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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update for staff – 5 May 2021

Dear Colleagues

In total this week, 227 examinations are scheduled involving 16,824 individual sittings. My huge thanks to all those colleagues who are working hard to deliver the exams over the coming weeks.

Please remember that the Guide to Online Examinations for Academic Personal Tutors is available for all colleagues who want an overview of examinations and how they are taking place. If any student encounters issues during a live examination, please direct them to the Assessment Helpdesk for further help.

We expect to receive further guidance from the Government concerning the return of all remaining students to in-person activities, which may be possible from the 17 May. We will update you as soon as we have any further information.

In the meantime, work continues on the Festival of Discovery which is planned to take place from 24 May to 4 June. The Festival will give students and staff an exciting opportunity to join a programme of on-campus academic activities as well as programmes from the Students’ Guild and Students’ Union, in a COVID-19 safe environment. We will share more details over the next few weeks.

Please continue to follow the COVID-19 restrictions that remain in place, and observe the hygiene measures that remain critically important for us all – HANDS. FACE. SPACE. FRESH AIR. Remember also that regular testing remains vital if we are to make further progress and see additional easing of restrictions.

COVID-19 case numbers

The overall rate of positive results on our campuses and across the region remains very low. The daily numbers of confirmed positive cases for students and staff can be found on our COVID-19 statistics web page. Data is available up to 2 May, at which time the 7-day rolling daily average of positive cases was 0.4.

Returning to campus? Get COVID-19 tested to keep everyone safe

It is still critical that everyone coming to our campuses gets tested as soon as possible and then regularly twice a week, every week. It’s even more vital now as we have worked so hard together to reduce transmission in our University community. We want to ensure this continues as more colleagues and students return to campus and more in-person activities become possible. If you are returning for one-off activity, please ensure you get tested at one of our test centres before your activity begins.

If you receive a positive test result, let us know via the form online. Further information can be found on our dedicated student COVID-19 testing website.

To say thanks to everyone getting tested, we’re giving away vouchers at all of our test centres – book your test now, or if you are on the Streatham Campus, drop in to the new testing pod in the Forum and you could grab a free coffee.

Home testing or testing off campus

If you take an LFD or PCR/HALO test either at home or in any other testing facility and the result is positive, please let us know immediately by contacting the Rapid Response Hub.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, the test you need is different

Remember, if you develop COVID-19 symptoms, such as a high temperature, new continuous cough or a loss of taste/smell, you must self-isolate and request a HALO PCR test through our Rapid Response Hub

Wellbeing support

Don’t forget that support is always available if you need it, with a range of resources, information, tools and support available on our Staff Wellbeing website.

Next week is Mental Health Awareness Week (10-16 May), this year with the theme 'Nature'. I hope you will be able to take some time to engage with some of the activities and to talk to colleagues and friends about how spending time outdoors can help us all to feel well and build our resilience.

Thank you once more for everything you are doing to keep each other safe, and to support each other through the final term of this extraordinary year.

Best

Mike

 

Mike Shore-Nye
Registrar and Secretary