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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update for staff – 2 June 2021

Dear Colleagues,

We are enjoying the second week of our Festival of Discovery and seeing our campuses coming alive with activity has been a real joy. Now that the weather also seems to be improving, once again our campus spaces begin to feel vibrant and alive. Please do get involved with some of the remaining sessions if you can, and once again a huge thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to make the Festival possible.

You can find out more about what’s still to come over the final days of the event at www.exeter.ac.uk/festivalofdiscovery/.

Returning to work on campus - update

Our official guidance for returning to our campuses will be shared over the coming weeks. On Tuesday 15 June a guidance pack will be shared with managers, followed by guidance for colleagues on Thursday 17 June. Managers will continue to have conversations with their teams to ensure any circumstances which may impact a return to campus are understood and we hope the new guidance will help to support these conversations.

College and Services Executive Teams have also been working closely with their teams to determine a phased approach for returning to on-campus working. Some teams may work in a blended way in the future with some time spent on campus and some continued home working. Others may be able to continue to work from home full time, and there will be teams where working on campus is vital, particularly to power up our research activities and as more students return. We also recognise that for some colleagues already working on campus, your circumstances will not change. 

We know that whilst some colleagues want to return as soon as possible, others may feel anxious about coming back. We recognise that this is another significant change in the way we work and are mindful of this as we continue to develop our approach for returning to campus. Our planning continues to be in line with the Government roadmap and all activities and University buildings have been risk assessed as COVID-19 secure.  For anyone with concerns, we have a range of wellbeing support in place and we would encourage you to speak to your line manager so that they can support you. 

Don’t forget to pick up COVID-19 home test kit

You can now test yourself regularly in your own home by collecting a home test kit from our collection points on our Streatham, Penryn and St Luke’s campuses.

For students in Cornwall, you’ll need to book a time to pick up your kit from the Penryn Sports Centre or Falmouth Camus Reception. For students in Exeter, there are a number of collection points where you can drop in and collect your kit – please check the website for collection points and opening times.

If you haven’t taken a test before, please book three tests at your nearest test centre before collecting your home test kit. This will ensure you understand how to take your test and get the most accurate result.

You must report your home test results to the Government’s online LFD result registration. Details on how to do this and what to do if you test positive, can be found on our testing website.

Remember, if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, the test you need is different. Please contact our Rapid Response Hub to book your HALO/PCR test. For more info on testing and FAQs, visit our testing website.

COVID-19 case numbers

The overall rate of positive results on our campuses and across the region remains very low, and once again there have been no positive cases on our campuses over the last 7 days. The University compiles data provided by Public Health England and HALO to produce statistics on the number of confirmed positive cases for students and staff. The latest data can be found on our COVID-19 statistics web page. For the week beginning 31 May, the number of positive cases was 0.3.

Can you volunteer to help the vaccination programme?

The Exeter mass vaccination programme is still seeking volunteer Marshals and Stewards to support the important work of vaccinating local people at NHS vaccination centres. If you are interested in volunteering, there are links available on our website along with further information for staff who wish to volunteer and details of how the University is supporting this important part of the national and local response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Your wellbeing

You can find and access a wide range of wellbeing information, tools and support at www.exeter.ac.uk/staff/wellbeing, including a self-care section, tips for helping someone else, links to peer support and useful resources for working safely at home during COVID-19. The mental health support page has a full list of resources that are available for common wellbeing concerns, including stress, anxiety, depression, work-related problems, grief and worries caused by COVID-19.

Best wishes

Mike

 

Mike Shore-Nye
Registrar and Secretary