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Covid-19: Working together to keep each other safe

From Professor Richard Reece, Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Education and Student Experience

As I am sure you are aware, recent weeks have seen a national rise in the number of Covid cases in the UK. While we do not currently have any major concerns locally, this is an important reminder to all of us that, unfortunately, Covid has not gone away and we all need to continue to keep safety at the front of our minds, especially while on our campuses. 

Face coverings and ventilation

We strongly encourage and recommend that people wear face coverings in crowded indoor spaces. Wearing a face covering can help keep each other safe, particularly in teaching and study spaces or while standing in queues. Face coverings are available free of charge at all student reception desks.

Being outdoors or in well-ventilated spaces also helps reduce transmission. All of our rooms on campus have been assessed and adapted where necessary to meet Government ventilation guidelines. Keeping a window open helps support this – we should also all keep to a ‘virtual first’ approach to staff meetings to reduce the number of gatherings.

Testing, reporting and vaccinations

Everyone coming onto campus should continue to take a Covid lateral flow test twice a week. You can get walk-in tests or pick up take-home kits from the Old Bank on our Canterbury campus or the Old Sports Hall at Medway, or order them online

Reporting is also critical to supporting the national effort to counter Covid. Please remember to report your LFT test results to the NHS whether they are positive or negative – instructions on how to do this should come with the testing kit itself. If you have symptoms or if you do test positive, you must self-isolate for 10 days from the day your symptoms started and get a PCR test as quickly as possible. If your PCR test is positive, please let your line manager know and also email covidsupport@kent.ac.uk

Lastly, vaccinations are also a key part of supporting national efforts against Covid, so if you qualify for a booster jab then you are strongly encouraged to get one if you can.

Keeping going

The start of term was a significant adjustment for all of us with the return of students and large number of staff to campus. I have been hugely impressed by the way all of us have responded and am pleased that to date we have managed to work together to keep infections low so far. All of us have a part to play in continuing to keep our campuses safely open – by being careful in crowded indoor spaces, taking regular tests and getting vaccinated if you can.

I am also writing to students this week to remind them of what we all need to do to keep each other safe and will provide a further update if there any Government announcements that affect our response in the coming weeks.

Richard

Professor Richard Reece | Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Education and Student Experience