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Rapid Response Hub - last updated 27 April 2022

Our Rapid Response Hub provides information on everything relating to COVID-19. If you have any queries or want to know what to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms, please contact the team using the details below.

Whichever campus you're on, you can either email us on: rapidresponsehub@exeter.ac.uk, or call us on: 0300 3034847

Please continue to inform us if you have tested positive using the below forms: 

If you fall into one of the below groups and you have symptoms, you are currently able to book a HALO test on our campuses - for Exeter colleagues and students, you can book this using our online form. For colleagues and students in Cornwall, please email the Rapid Response Hub - rapidresponsehub@exeter.ac.uk

  • Healthcare students on placement who cannot access placement tests (to comply with different settings)
  • Students who have direct contact with practicing clinicians or who are accessing clinical settings who cannot access tests (to comply with different settings)
  • Field trip testing for travel (to comply with different settings). There is further guidance being created for field trip leads to help work through the criteria and this will be disseminated via the Director of Education and Student Support. Field trip leads can find details of how to access testing on our COVID-19 travel web page.
  • Those who are involved with face-to-face human participant research both on and off campus if there are vulnerable participants and/ or researchers.
  • Those in voluntary roles where setting policies are in place but who are unable to access testing (e.g. care sector)

If you have any questions, whichever campus you are on, please contact our Rapid Response Hub 

If you feel unwell, particularly with symptoms of a respiratory infection,  you should try and stay at home and avoid contact with other people. More details can be found on the Government website

It is important that we continue to take steps to prevent the spread of infection. Not only is this important for controlling COVID 19, but it will also help us to reduce other types of infection, leading to a healthier place for everyone to study and work.  For this reason, if you are unwell we ask that you stay at home and continue to maintain good personal hygiene – cleaning hands, touchpoints, opening windows where required and wearing a face covering in shared indoor spaces. 

Free COVID-19 tests will continue to be available to protect people who are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, and eligible for treatments, if they develop symptoms. Free tests will also continue for NHS and social care staff and those in other high-risk settings. Free testing for the general public has now ended as set out in the Government’s 'Living with Covid' plan.

The following groups will be eligible for tests:

Symptomatic Testing

  • Patients in hospital, where a PCR test is required for their care and to provide access to treatments and to support ongoing clinical surveillance for new variants.
  • People who are eligible for community COVID-19 treatments because they are at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19. People in this group will be contacted directly and sent lateral flow tests to keep at home for use if they have symptoms as well as being told how to reorder tests.
  • People living or working in some high-risk settings. For example, staff in adult social care services such as homecare organisations and care homes, and residents in care homes and extra care and supported living services, NHS workers and those working and living in hospices, and prisons and places of detention (including immigration removal centres), where infection needs to be identified quickly to minimise outbreaks. People will also be tested before being discharged from hospital into care homes, hospices.

Testing for those without symptoms

  • Asymptomatic lateral flow testing will continue from April in some high-risk settings where infection can spread rapidly while prevalence is high. This includes patient-facing staff in the NHS and NHS-commissioned Independent Healthcare Providers, staff in hospices and adult social care services, such as homecare organisations and care homes, a small number of care home visitors who provide personal care, staff in some prisons and places of detention and in high risk domestic abuse refuges and homelessness settings.
  • In addition, testing will be provided for residential SEND, care home staff and residents during an outbreak and for care home residents upon admission. This also includes some staff in prisons and immigration removal centres.

Following advice from Public Health, LFD testing will also continue for smaller groups of people, who will still be able to access testing on our campuses for the immediate future. These groups are listed in the FAQ below.

Following advice from Public Health, LFD testing will continue for smaller groups of people, who will still be able to access testing on our campuses for the immediate future. These groups are:

  • Students on healthcare programmes (to comply with different settings) can access lateral flow test kits for use at home via the Government online ordering system in line with NHS staff provision. Should there be an issue receiving lateral flow tests via this route, the RRH will be able to provide an emergency source of test kits. To access these in Exeter, a pop-up collection point will be available at G18, St Lukes’ Campus from Tuesday 5 April at the following times - Tuesdays 10am – 2pm, Wednesdays 2pm-4pm, Thursdays 10am – 2pm. For healthcare students based in Truro, emergency test kits can be collected from the First Floor, KSpa Reception Monday to Friday 8am – 4pm.
  • Students who have direct contact with practicing clinicians or who are accessing clinical settings who cannot access tests (to comply with different settings)
  • Field trip testing for travel (to comply with different settings). There is further guidance being created for field trip leads to help work through the criteria and this will be disseminated via the Director of Education and Student Support. Field trip leads can find details of how to access testing on our COVID-19 travel web page.
  • Those who are involved with face-to-face human participant research both on and off campus if there are vulnerable participants and/ or researchers. Research leads should email rapidresponsehub@exeter.ac.uk with a request to access LFD home test kits for research participants and researchers who are deemed higher risk. The definition of vulnerable persons, can be found on the Government website
  • Colleagues or students in volunteer roles. For colleagues and students who require home test kits to comply with setting policies (e.g. care homes) and who cannot access these from the setting.

If you fall under one of these groups, please email rapidresponsehub@exeter.ac.uk to arrange pick up of the tests. 

There is no longer a legal requirement to self-isolate.  It is now advised that those with symptoms who have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to go to work or carry out normal activities will be advised to: 

  • Try to stay at home, avoid contact with other people and try not to attend work;
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who you know is at higher risk of becoming seriously unwell if infected with COVID-19 and other respiratory infections; and,
  • Resume normal activities once you feel well enough to do so and no longer have a high temperature if you had one.

The Government will maintain capability to enable a rapid testing response, should the situation change. The University continues to work closely with local Public Health teams to ensure we are able to provide a response to any outbreak in the future.

Current Government guidance states that for people who are eligible for community COVID-19 treatments because they are at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19, and who experience symptoms, are still able to access free testing. People in this group will be contacted directly and sent lateral flow tests to keep at home for use if they have symptoms as well as being told how to reorder tests.

If you are a healthcare/ medical student and have been in contact with a case of  COVID-19, you will not be allowed to attend your placement or any teaching that takes place in NHS facilities including Heavitree Hospital, the RILD or KSpa, unless you can meet the conditions required by the appropriate Trust. The trust or your programme will have communicated this information to you. Please do not attend until you have made sure you fulfil the conditions.

You will need to inform your course tutor or info point/hub if this applies to you.

Most infections with COVID-19 resolve within the first 4 weeks. “Long COVID” is an informal term that is commonly used to describe signs and symptoms that continue or develop after an acute infection of COVID. Depending on how long you have ongoing symptoms for, it can be called one of 2 things:

  • Ongoing symptomatic COVID This is where your symptoms continue for more than 4 weeks. If your symptoms last for longer than 12 weeks, it will then be called;
  • Post-COVID Syndrome This is where your ongoing symptoms continue for longer than 12 weeks and cannot be explained by any other condition.

If you are concerned about any of your symptoms contact your GP – they should offer you an initial consultation and provide access to any further assessments or care that they determine you need. For more information on “Long COVID” then please visit the NHS dedicated guidance.  

We are also offering a bitesize course called: Managing Long COVID in the Workplace. This course will be aimed at anyone who has an interest in the condition, including employees and line-managers. If you would be interested in this course, please register your interest here.

If you are a BMBS medical student, you can find the most up to date advice on COVID-19 here, (please note, this link is only accessible to BMBS students). 

Travel guidance

See our key information on travel for staff and students.