It's wonderful to see so many students and staff on campus. To date we have been very fortunate to keep our COVID-19 infection rates low on campus. It appears that nationally the COVID-19 infection rates are on the decline and we want to thank everyone who has helped keep infections down and remind you of the measures we all need to continue to take.
There are five things you need to do:
From Monday 15 November, Essex is bringing its guidance for isolating into line with the Government guidance. The revised guidance is below, and means that people who are double vaccinated do not have to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact. Our previous approach has allowed us to keep infections low despite the heightened risk created by people coming to Essex from all over the world at the start of term.
More information about all of these measures is included below, including updated guidance about the symptoms of COVID-19 and which symptoms are more likely to be reported by fully vaccinated people. The government have also issued new guidance for pregnancy.
By working together and taking these simple actions, we can continue to keep infections down and the campus open.
Please wear a mask, they work best when we all wear one.
If you have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 infection and you have been identified as a close contact you will be required to self-isolate in line with Government guidance.
If you have been fully vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccination and are a close contact of a positive case you do not need to self-isolate, (your second vaccine must have been received at least 14 days before contact with the infected person).You are required by the UK Government to take a PCR test. If your result is negative, you are advised to take extra precautions such as wearing a mask and limiting contact with others.
We recommend you remain vigilant for signs and symptoms of COVID 19 and that you do daily lateral flow tests for 7 days. A supply of tests can be obtained from the University asymptomatic test centres. As long as your are fully vaccinated, you do not have symptoms and your tests are negative you are able to access all campus facilities and attend teaching events. Please wear a face covering.
If you test positive on any COVID-19 test or start showing symptoms you need to self-isolate for ten days from that point. You need to email firstname.lastname@example.org with your test result. Remote study arrangements are available for students who need to self-isolate, and those attending lectures remotely may not be only those formally approved for remote study.
The University is expecting everyone on our campus to wear face coverings in all indoor areas, we are asking you to wear face coverings to allow staff and students to access our campus facilities safely.
This will help to protect everyone in our community. Covering your nose and mouth with a face covering reduces the spread of droplets and aerosols carrying the virus by limiting the amount of the virus being released when you talk and breathe, helping to protect others.
We have 40 mask dispensers around the campus. Please help yourself to one if you do not have face covering with you. Masks can also be collected from any COVID-19 testing pod.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission on our campuses it is important that we keep windows open that can be opened and that mechanical air filtration units in rooms are switched on. Please bring extra layers to keep warm if you need to.
Test twice a week – on campus or at home you should continue to test even after having the vaccine as you still can contract COVID-19 without symptoms and pass the infection onto others. Test Pods have home test kits available for you to collect. Please visit our COVID-19 testing page to find out more.
It is very important that we all have the COVID-19 vaccine to protect ourselves and others from this infection if you have not had the vaccine or you are now eligible for a booster. You can book this through the NHS but we are also regularly running vaccination clinics on the Colchester campus and to date we have vaccinated over 800 students and staff during this term.
COVID-19 cases are monitored daily. If we see any increase in cases on and off campus a targeted approach will be used to risk assess and manage the situation.
While you are much less likely to catch Covid-19 if you are fully vaccinated, it is still possible. If you do catch it, you are much less likely to become seriously ill.
According to the Zoe Study the top five symptoms being reported by people who have had two doses of the vaccine are:
Research suggests those who have had one or two doses of the vaccine are more likely to report sneezing as a symptom, compared to those who are not vaccinated. If you have any of these symptoms, get a PCR test. Report your symptoms to email@example.com.
The most reported symptoms by those who haven’t had the vaccine are:
If you haven’t been vaccinated, you’re much more likely to get Covid-19, and much more likely to get seriously ill if you get it.
Further information can be found at the links below:
Director of People and Culture, University of Essex
Alix Langley joined Essex in September 2021 as the Director of People & Culture. People & Culture includes the Employee Relations and Reward team, Workplace Health & Safety and Wellbeing, Organisational Development and Inclusion, who deliver services to staff and students and are responsible for the People Supporting Strategy to 2025.