.

    If you are unable to access the platforms, please remember that you may need to log in using your raven username and password.  Logging in to each platform may be slightly different.  If you are unsure how to do this please email the library team and we’ll take you through it. If you are still unable to locate the book/item you want, library staff can request that an e-book be bought by the ebooks@cambridge team. Please email library@murrayedwards.cam.ac.uk.

    Can I still get interlibrary loans?

    The Interlibrary Loan team is able to offer a limited service to current University of Cambridge students and staff only. They are only able to obtain articles/chapters from items that are held electronically via the "BL on demand" service and from some other UK libraries where available. This is a free service. Please complete the online form (no payment or registration required) or email ill@lib.cam.ac.uk for further assistance.

    How can I get access to electronic journals and databases?

    A databases A-Z LibGuide for e-resources, e-books, and journals has opened up for the COVID-19 outbreak period. It is available here. The page is updated with new e-resources as access is opened up by a publisher or as the access is arranged.

    I am having problems trying to get onto the electronic resources. Can you help?

    Yes. Please email library@murrayedwards.cam.ac.uk and library staff will be happy to assist you. If it is not possible to solve a query by email, library staff can arrange phone or virtual appointments to help.

    I am struggling to find articles/resources for my dissertation. Can you help?

    Yes. Library staff can set up a phone or virtual information skills session to assist you searching online databases. Please email library@murrayedwards.cam.ac.uk to arrange an appointment.

    I need to access films for my studies. Are there any online film packages available?

    The University now has access to the following online film resources:

    • Art films is a video streaming service that offers more than 5000 films for arts education and arts practitioners. Available until 30 September.
    • For more film resources see the film LibGuide.

    What music scores are available?

    Please refer to the Music LibGuide for their changing recommendations for music scores.

    Can I access theses and dissertations online?

    Theses and dissertations can be accessed electronically via Cambridge's institutional repository, Apollo, and through various other online portals, such as EThOS. Please refer to this LibGuide for guidance about other platforms which provide access for theses and dissertations worldwide.

    Can I request books on iDiscover

    It is no longer possible to request books on iDiscover. All active requests have been cancelled.

    I have books/items on loan from departmental library and/or the University Library. Where can I find information about returning these books/items?

    Cambridge University Libraries (CUL) are working collaboratively with College libraries so that students may leave all library material at the most convenient location, their College.   

    If you come back to College to collect your belongings, you can return borrowed items from any of the following libraries:

    • College library
    • University Library
    • Faculty/Departmental libraries

    There will be book bins in the walkway adjacent to the College library and College library staff will return your items to the correct library for you.  Alternatively Final year students may wish to post their items back to the College Library or wait until their local restrictions have lifted and they are able to return to Cambridge to bring back their library items. If you choose to post items back, College library staff will return your items to the correct library for you.

    You may find that items you have returned remain on your library account for some weeks, but please be assured they will be removed as soon as it is possible for library staff to return to their buildings.   

    If you are not a final year student, you are welcome to keep any items that are currently on loan to you until the start of Michaelmas Term. 

    For other questions about borrowing from departmental/faculty libraries or the University Library please see 'Borrowing from Cambridge Libraries'.
     

    I have books/items on loan that are due back, how do I return them?

    If you are not a final year student, you are still welcome to keep any items that are currently on loan to you until the start of Michaelmas Term.  

    If you notice a book on loan from Murray Edwards College library has not been renewed and is overdue to please email us at library@murrayedwards.cam.ac.uk. There will be no fines for overdue items at our library this term.  

    Please note, students who are able to return to College to collect their belongings can now return borrowed items from any of the following libraries at College:

    • College library
    • University Library
    • Faculty/Departmental libraries

    There will be book bins in the walkway adjacent to the College library and College library staff will return your items to the correct library for you.  

    Alternatively, final year students may wish to post their items back to the College Library or wait until local restrictions have lifted and they are able to return to Cambridge to bring back their library items. If you choose to post items back, College library staff will return your items to the correct library for you.

    You may find that items you have returned remain on your library account for some weeks, but please be assured they will be removed as soon as it is possible for library staff to return to their buildings.   
     

    Is the library still offering wellbeing activities during the summer vacation?

    Yoga with Valerie will continue on Fridays at 15:00 on Teams. Other wellbeing and craft activities may be offered on an ad-hoc basis, so please keep an eye on our social media channels for more information.  

    How can I keep up to date with what the College library is doing?

    Library staff will be updating all users via our social media channels. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

    Health, wellbeing and self-isolation guidance

    Should I stay at home/in your room if I have COVID-19 symptoms?

    You should stay at home/in your room for 10 days if you have either:

    • A high temperature – this means you feel hot to the touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature).
    • A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours.

    Please use the 111 coronavirus service for more information.

    If you are a student, you must email or call the Porters' Lodge if you believe you have symptoms of COVID-19 – do not go along in person. Please note that revised Public Health England guidance now requires all 'household' contacts to also self-isolate for a period of 14 days starting from the first onset of symptoms in the group. 'Household' in a College context is defined as those sharing the same kitchen, bathroom or toilet. Further PHE guidance is available here.

    If you are a member of staff or a Fellow, please see the separate section below.

    What is self-isolation?

    Public Health England has published a blog post explaining what self-isolation is and why it is important.

    I think I need to self-isolate. What should I do?

    Please use the 111 coronavirus service in the first instance. 

    If you are unwell you should not visit anyone. This includes the Porters' Lodge, the College Nurse, a GP, pharmacy or hospital. You should remain at home/in your room and use the NHS111 online coronavirus service.

    If you need to self-isolate, please email your Tutor and the Porters' Lodge (if you are a student in College) or your Line Manager (if you are a member of staff) or the College Administrator and the Senior Tutor (if you are a Fellow) and await further information.

    If I stay in College and fall ill, what help will the College be able to provide?

    The College will not be able to provide routine nursing care. Students who live alone without shared facilities will have to self-isolate in their rooms. However, it is important to note that revised Public Health England (PHE) guidance now requires all 'household' contacts to also self-isolate for a period of 14 days starting from the first onset of symptoms in the group. 'Household' in a College context is defined as those sharing the same kitchen, bathroom or toilet. Further PHE guidance is available here.

    How does Government advice on social distancing work in a College environment?

    A 'household' in a College context is defined as those sharing the same kitchen, bathroom or toilet. This is an important factor when interpreting Government advice, especially where this refers to members of the same household.

    Current government guidelines stipulate that you should continue to avoid close contact and remain socially distant from anyone not in your household.

    The College gardens should be used responsibly and are no longer open to non-College members or visitors.

    Can friends visit me in College?

    All College-owned accommodation and facilities, including the gardens, are closed to non-members while the current UK Government advice on social distancing remains in force. This means that you should not host visitors in your room or in the College grounds unless they are members of your existing 'household'. The advice is intended to reduce the overall level of human interaction and thereby slow the spread of infection. Hosting visitors from outside the College brings unnecessary risk of infection to members of your household, other College members and staff, as well as to yourself. Remember of course that contact with friends online is always possible.

    I am remaining in Cambridge and I think I am more vulnerable to COVID-19. What should I do?

    Check the current PHE advice on vulnerable persons to see if your health condition does make you more vulnerable to COVID-19. A subset of these more vulnerable people are at greater risk of very serious COVID-19 related illness. Check here to see if this includes you.

    All students who consider themselves vulnerable to more serious disease are encouraged to confidentially make themselves known to the College Nurse, their Tutor or the Senior Tutor. Vulnerable students who find themselves in a household isolation situation should take specific advice from the College Nurse, their Tutor or the Senior Tutor. If in doubt, please ask for advice and call NHS111 if necessary.

    Can I volunteer to be a Self-Isolation Supporter (SIS)?

    An important element of self-isolation will need to be provided by Self-Isolation Supporters (SIS).

    In the event that a student needs to self-isolate, they will be allocated two SIS whose role will be to ensure close verbal or social media contact with the self-isolated individual. The aim of the SIS is to help the self-isolator obtain things they need – especially food – and to keep in touch with them during their period of self-isolation.

    Please note: there is no medical responsibility involved, and no physical contact with the self-isolator is expected – just a willingness to communicate with the person self-isolating to ensure they have what they need.

    If you are interested in volunteering to be a SIS, please get in touch with the Senior Tutor.

    I am stressed and anxious about COVID-19. Where can I get support?

    We recognise that some members of the College community may be feeling concerned about COVID-19 for a variety of reasons.

    If you are worried about COVID-19, we encourage you to get in touch with your Tutor, Director of Studies, the Senior Tutor or the College Nurse, or in the case of College staff, with your Line Manager or HR. They will be able to provide helpful guidance and support.

    In addition, the University Counselling Service is putting in place arrangements for counselling by telephone for appointments already made, and will be developing these plans.

    The University also has a page on its website dedicated to student wellbeing. This page contains a lot of helpful advice and links to further resources. 

    In addition, rehab4addiction has produced a guide about guarding mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    I am experiencing financial hardship. Can the College help?

    If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of travel and other arrangements made in response to COVID-19, please get in touch with your Tutor in the first instance. You should also explore the University's Special Hardship Fund for the COVID-19 situation. Please note: applications for the University's Special Hardship Fund require you to have researched College or other hardship support, and you are expected to have filled in the relevant field on the application form to have confirmed this.

    Information for staff and Fellows

    What should I do if I think I have symptoms of COVID-19?

    Please stay home, and notify your Line Manager or if your Line Manager is not available then HR (hr@murrayedwards.cam.ac.uk / 01223 769404). If you are a Fellow, please contact the College Administrator.

    If you are in College, please notify your Line Manager from a distance and go home. To avoid risk of infection to others you should not use public transport or taxis. You should either drive home, or wait for a household member to collect you where applicable. 

    You should contact NHS111 online who will provide you with a self-isolation form in the event that they believe you have symptoms of COVID-19, which you should forward to your Line Manger to forward to HR. 

    If you do have symptoms COVID-19, you should self-isolate for the period of time stipulated by the UK government, currently 10 days i.e. stay at home and not be in contact with anyone outside of your household. 

    If you are in a role that can work remotely, and you are well enough to do so, you should continue to work from home. 

    If your symptoms become worse during the 10 days, you should follow the guidelines on NHS111 online

    Please keep your Line Manager (if you are a member of staff) or the College Administrator (if you are a Fellow) aware of any changes that you are having to make as a result of guidance from NHS111. Your Line Manager or the College Administrator may ask you to identify any other College members with whom you have had contact over the past 48 hours. 

    It is especially important that, in the event that you test positive for COVID-19, you (or someone on your behalf) let your Line Manager and / or HR know as soon as you can. If you are a Fellow, please email the College Administrator.

    If, after 10 days, your symptoms are better, you can return to following the government guidelines for those not needing to self-isolate.
     

    What if someone in my household or with whom I have had close recent contact has symptoms of COVID-19?

    Please stay home, and notify your Line Manager or if your Line Manager is not available then HR (hr@murrayedwards.cam.ac.uk / 01223 769404). If you are a Fellow, please contact the College Administrator.

    If you are in College, please notify your Line Manager from a distance and go home. To avoid risk of infection to others you should not use public transport or taxis. You should either drive home, or wait for a household member to collect you where applicable. 

    As per advice from Public Health England, you should self-isolate for 14 days i.e. stay at home and not be in contact with anyone outside of your household. 

    If you are in a role that can work remotely, and you are well enough to do so, you should continue to work from home.

    If you develop symptoms during the 14 days, you should follow the guidelines on NHS111 online.

    Please keep your Line Manager (if you are a member of staff) or the College Administrator (if you are a Fellow) aware of any changes that you are having to make as a result of guidance from NHS111. Your Line Manager or the College Administrator may ask you to identify any other College members with whom you have had contact over the past 48 hours. 

    It is especially important that, in the event that you test positive for COVID-19, you (or someone on your behalf) let your Line Manager and / or HR know as soon as you can. If you are a Fellow, please email the College Administrator.

    If, after 14 days, you have no symptoms or your symptoms are better, you can return to following the government guidelines for those not needing to self-isolate.

    What can I do now to help the situation?

    Ensure your Line Manager (if you are a member of staff) or the College Administrator (if you are a Fellow) have up to date contact details for you, and if possible the contact details of someone else that we can contact if we need to. 

    For anyone working in College, it would be helpful if you have a household member that you could nominate to come and collect you should you develop symptoms of the virus at work. 

    At all times, follow government guidelines on how to conduct yourself. 

    Do I have to wear a face covering on the College premises?

    In line with current government guidelines, you are required to wear a face covering when you are in the public areas of College and when you cannot keep two metres from others around the College grounds. Public areas include but are not limited to: the Porters' Lodge, the Dome, accommodation areas, corridors and walkways, and meeting rooms.

    The University and Colleges joint statement on face coverings

    If you have any questions or if you are exempt from wearing a face covering, please contact HR.

    What constitutes a face covering?

    The government sets out the following on its website: "In the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, a face covering is something which safely covers the nose and mouth. You can buy reusable or single-use face coverings. You may also use a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering but these must securely fit round the side of the face."

    More information is available here.

     

    COVID-19 testing 

    As a member of staff, can I get tested for COVID-19?

    Yes. All University of Cambridge and College staff with symptoms of COVID-19 are able to get a PCR swab test.

    As a University of Cambridge student, can I get tested for COVID-19?

    Yes. All students currently resident in Cambridge who have symptoms of COVID-19 are able to get a PCR swab test.

    What does the test involve?

    This test involves a simple nose and throat swab that should take less than three minutes. It will tell you whether you are infected, helping you protect yourself, your family, friends and colleagues, and the wider Cambridge community.

    How do I know if I should get tested?

    Anyone experiencing fever, cough, a change in sense of smell/taste, or any other 'flu-like' symptoms such as sore throat or muscle aches should get tested.

    I am a member of staff, how can I get tested?

    If you develop any of the symptoms listed above, please call Addenbrooke's Hospital Occupational Health on 01223 216767 (08:30 to 16:30 Mon-Fri), stating that you are a University/College staff member. A nurse will discuss your symptoms and, in most cases, book you a PCR test. 

    You should inform your Line Manager immediately. In accordance with Public Health England (PHE) guidance, it is important that you stay at home and self-isolate until you receive further instructions from the Addenbrooke's Hospital Occupational Health or Infectious Diseases teams.

    You will be offered a test at one of two locations:

    • S2 Testing Pods, Addenbrooke's Hospital – 08:30-17:00 Mon-Thurs and 08:30-13:00 Fri. Accessible by car, or bike while wearing a mask. If you are already on the Biomedical Campus, you can access the pods on foot while wearing a mask.
    • Dyson Building, Department of Engineering, Fen Causeway entrance – 08:30-14:45 Mon-Thurs. Accessible by car, or bike/foot while wearing a mask.

    You will be asked to show your University or College Card before the swab is taken. 

    Directions to both sites can be found here.

    I am a student, how can I get tested?

    If you develop any of the symptoms listed above, please call Addenbrooke's Hospital Occupational Health on 01223 216767 (08:30 to 16:30 Mon-Fri), stating that you are a student at the University of Cambridge. A nurse will discuss your symptoms and, in most cases, book you a PCR test. 

    You will be offered a test at one of two locations: 

    • S2 Testing Pods, Addenbrooke's Hospital 
    • Dyson Building, Department of Engineering, Fen Causeway entrance 

    What should I do after I've been tested?

    If your test is positive, you will be called by the Infectious Diseases team from Addenbrooke's Hospital. You should inform your Line Manager immediately and self-isolate at home. 

    Any staff member who tests positive will be invited to take part in important research being conducted at the Cambridge Institute of Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Disease. This research is aimed at helping us better understand and treat COVID-19.

    If your test is negative, you will receive an email or text message. 

    Are there any other ways I can get tested?

    If you prefer, you may request a PCR test using the NHS website. Please do not request more than one test. 

    Do the tests check if I've had COVID-19 already?

    No. PCR tests check whether you are infected at the time the swab is taken. To check whether you have previously been infected, you would need to test for COVID-19 antibodies – these tests are not yet widely available, so are not currently being offered to staff.

    As a member of staff, what should I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

    If you test positive for COVID-19, please self-isolate at home for the period stipulated by the UK government, currently 10 days. You should also inform your line manager.

    I am a line manager. What do I have to do if one of my team tests positive for COVID-19?

    As a line manager, you are not expected to conduct formal contact tracing. Contacts of the staff member testing positive should be called by the NHS test and trace service within 72 hours of the positive test result.

    Nonetheless, to minimise the risk to other staff members, we recommend that you immediately:

    • Identify other staff members who have been exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace as 'close contacts' of the staff member testing positive
    • Ask them to work from home for 14 days
    • Direct them to this government website containing advice for contacts of individuals testing positive for COVID-19

    Where working from home is not possible, staff members who have been exposed to COVID-19 should not return to the workplace for 14 days.

    Do the actions above apply if a member of staff has COVID-19 symptoms but has not received a positive test result?

    No. The actions above should only be considered in the event of a staff member testing positive on a COVID-19 test, not on the basis of symptoms alone or the suspicion of COVID-19.

    When a staff member develops symptoms of possible COVID-19 infection and requests a test, they are advised to self-isolate at home while awaiting the result. Close contacts of these staff members should not be quarantined during this period, only in the event of a positive test.

    What is a 'close contact'?

    A 'close contact' is any individual who has been exposed to the staff member testing positive within the timeframe when they were likely to have been infectious. For staff members testing positive with symptoms, this timeframe ranges from 48 hours before the onset of symptoms to seven days after the onset of symptoms. If the staff member testing positive had no symptoms (for example, if they were tested as part of an NHS screening programme) this timeframe is less well defined. In practice, we recommend a timeframe ranging from seven days before the positive test result to seven days after the positive test result.

    The following are considered to constitute exposure:

    • Face-to-face contact of less than two meteres distance for more than 15 minutes
    • Physical contact
    • Having unprotected direct contact with infectious secretions, for example, being coughed on

    The use of face coverings by either the staff member testing positive or their close contacts is likely to reduce but not eliminate the risk of transmission. As such, the use of face coverings should not be used to determine whether or not a significant exposure has occurred.