COVID-19 Guidance

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COVID-19 UPDATE 

 

Welcome back to the ‘Cautious and Respectful Normal!’

We are very excited to welcome you to Shipley College over the next few weeks. We know that your experience of education over the last 18 months has been unusual to say the least and you may be wondering what the new term will bring. 

This information will help you to understand what life will be like at Shipley College, what we are doing to keep you safe and how you can help to protect your classmates, tutors and others. 

It is important to remember that attitudes towards risk and Covid-19 differ from person to person. Please be respectful and considerate of those who may wish to take a more cautious approach than you. If you are feeling anxious about coming to College, you should speak to your course tutor or student services about your concerns.

If you are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19, have tested positive or have been instructed to self isolate do not come to College. You should report your absence in the normal way - call 01274 327293, text 07860 031287 or email absence@shipley.ac.uk. Apprentices should contact the Learning Coach on 07969 686915 and adult students should contact their tutor directly.If you are well your tutor will make arrangements for you to continue with your studies.

If you develop Covid-19 symptoms, however mild, whilst on College premises or in your placement or workplace, you must let your tutor/manager know immediately, arrange to return home, self isolate and get tested. 

At all times you should follow the national guidelines for self isolation.

 

Covid-19 symptoms

The most common symptoms are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back 

  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

You should also be alert to the symptoms of the Delta variant which include headache, runny nose and sore throat.

 

Mixing and Bubbles

Restrictions around social distancing have changed. If you are 18 or under you will probably have been in a ‘bubble’ in order to limit the number of people you mix with. If you are an adult and/or apprentice you will likely have attended College remotely or been required to socially distance in the classroom. 

Bubbles are no longer required, and staff and students of any age are no longer required to practise social distancing. 

We do ask however, that you limit the number of unnecessary interactions that you have and that you minimise time spent in close proximity to others to what is absolutely necessary.

All College facilities, including the canteen, the Learning Resource Centre and gym will be open for use with reduced capacity where necessary. Please follow the advice of staff about how to use these spaces safely. 

 

Tracing close contacts and isolation

Contact tracing will mainly be handled by NHS Test and Trace. Staff and students should report positive cases to College.

The rules around self isolation were relaxed on 16th August: 

  • Adults who have been fully vaccinated (2 doses) are no longer required to self isolate if they are identified as a close contact but should get a PCR test. There is no requirement to self isolate whilst awaiting the results of the PCR test.

  • Adults who are not fully vaccinated will continue to self isolate if identified as a close contact.

  • Students under the age of 18 are no longer required to self-isolate if they are contacted by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case but will be given age appropriate testing advice.

  • Students who turn 18 will be treated in the same way as under 18s until 6 months after their 18th birthday to allow them the opportunity to get fully vaccinated. After this point, they will be subject to the same rules as adults and so if they choose not to get vaccinated, they will need to self-isolate if identified as a close contact.

  • Students who have taken part or are taking part in an approved Covid-19 vaccine trial or are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons will not be required to self isolate if identified as a close contact.

You should continue to consider the risks of close contact with others, particularly if you are clinically extremely vulnerable or not yet fully vaccinated. Just try to minimise close contact wherever possible.

 

Testing 

Students on Study Programmes (usually 18 years and under) 

If you are on a Study Programme you will be invited to take two onsite tests as you start College. The first will take place w/c 30th August and you will get a letter telling you the date and time of your test. The second will take place in induction week with your class. 

If you are unable to attend or you enrol after the main enrolment period, you will be given an LFD test kit and asked to test at home and report your results to College. You should have tested negative immediately before attending classes onsite.

Staff and students over 18 years old (and students on programmes starting before 6th September)

You should take two LFD tests, 3-5 days apart prior to coming to College for the first time in the new academic year. The second of these tests should be taken immediately prior to returning to College for the first time. For example, if your first day in College is Wednesday 8th September, you should take one test on Tuesday 7th and one more on either Thursday 2nd, Friday 3rd or Saturday 4th September. 

 Ongoing testing

You should then continue to test at home twice a week and report your results to the College until further notice. You can collect LFD test kits from College.

Please register your results using this link www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result. We also ask that you register your results with the College.

*We have a single bay testing facility in College for any student or staff member who is unable to conduct tests at home. Appointments are available on request by emailing covidtesting@shipley.ac.uk

 Positive test result

If you have a positive LFD test result you must self-isolate in line with the stay-at-home guidance. You will also need to get a free PCR test to check if they have COVID-19. Whilst awaiting the PCR result, continue to self-isolate. If the PCR test is taken within 2 days of the positive LFD test, and is negative, it overrides the LFD test result and you can return to College, as long as you don’t have COVID-19 symptoms. If the PCR test is positive then you must self isolate as per the national guidance.

If you develop Covid-19 symptoms, however mild, you must self isolate and get a PCR test.

 

Vaccinations

The College strongly recommends that all eligible staff and students take up the offer of the vaccine.

The Covid-19 vaccine has now been approved for young people aged 16 and over and we encourage students to take up this offer at their earliest opportunity. 

There will be an onsite vaccination clinic at College for students prior to the start of the autumn term (1st, 2nd and 3rd September) and if you are enrolled to a Study Programme you will receive a letter inviting you to attend for your vaccine when you come in for your Covid test. Your letter will include details about the vaccination programme and will provide contact details if you have further questions. If you have already had the vaccine then you should not attend this appointment but should still attend for testing. You do not need to have parental permission to get the vaccine but you may wish to discuss this with parents/carers first. See the vaccination information leaflet here.

 

Face coverings

The College promotes the wearing of face coverings in communal areas such as the canteen, corridors and toilets at busy times including the start of the day, break and lunchtime. This is because you will be coming into contact with people you don’t usually mix with on your course. 

Face coverings should still be worn on public transport when travelling to College. If you are able to walk or cycle to College rather than take public transport we encourage you to do so.  

If you would like to wear a mask at other times, such as in your classes, you are welcome to do so. We recognise that some students and staff are exempt from wearing a face covering. 

Can we please remind you about good mask hygiene:

  • avoid touching the front of your face covering during use or when removing it 

  • dispose of temporary face coverings in a ‘black bag’ waste bin (not recycling bin) 

  • if removing a reusable mask for any reason it should be stored in a resealable plastic bag 

  • wash your hands before and after putting on or removing your mask

 

Placements / workplace

When on placement or in the workplace you should make sure you are familiar with their risk assessments and follow these. If you have any concerns you should raise these with your manager/supervisor or otherwise with your tutor.

The College encourages students to have the vaccination. It should be noted that Health and Social Care placements will require students to have had the vaccination. The law states that all HSC workers have to be first vaccinated by September 16th 2021. The full vaccination (2 jabs) becomes mandatory when this enters into law on November 11th 2021.

Students on Childcare courses are also encouraged to be vaccinated as they will be working with young children. Placement providers have the right to only take vaccinated students. Therefore, vaccinations are encouraged by the College and those who choose not to get the vaccine may not be able to meet the requirements of the course.

 

What we are doing to keep you safe:

  • Implemented one way systems throughout most buildings and routes

  • Reduced capacity in shared areas like the canteen

  • Undertake regular cleaning of the buildings

  • Blocked open doors to reduce the risk from door handles and provided cleaning products next to high touch points such as vending machines, door openers and photocopiers

  • Increased ventilation in the buildings by opening doors and windows

  • Using CO2 meters to check ventilation levels

  • Providing an onsite test facility for younger students to take 2 tests in College as they return to College

  • Providing sanitiser/wipes at entry and exit points and at stations throughout the College including classrooms and offices

  • Permitting staff and students to wear a face covering if they feel more comfortable

  • Reviewed Covid risk assessments and developed an outbreak management plan

  • Promote the take up of both doses of the Covid vaccine amongst staff and students, including providing an onsite vaccination clinic

  • Supporting good student mental health through various initiatives including access to FIKA, a mental fitness app

 

Things you can do to keep you, your classmates and your tutors safe:

  • Avoid unnecessary interactions at College and outside of College - limit your number of contacts to those you need to see face to face

  • Wear a face covering at busy times ie when walking around the College at lunchtime or break time

  • Wash or sanitise your hands regularly

  • Sneeze or cough into a tissue and then clean your hands

  • Wipe down your desk and any equipment before and after use

  • Where you can, sit side by side or back to back rather than face to face with others and use screens where these are provided

  • Bring all equipment you need for your sessions to avoid the need for sharing: your tutor will tell you what specialist equipment is required

  • Keep doors and windows open to provide good ventilation

  • Take part in the testing programme

  • Continue testing at home at least twice a week and reporting your results to College

  • Get the Covid vaccine - you can arrange this yourself online or attend the vaccination clinic at Shipley College, 1st - 3rd September

  • Access the mental health resources, engage with the FIKA app and share any concerns or worries with staff

  • Follow public health advice on testing, self isolation and managing confirmed cases of Covid-19

     

 

Do not come into College if you are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19, have tested positive or have been instructed to self isolate. If you develop Covid-19 symptoms, however mild, on College premises or in your placement or workplace, you must self isolate and get tested.

The full College Risk Assessments are available to view on the website. We will continue to monitor the situation and inform you of any changes or updates. If you have any questions you can put these to your tutor in the first instance.

 

KEEPING IN TOUCH

We will provide regular updates on the College website, on social media and by your College email, in response to changing government guidance.

In the meantime, if you have any concerns for your health or for others in relation to the virus, please follow advice from Public Health England or call NHS 111 to discuss symptoms. 

Other useful information can be found on NHS UK

 

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