Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update for students - 10 March 2021
- Some areas of our campuses are a little busier this week as more students have been allowed to return. Please remember to be mindful of others, follow the COVID-19 safety measures at all times and play your part to keep everyone safe
- COVID-19 case numbers on our campuses remain low. The current 7-day rolling average of positive cases is 0.6
- Our ongoing participation in regular testing will be an important factor in any Government decision to open campuses further. To enable this to happen, and to keep our community safe, we need everyone to get tested twice a week
- We are providing a testing service at the Sports Park for Exeter College students over the next few days. Exeter staff and students are still able to get their tests in the usual way
- The Government have confirmed that students will be permitted to travel away from university once during the Easter holidays
- In the UK attacks against East and Southeast Asian people have risen during the pandemic. We stand in solidarity and support with our Asian community. Incidents of racial harassment will never be tolerated and will always be acted upon
- Your wellbeing is our priority and this week there are lots of opportunities to get connected and make your voice heard
From this week we have been able to welcome back a small number of additional students to resume limited on-campus teaching sessions. Now that more students have been allowed to return, please remember the rules around gathering outside, and be mindful of our duty to keep everyone safe.
Under the current Government restrictions you can meet outside in your households and, from this week, you can sit on a bench and have a coffee with one other person outside. It is not permitted to meet in groups outside beyond your immediate households, unless you are strictly maintaining the rules around 2 metre social distancing.
COVID-19 case numbers
The overall rate of positive results 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 07 March when the 7 day rolling daily average of positive cases was 0.6.
Book your free twice weekly tests now
We strongly expect everyone who is taking part in in-person activities or using facilities on our campuses to book free twice-weekly tests, to protect those around us and to ensure that we can continue to offer in-person activities.
If you are coming onto the campus irregularly, please get a test each time you come.
In Exeter, as well as the major test site at the Streatham Sports Hall we now have a daily testing site at St Luke’s sports hall, a weekly pop-up site at Cornwall House and a new centre at the Exeter City Football ground on Mondays and Thursdays 1.30-4pm so it should be easy to get a test wherever you are.
In Penryn, twice-weekly testing is carried out in the sports hall.
Visit the student COVID-19 testing webpages for further information and booking forms.
To give us a chance to offer more teaching, sport and society activity after Easter we need to demonstrate that everyone who has returned to Exeter or Cornwall is playing their part in keeping our community safe and is getting tested twice a week.
Play your part: Get regular tests and prevent the spread of COVID-19
Please note that over the next few days we are offering a testing service to the students of Exeter College. We will therefore be welcoming large numbers of Exeter College students to the Sports Hall testing site. We are managing this in a socially distanced, COVID-19-secure way so it is safe for University staff and students to continue to get tested, with a dedicated queue and flow of tests. The Sports Hall test centre is open from 8.00 – 9.00am before the Exeter College students programme starts. Staff and students can also take advantage of testing at our other sites if they wish.
IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19, YOU MUST SELF-ISOLATE AND 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.
Travel during the Easter break
The Government has published updated guidance for students regarding the upcoming Easter break.
A ‘travel window’ has been created to allow students to travel away from university and back to their term-time accommodation once during their Easter break. At the University of Exeter the Easter break is from the end of the Spring Term on Friday 26 March until the beginning of the Summer Term on Monday 26 April.
The Government guidance states that students will be allowed to travel away from university for the Easter break, if they choose to do so. This includes International students who are allowed to travel overseas in order to return home during the Easter break. However, in order to minimise the transmission of COVID-19, Government strongly advises students to remain in their term-time accommodation where possible, especially those students who have returned to resume in-person teaching from 8 March.
Where students do choose to travel away from their university, they should get tested before they travel and are encouraged to take a test before they return to university, where community testing facilities are available. Anyone who tests positive is legally required to self-isolate for 10 days and must not travel.
Those travelling overseas must complete the Government Declaration Form for International Travel before leaving the UK. You should also consider carefully the testing and quarantine requirements for returning to the UK before travelling. Please be aware that travel restrictions could change while you are overseas. You can find more information on our Travelling to University from overseas webpages.
Students returning to university must get tested as soon as they arrive back, and should resume twice-weekly testing thereafter.
Visit the student COVID-19 testing webpages for further information and to book your tests.
I know that this will come as welcome news to many of you, especially those who resumed in-person teaching in January. However, the guidance stresses that we must keep travel to an absolute minimum and, if it is possible for you to do so, you are encouraged not to travel.
Stop Asian Hate
As an institution which is striving to be actively anti-racist, it is important that we make it very clear once more that we stand against racism and bigotry in any form. The UK has seen the number of attacks against East and Southeast Asian people rise during the COVID-19 pandemic and we want to ensure that our Asian community know that we stand with them in solidarity and support, and that incidents of racial harassment towards them, or any other members of community, will never be tolerated and will always be acted upon. We take an active stand against this, as we do against all forms of racism and prejudice. We expect our entire community to uphold our values around equality, diversity and inclusion and strive to be part of the most compassionate institution possible. Our full statement and ways to seek support can be found here.
Get Connected and make a change!
The Students’ Guild Get Connected campaign continues to provide events for all interests to keep you involved and engaged. The next few weeks feature mind reading, Zoom ballroom dancing and the forthcoming Harry Potter Quiz with Warwick Davis
Meanwhile in Cornwall, now is the time for future change-makers to speak up and be heard. Nominations are open in The SU’s Student Voice Elections. Students can put themselves forwards for a range of roles, including Course Rep, Student Council, and NUS Delegate. The SU are also running an all-student survey with a cash prize of £300.
Please remember as always that we have a range of wellbeing support available to you. Do familiarise yourself with these and don’t be afraid to get in touch, even if just for a supportive conversation.
I want to thank you once again for everything you have done together, to abide by the COVID-19 guidelines and, in doing so, to keep our community safe.
Registrar and Secretary