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Coronavirus (COVID-19) | Latest guidance and advice

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Monday 16 March

Update from the University

The University management has decided to suspend all teaching for the week, from today (Monday 16 March), and begin online teaching from Monday 23 March.

Although there will be no classes on campus this week, the campus will continue to remain open and essential services will still be provided.

We will be sharing specific information with all students on how to use and access your learning online so please keep checking your emails and look out for this guidance.

The wellbeing of our students will always be our number one priority and we hope you understand this measure has been taken as we believe this is best for our community.

Further information will be shared with you later today, so please continue to look at your emails. We will provide as much help and support as possible to all our students.

 

Thursday 11 March

Coronavirus/COVID-19 confirmed a pandemic by World Health Organisation.

We will share messages and information from the University as it becomes available.

Useful links

Tuesday 10 March

Update from the University on 9 March

"We are committed to a proactive and transparent approach to communicating with you about the evolving Covid-19 coronavirus situation, so we are providing you with an update.
 
Public Health England have notified us that a second individual associated with the University has tested positive for Covid-19.  The person is currently self-isolating off campus and, as you would expect, the University is in close contact with PHE about this case.
 
PHE have reconfirmed with us that we do not need to put in place any special measures or to change the running of the institution, so the campus continues to be open as usual.
 
Our highest priority is the health and wellbeing of our students and staff. That is why we have been stringently planning for a variety of scenarios, which you will have seen from our previous emails and communications. We have also ensured that there is a very good flow of information between the University and health authorities to support this.
 
For now, all staff are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the information on our coronavirus web pages, which includes links to NHS advice on health and hygiene and government guidance on travel.
 
We will continue to keep you informed so that we can all take proactive steps to prepare and respond."

 

Useful links

 

Friday 6 March

Update from the University on 5 March:

"We are very aware that staff and students at Sussex will be interested in the emerging Coronavirus situation, as media coverage has increased and the implications on what this may mean, are shared by the Government and health professionals, in the UK and around the world.
 
The University has been sharing information regularly on the dedicated web pages for staff and students and we ask that you take time to read them. 
 
This includes advice on when to self-isolate following travel from certain countries, and a very useful self-isolation online guide from NHS 111.  You can also access good hygiene advice from the National Health Service (NHS).
 
We also want to make you aware that Public Health England (PHE) has informed the University that an individual associated with Sussex has tested positive for the virus, following travel overseas.  However, as this person has not visited Brighton or our campus since travelling, PHE has confirmed there is no need for any special measures and that campus activities should continue as normal.
 
It’s important to keep this information in perspective as it is being shared in the spirit of openness and transparency that the University wishes to continue to foster.  At the present time, staff and students are advised to go about their day to day business as usual whilst continuing to take the basic Coronavirus precautions as advised by the government which you can view on the NHS website.
 
The NHS has provided the following information on how to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus:

Do -

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • Always wash your hands when you get home or to work
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

Don’t -

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

It is likely that over the coming days and weeks there will be many people associated with the University (who are on and off our campus) who will be tested for the virus, and in some cases based on the current predictions may receive a positive result.  The World Health Organisation (WHO) report that most people who test positive experience mild symptoms.
 
As you would expect, the University is stringently planning for a variety of scenarios. This work is being led by senior members of staff and is focused on the safety and wellbeing of our community.
 
To date, the University has:

  • Followed all official guidance and disseminated all relevant information to staff, students and visitors
  • Established a senior-level Covid-19 steering group, to monitor developments, prepare and action the University’s response for all scenarios
  • Cancelled any University travel to affected regions, in line with the latest advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)

Our scenario planning is looking at a range of matters including:

  • Working from home, sick leave and caring for others – policies and practical arrangements (such as technology)
  • Delivering core functions – such as food, security, medical and health – in the event of campus closures or part-closures
  • Delivering and assessing teaching and other key institutional activities
  • Extending or making changes to the academic year

The University will continue to be proactive and transparent in ensuring that all students and staff are made aware of any Coronavirus (COVID-19) developments on our campus.  Currently, we have no cases of the virus on campus, and the University remains open as usual.
 
All students, staff and visitors to our campus should continue to follow official guidance, which you can find here:

  • For health advice, visit the NHS
  • For the government’s response, visit PHE
  • For information on travel, visit the FCO

We will of course communicate at the earliest opportunity if there are any significant developments to share with our community.

We know this might be a worrying time for some and it is important to talk to those around you about your concerns.
 
However, please know the University is doing everything that it can to respond and prepare and that there is a very good flow of information from the relevant health and sector bodies."

Useful links

 

Update on Tuesday 25 Feb

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

On 24 February, due to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in certain countries the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has advised against all but essential travel to Daegu and Cheongdo in South Korea.

Additionally, the FCO is advising against all travel to Hubei province in China and all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China.

In Wuhan, China the FCO is advising non-residents that they are allowed to leave if they test negative for the virus.

There are currently no other travel restrictions to any other country / territory as a result of the Coronavirus risks. However, if you are about to travel you should view the FCO’s country specific advice here.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and Public Health England (PHE) have also issued guidance for people who have returned to the UK from the following countries / areas:

  • Iran
  • Specific lockdown areas in Northern Italy as designated by the Government of Italy (This includes the isolation of 10 small towns in Lombardy and one in Veneto)
  • Special care zones in South Korea as designated by the Government of South Korea (including Daegu and Cheongdo)
  • Hubei province in China (having returned within the last 14 days)

If you have visited these areas and returned since 19 February 2020, you should call NHS 111 and stay indoors and avoid contact with other people even if you do not have any symptoms.

New advice has been given for those returning from the following countries / areas by the DHSC and PHE:

  • Northern Italy (defined by a line above, and not including, Pisa, Florence and Rimini)
  • Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Myanmar
  • China
  • Thailand
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia
  • Macau

People who have returned from these areas since 19 February and develop symptoms such as a fever, shortness of breath or a cough, however mild, should stay indoors at home and avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS 111.

You do not need to follow this advice if you have no symptoms.

There are no cases of the Coronavirus at the University, and we will continue to keep students and staff informed of the latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) information and guidance via:

The Student Coronavirus information page.

Also

"As you would expect, the University is closely monitoring the coronavirus issue.

It is likely that over the coming days there will be many people living in the UK who will be tested for the virus, as medical professionals work hard to manage the virus. The University will be providing support to students and staff who may have concerns and that will always remain our number one priority.

If there is any information to share, in relation to anyone in our community testing positive for the virus, we will inform our staff and students at the earliest opportunity.

The University has stringent plans and procedures in place to deal with all eventualities and we are following all the advice and guidance from Public Health England in this regard.

Please remember, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus amongst our students and staff."

 

Update on Monday 17 Feb

The University has said:

"A student on our campus was recently admitted to hospital for tests (Monday 10 February). It has been confirmed they do not have coronavirus.

It is likely that over the coming days there will be many people living in the UK who will be tested for the virus, as medical professionals work hard to manage the virus. The University will be providing support to students and staff who may have concerns and that will always remain our number one priority.

If there is any information to share, in relation to anyone in our community testing positive for the virus, we will inform our staff and students at the earliest opportunity.

The University has stringent plans and procedures in place to deal with all eventualities and we are following all the advice and guidance from Public Health England in this regard.

Please remember, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus amongst our students and staff."

See https://student.sussex.ac.uk/coronavirus for latest advice and updates from the University.

 

Update on Monday 10 Feb at 4.30pm

The University has just sent the following email to all students:

'An update on Coronavirus

Dear all students,

We want to let you know that today a student on our campus has been admitted to hospital, to be tested for Coronavirus.  The student involved had returned recently from overseas and unfortunately started to feel unwell.  They took the wise decision to inform health professionals at an early opportunity and we will soon know the results of any tests.

We know that some students and staff will be aware that an ambulance arrived on campus this afternoon and so we wanted to make sure you are aware of the situation, to avoid speculation.  The University is following all the practical steps as outlined by Public Health England and is in touch with fellow students of the young person involved.

We are very conscious that this is a difficult time for our student and we are concerned at making sure they are supported.  We also please ask that we all continue to support each other during this time, particularly our students from overseas who are feeling a long way from home at the moment and at times vulnerable.

We know this is worrying for our community, especially as there is a focus on Brighton in the media.  Please know that our teams are following all advice and have been planning over the past week for all eventualities.

We will keep you updated with information as and when it becomes available.  As always, if you can’t find the information you require here please email HealthSafety@sussex.ac.uk, if you have a question/concern on this issue.

Kind regards,

Internal Communications'

 

Update on Friday 7 Feb:

Following latest reports of coronavirus in Brighton, we suggest that concerned students keep an eye on the Gov.uk site and Public Health England (PHE) for updates, information and advice.  

The University has released the following statement: 

“We are very sorry to hear that a third person is now receiving treatment for Coronavirus and we wish them a full and swift recovery.  This person is not a student or member of staff at the University of Sussex.  We would like to offer our full support to our neighbours across the city.”

As your Students' Union we encourage all students to be mindful and supportive toward their peers, particularly those who have ties with China and other affected countries and may be finding this a challenging time. 

Useful links

 

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