COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Latest advice and updates

Latest Update – 19th April 2022

Living with Covid – Colchester Institute

1. Introduction

This page is designed to provide information and guidance to Colchester Institute staff about the arrangements in place with regard to Covid-19, taking account of the latest Government guidance. There is no longer separate Covid guidance for colleges and schools.

This guidance applies to all staff (regardless of their role), students (including apprentices) and visitors to our campuses.

2. Is there social distancing at the campuses?

There is no longer prescribed social distancing in society and consequently there will not be social distancing rules in place at our campuses.

3. Will there be mandatory use of face coverings?

No, and this is in line with national guidance.

Staff might choose to ask students to wear a face covering, for example, when activities require staff and/or students to work in very close proximity. Of course, it will be permissible for students to decline.

Both staff and students will always be supported to wear a face covering if that is their preference.

4. In what circumstances might a staff member or a student be advised to self- isolate?

Again, this is determined by national guidance. This guidance has changed a lot and most recently from April 2022.

Below are key extracts from the latest government guidance:

• adults with the symptoms of a respiratory infection, and who have a high temperature or feel unwell, should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until they feel well enough to resume normal activities and they no longer have a high temperature.

• adults with a positive COVID-19 test result should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days, which is when they are most infectious. At the end of this period, if you have a high temperature or feel unwell, try to follow this advice until you feel well enough to resume normal activities and you no longer have a high temperature if you had one.

• children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people. They can go back to college after 3 days when they no longer have a high temperature, and they are well enough to attend. Children and young people who usually go to college, and who live with someone who has a positive COVID-19 test result, should continue to attend as normal.

The College recommends that staff, students and visitors take a common-sense approach and continue to think about how best they can protect others. If you are too unwell to work/study you should not attend College. Further, if you believe that your attendance at campus is likely to transmit illness to others, interrupting their important work and study, you should consider very carefully whether you should attend or not, and this is true for all transmissible illnesses, including Covid. Line managers will ensure the continuation of the College’s business needs and of a safe working environment, and on occasions this will involve the establishment of local arrangements to address a Covid related issue. Again, a pragmatic approach based on common sense will be taken.

5. What should a staff member or a student do if they are a close contact of someone who has Covid-19?

Staff and students who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive are not required to self-isolate.

Students and staff members who are aware that they have been in contact with a positive case may choose to take a lateral flow test to determine their own Covid status.

6. What should a staff member or a student do if they are absent from work/college for a Covid-related reason?

For staff, you will need to report to your line manager in the normal way either that you are off sick because you are too unwell to work, or, that you are well enough to work but are self-isolating and, if your role permits it, you may be able to work from home.

For students, they are to report their absences to the College in the normal way, and staff are to continue to use the range of register mark types established for the 2021-22 academic year.

7. Are any students and staff expected to continue to undertake regular self-testing for Covid symptoms?

This is no longer required. The recommendation for additional bi-weekly testing for those working in a SEND/FSL setting, issued in February 2022, has been withdrawn, and so also is no longer required.

8. Are there any special arrangements for Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) or pregnant staff and students?

If you are CEV, the advice is that you should no longer shield and instead that you should follow the same guidance as everyone else. Therefore, we will not be undertaking specific risk assessments.

For staff, if you have any concerns, we are happy to refer you to Occupational Health. Please speak to your line manager who will for advice.

Pregnant staff need to inform their line manager/HR as soon as possible and a pregnancy risk- assessment will be undertaken. Pregnant students should inform their course leader who will discuss arrangements with appropriate College managers.

College Executive 19th April 2022