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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update for students - 10 February 2021

Dear Students,

Key points

  • We expect further guidance on the return to campuses in the week beginning 22 February
  • International travel advice has changed this week
  • Case numbers remain low on our campuses
  • All students living in their term-time accommodation should get a rapid LFD test twice a week, every week. Book your slots in advance below
  • The St Luke’s testing facility is opening 5 days a week from Monday 15 February
  • A testing centre for Lafrowda residents has opened in the Lemon Grove on Wednesday afternoons
  • Three-layer face coverings are now available to all staff and students on our campuses
  • Remember to be mindful of your wellbeing, and to consider getting involved with the many events being held across the University, which are a great way to stay connected to others

Full message

We continue to work together as a community to protect each other from the spread of COVID-19. This week our testing has continued and our case numbers have remained low. Further details on both are below, including some changes to the testing facility on our St Luke’s Campus, and advice on how to get a three-layer face covering for those who are working or studying on our campuses.

In between tests it is vitally important that we all abide by the COVID-19 guidelines. This means following the Hands Face Space rules, and ensuring you are diligent about cleaning touch points in shared accommodation. We must all avoid mixing households and be very aware of how having multiple bubbles can increase everyone’s potential exposure to COVID-19.

Social distancing remains vitally important. Please be aware of those around you, and ensure that you are enabling yourself and others to move safely whilst maintaining social distancing, for instance on pavements and in supermarkets.

We await further guidance from Government on the return to campuses, and we expect to receive this during the week beginning 22 February. We will of course update you as soon as we have more details.

You will have seen that the requirements for those travelling to the UK have changed this week. We will update our FAQs relating to international travel, but if you are in any doubt you should always check the Government’s travel advice web pages.

COVID-19 Case numbers

The overall rate of positive cases on our campuses remains 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 7 February when the 7 day rolling daily average of positive cases was 1.1.

Get regular tests to stop the spread of COVID-19 

Remember that all students living in their term-time accommodation should get a rapid LFD test twice a week, every week, to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep everyone safe. If you have recently arrived, for whatever reason, you must start the routine of getting a twice weekly test as soon as possible.

Booking is simple and the tests are free, so schedule your slots and book in advance. To book your regular tests please use the relevant form below: 

St Luke’s Campus – testing facility

From Monday 15 February, theCOVID-19 testing facility based at St Luke’s Sports Hall will be available 5 days a week. It will be open 07.45 to 10.30, Monday to Friday, whilst there is demand for this service.

For test bookings from Monday 15 February, please use the booking form below to select your time slot:

The St Luke’s test centre will also be open this week on Thursday 11 February, from 07.45 to 10.30, and there is no need to book in advance for this day.

Lafrowda Test Centre

There has been a number of positive cases in Lafrowda.  We are therefore opening a regular drop-in LFD test centre in the Lemon Grove each Wednesday, 1.30-3.30pm, from today. 

Students on placements

For students currently on placements, please continue to use the testing facilities available to you through your placement, and utilise the campus testing facilities when on campus.

Further information about our rapid twice weekly COVID-19 tests can be found on our dedicated student COVID-19 testing webpages.   

If you receive a positive LFD test result, please inform the University via the form here. This will enable us to support you whilst in isolation.

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. Testing for people with symptoms takes place at a separate site at the Lemon Grove.

Three-layer face coverings available through lockdown

During the current lockdown, we are offering three-layer face coverings, with adjustable nose bridges, to all staff and students on our campuses.  These face coverings are available for free to anyone who wants to upgrade their single layer/loose-fitting face covering. The new coverings have three layers and have a snug fit on the face which, when worn correctly with both the nose and mouth covered, will perform effectively to provide a good barrier to respiratory aerosols and small droplets.

Students can pick up face coverings from the following locations:

  • Streatham Campus:
    Forum (Forum Street, entrance to Devonshire House, and Sanctuary/Blackwell’s foyer)
    Building:One
    Peter Chalk Centre
    Old Library
  • St Luke’s Campus:
    X-Keys Café
    InfoPoint
  • Penryn Campus:
    Glasney Porter’s Lodge
    Masters suite (for Masters students only)
    ESI reception (for staff only)

Please remember to sanitise your hands before taking your face covering, and remember to queue in a safe and socially-distanced manner. 

To ensure we maximise the benefits of wearing a face covering, it’s important to put it on, wear it and remove it in a safe way. More information is available on our COVID-19 website. Search the FAQs for “face covering”.

Our wellbeing

Taking care of ourselves and each other is really important at a time like this, and one of the simple ways you can do so is regularly to connect with other people. The Students’ Guild and Students’ Union continue to run a great range of events and I recommend that you take a look and jump in, maybe even taking a chance on something that’s outside your normal comfort zone.

Last week was the Students’ Guild Wellbeing Week and the website has a fantastic range of resources, including a YouTube playlist of all the events that were hosted.

Meanwhile the Students’ Union has launched their CoLab platform which offers great opportunities to connect students to work on collaborative projects. If you’re a film-maker looking for a soundtrack, a programmer looking for a character for a game or you have an idea that could change the world if only you could get the right scientific input, CoLab is for you. They also have a range of free online events running, including a Lunar New Year Party, mindfulness and meditation sessions, and a Love Island Quiz.

To launch the University’s Future of Work spring programme and Global Hackathon, we also have our first of two Industry Leaders Forums tomorrow which feature influential alumni. These are open to staff and students. See the website to register or find out more.

Finally, please remember, if you need support, or just want to talk to someone, we can help. Check out our Wellbeing pages for all the links you need.

Best wishes

Mike

 

Mike Shore-Nye
Registrar and Secretary