Keeping safe on campus

 

With national COVID infection levels reducing, and with the NHS offering antibody and antiviral treatments to people with coronavirus (COVID-19) who are at highest risk of becoming seriously ill, Government COVID restrictions have come to an end and, as a society, we are learning to manage our lives as we move into the next phase of managing COVID-19.

Face coverings

It is a matter of personal choice whether to wear a face covering whilst on campus. This might include keeping a mask in your pocket and wearing it when others would prefer you to, for example, if they are wearing a mask and social distancing is not possible. Disposable face mask dispensers remain available around our campuses.

How to wear your face covering

Please remember face masks or coverings will only be effective if they are worn properly, covering the nose and mouth and fitted snugly, and kept clean. Make sure you change your face covering daily and wash your hands when putting it on or taking it off your face.

If you chose to wear a disposable paper mask with one blue side and one white side, the blue side should be on the outside. Once you have used the paper mask, please dispose of it in a bin. 

COVID-19 testing, vaccination and travel

Regular testing will no longer be recommended, but short-dated tests are currently available until the end of September. After this, they will only be provided by the University in exceptional cases or where a risk assessment by Occupational Health suggests that these are needed.

The University asks that anyone who tests positive stays away from campus facilities (or self-isolate on campus) whilst infectious or for up to five calendar days. Please follow the University’s advice on testing positive for COVID-19.

Symptoms and Testing

Symptoms for COVID-19 are very similar to symptoms of other illnesses, such as colds and flu and include:

  • a high temperature or shivering (chills) – a high temperature means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
  • shortness of breath
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • an aching body
  • a headache
  • a sore throat
  • a blocked or runny nose
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhoea
  • feeling sick or being sick

Vaccination

From 30 June 2023, you can no longer book a COVID vaccine. If you have not had a COVID vaccine and wish to get one, please speak with your GP. 

Vaccination clinics

Colchester

Regular vaccination clinics are available in the Colchester area on the Suffolk and North East Essex Vaccination Service webpage.

Southend

The local vaccination centre for Southend is based at the Southend Civic Centre, Victoria Avenue, Southend-on-Sea SS1 9SB. To pre-book an appointment, please call 0344 257 3961. Walk-in appointments are also available.

Loughton

The local vaccination centre for Loughton based at St Margaret’s Hospital is not available as a walk-in clinic and should be booked in advance. The address for this location is St Margaret’s Hospital, Spencer Close, The Plain, Epping, CM16 6TN

Further information about other local vaccination clinics and any popup sites are available on Herts and West Essex COVID-19 website.

Further information about the vaccine can be found on the NHS website.

COVID-19 travel information

Please follow the latest guidance from the UK Government regarding to the UK and when travelling to other countries, including the legal requirements for getting tested for COVID-19.

When you travel to England, you:

  • do not need to complete a UK passenger locator form before you travel
  • do not need to take any COVID-19 tests before you travel or after you arrive
  • do not need to quarantine when you arrive

Other countries may have rules about what you need to do to leave the country to travel to England. You should check travel advice for the country you are travelling from.

Washing hands

The health advice is clear and should continue to be followed. Regularly washing your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds is central to preventing COVID-19 transmission.

We make sure that all hand washing facilities are cleaned and checked regularly to ensure that everything is in good working order. Please report any problems to the Estates helpdesk.Estates helpdesk.Estates helpdesk.

Wiping down surfaces with detergent, sanitisers or warm washing-up liquid and then washing your hands will also help to reduce the risk of transmission. We provide anti-bacterial wipes in central areas to help you wipe down keyboards or workstations.

Wall-mounted hand gel units are located throughout the academic and administrative buildings at Colchester, Southend and Loughton and are readily available within short walking distances in each location.

Staying safe on campus

Working together

Together we need to be aware of what has changed and how we can all help protect those who may be at greater risk. Respect and courtesy for each other remains at the heart of our University community.

The full cooperation of all students with health and safety procedures is essential to maintain the highest standards and helping the University to create a safe environment for all of us. 

Staying informed

You are advised to carefully read the latest information and guidance on the COVID-19 web pages, as well as paying attention to signage and information on campus. This is important to understand the guidance and advice on personal measures that each of us should be taking.

Guidance, support and services

Our Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity ServiceStudent Wellbeing and Inclusivity ServiceStudent Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service (SWIS) is always here for you to offer you guidance, advice, and support.

If for any reason stricter social distancing measures are reintroduced, we’ll adapt our services so we can continue to offer you the support you need. You can speak with SWIS and seek support by emailing wellbeing@essex.ac.uk, or by attending the Wellbeing Drop-In service on the first floor of the Silberrad Student Centre, Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm. You can also request a remote appointment using the wellbeing appointment request form.

Services on campus

Reference guidance for our community

About our COVID-19 health and safety guidance

We are required to undertake a risk assessment of the workplace and to implement control measures to reduce COVID-19 related risks for transmission. The general health, safety and wellbeing responsibilities detailed in the University’s Health and Safety Policy remain in force.

Testing positive for COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms

If you test positive for COVID-19 or start showing symptoms we ask that you consider the following advice to help reduce the transmission of the virus on our campus.

  • Email ohquery@essex.ac.uk to report symptoms or positive test results
  • Stay/study at home if you feel unwell
  • Avoid all teaching events and stay away from all University facilities for either up to 5 days whilst the virus is known to be most contagious, or until you have a negative COVID-19 test
  • Limit contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID-19
  • Inform any close contacts that you have had over the last 48 hours since getting symptoms or testing positive, so they can be vigilant for symptoms
  • Wear a face covering
  • Wash hands regularly and wipe down touched surfaces with cleaning wipes or products
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