Students Staff

1 October 2020

Coming back to campus – securely

Filed under: Campus news — Communications, CER @ 4:44 pm

As some of us return to campus working, Darren Baker, Campus Services Head of Customer Services, tells us more about the changes we can expect to see and the new behaviours we need to observe to help keep campus COVID secure.

Look out for floor signage reminding you to socially distance and indicating one way systems.

As the University moves into the Sustained Protection Phase of operation some of you will be returning to campus working, where this is deemed essential for the delivery of services. Where possible colleagues should continue to work from home.

For those returning, a number of COVID-19 related safety measures have been put in place which will change the way we work and travel around our campuses.

Here is what you can expect to see and what you’ll need to do when you return. Full details are available on the how to come onto our campuses page of our website.

New signage

When returning to campus you will see exterior signage providing information on how to use our campuses.

There is also directional floor signage to promote social distancing and indicate how to travel around exterior spaces.

Upon entering buildings, you will also notice directional signage asking you to walk on the left, to maintain social distance and wear face coverings inside buildings.

Movement and behaviour inside buildings

Signage will be displayed on doors and floors reminding you to wear a face covering.

Travel within buildings should be limited to going straight to your final location. Please do not congregate in corridors or enter the working spaces and offices of other staff.

When you are in your specific working environment the number of staff in the space at any one time will be limited as per your departmental risk assessment to allow for social distancing and the removal of face coverings for working.

Meetings via zoom to continue

It has been agreed that all meetings should be conducted remotely during Academic Year 2020-21. This decision applies to all non-teaching events, e.g. induction and networking events; team meetings; catch-ups and 1:1s, formal committee meetings; Away Days; staff, section and departmental conferences and training that would otherwise be delivered in person.

It is recommended that all meetings take place via Zoom, the University’s chosen video and audio-conferencing solution. Technical guidance on the use of Zoom is available on the ITS webpages.

Managers of teams – Before bringing your teams on to our campuses you must

  • Have completed a departmental risk assessment which indicates the controls in place in relation to reducing the potential spread of COVID-19. This must be shared and explained to all staff returning to on-site working and must indicate how social distancing is being managed, especially within shared working environments.
  • Have completed a work activity grid with the staff member who is returning for their work activities
  • a poster with covid-19 information

    Look out for notices outside rooms with key info like maximum room occupancy.

    Ensure all returning staff have completed the Moodle course “Keeping safe on campus (COVID-19)” and have completed an individual health risk assessment (and, where necessary, received occupational health advice.

  • Ensure that returning staff have been authorised to do so by the Head of Department or Head of Section.
  • Ensure that all staff have a full understanding of the control measures in place across the University and specifically in their workplace including the days and times they are able to attend campus.

Managers – keeping teams and offices COVID-secure   

If you are managing a team back onto campus, as part of your departmental/ workplace risk assessment(s), please ensure that office spaces are used in a manner that ensures returning staff can comply with the required social distancing.

Should you need to have multiple cohorts (or bubbles) in order to ensure business continuity, please ensure that desks are not shared. Moving furniture or PCs is not possible at this time so please ensure that within your plans you are utilising the current office layouts.

Colleagues – before returning to campus you must

  • Be authorised by your Head of Department or Head of Section to return to campus.
  • Have completed the Moodle course Keeping safe on campus (COVID-19).
  • Be aware of the policies and procedures in place to protect you from COVID-19 and have understood the requirements of the departmental risk assessment provided by your line manager.
  • Have completed your individual health risk assessment and, with your manager, a work activity grid and signed the staff agreement.
  • Have a full understanding of the control measures in place in your workplace including the days and times you are able to attend campus and your specific workstation/area.

The day nursery have markings on their entrance route to help you keep distanced from others.

On your return to campus you must

  • Follow social distancing rules on University premises.
  • Wear face masks/coverings in all indoor University premises (with the exception of staff in individual offices or office bubbles).
  • Attend Occupational Health if you have been referred, to receive advice and guidance to ensure your own, and others, safety and contact ohquery@essex.ac.uk if you are medically exempt from wearing a face covering to obtain an exemption lanyard from them which you are required to wear whilst on Campus.
  • Wash your hands regularly and use hand sanitiser where available
  • Only use your own crockery, cutlery, cups (except when provided in catering outlets) whiteboard markers and pens etc.
  • Clean your uniform each day if you wear a uniform for work.

If you or someone you live with develops symptoms you must

  • Leave campus immediately and inform your line manager and occupational health.
  • Self-isolate at home for ten days or until you receive a negative test results.
  • Call NHS 111 to arrange to get tested (testing must take place between day 1 and day 7 of becoming symptomatic).
  • Only return to work in accordance with the self-isolation guidelines  if experiencing symptoms or testing positive for coronavirus.

Engage, explain, encourage, enforce

All students will be expected to wear face coverings in all lectures and face to face teaching events. Take a look our new covid behaviours booklet on moodle which includes guidance on what to do if someone is not complying.

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