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, and tests 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.

The University of Essex supports and strongly encourages, staff and students, who are eligible, to take the COVID-19 vaccination when available.

Testing

During the Autumn term we will be offering a symptomatic testing service at all three of our campuses. 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

Colchester

During October 2022 only we will be offering supported COVID-19 testing for students and staff on campus displaying symptoms in our clinic located next to Everything Essex (Post Office) on square 4.

If living or working off campus and displaying symptoms of COVID-19,  you can contact covid19@essex.ac.uk providing your address and request a test be posted to you.

Southend and Loughton

Students and staff displaying symptoms of COVID-19  can contact covid19@essex.ac.uk providing your address and request a test be posted to you

Vaccination

The Coronavirus vaccination is now available and as university students we want to support you to get vaccinated in order to protect yourself, fellow students and the campus community you live and study within.

Research shows that vaccines:

  • reduce your risk of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19
  • reduce your risk of catching or spreading COVID-19
  • protect against COVID-19 variants

NHS Ask the Expert event

In December we held a virtual Ask the Expert event for Health and Social Care students with staff from NHS North East Essex. Watch a recording of the event to find out more about the local vaccination programme.

Vaccination clinics

Colchester

We have a vaccination clinic available on campus on Wednesday 26 October for anyone yet to have 1st, 2nd, 3rd doses or booster. Please note that staff and students aged 50+ are now eligible to receive the booster. To book an appointment please email our COVID-19 inbox at covid19@essex.ac.uk providing the following information:

  • The campus you are studying on
  • Number of vaccine doses you have received so far (regardless of the country of origin)
  • The name of the vaccine you have received
  • The date of your last vaccine

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.

Vaccine verification

If you have you had a COVID-19 vaccine outside of the UK and want to get this verified to create your NHS COVID pass, Colchester campus is hosting a Vaccine Verification clinic on 26 October. You can book an appointment by emailing our COVID-19 inbox at covid19@essex.ac.uk but must read the requirements below prior to attending.

This clinic will enable the NHS in a face to face appointment securely check your identify and vaccination evidence to update your vaccination records and from this the COVID pass can be generated. The clinic will be able to verify 4 approved vaccine types only: Astra Zeneca (Vaxzevria), Pfizer (Comirnaty), Janssen and Moderna (Spikevax). Face-to-face appointments are necessary to ensure that evidence can be matched with a passport or UK Driving Licence and properly validated.  If they cannot confirm your identity or vaccination documentation, they will be unable to update your record.

You must therefore attend in person and have the following for your appointment:

  • Passport or UK Driving Licence as photographic ID
  • Your NHS number
  • Evidence of the vaccination to be recorded, such as a vaccination card or certificate (See requirements below).

The types of vaccination evidence required are a Vaccination card (typically issued when a dose is received), Vaccination post-event email/notification that includes name and the vaccine type information Vaccination certificate (electronic or paper) Vaccination records and certificates from any country can be accepted. To enable this, the evidence will need to provide the following information:

  • Government or site name of where the certificate was issued
  • Name of individual who received the vaccination
  • Date of vaccination for each dose
  • Vaccine product name/brand
  • Number in a series of doses (i.e. 2/2 etc.)
  • Country in which vaccination took place

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 student 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 our 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 covid19@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 and continue to carry out twice weekly COVID testing
  • Wear a face covering
  • Wash hands regularly and wipe down touched surfaces with cleaning wipes or products

At Colchester campus, Essex Food offer a 5 day self-isolating meal package available for students to purchase. You can also order food delivered via Tesco Click and Collect (guidance for completing this available by emailing covid19@essex.ac.uk). Collection must be from the following locations:

  • The Meadows next to the Spar Mini Store – collections can be made on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 8am – 10am.
  • South Courts in Car Park B - collections can be made on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 11am -1pm and 3pm – 5pm.

Southend students living in University Square, should get shopping or takeaways delivered to the reception area.

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