Category Archives: Student covid

covid test kit

Covid-19: Working together to keep each other safe

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 indoor spaces

We strongly encourage and recommend that you wear face coverings in crowded indoor spaces, including teaching and study spaces or while standing in queues. Face coverings are available free of charge at all student reception desks – wearing one can really help keep each other safe.

All of our rooms on campus have been assessed and adapted where necessary to meet Government ventilation guidelines. If you are meeting up with friends, then try to do this outside if you can – avoiding busy indoor spaces is a big part of stopping the spread.

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.

It also really helps us if you report the results of your tests to the NHS whenever you take them, whether they are positive or negative – instructions on how to do this should come with the testing kit itself. If you do have symptoms or test positive, you must self-isolate and get a PCR test as quickly as possible. Let us know that you are isolating so we can make sure you get the support you need – if your PCR test is positive, you will need to self-isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms started.

Lastly, vaccinations continue to be key to minimising the impact of Covid –  if you haven’t already, we strongly recommend getting two jabs if you can. Watch out for the Government’s Grab a Jab campaign for local walk-in centres.

Keeping going

I have been hugely impressed by the way all of you have worked together to keep each other safe as you have come back onto campus, and am really pleased that we have managed to keep infection numbers low to date. All of us have a part to play in continuing to keep our campuses safely open, so let’s continue to be careful in crowded indoor spaces, taking regular tests and getting vaccinated if you can.

With all good wishes,

Richard

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

Coronavirus

Welcome to the Autumn Term

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

A warm welcome to all of you to the start of the 2021/22 academic year at Kent. I am delighted to see so many of you back on our campuses and to have so much more face-to-face teaching planned after a year and a half of so much uncertainty. You should all be enormously proud of your efforts in getting to this point, and I look forward to following your success with us across the year.

Along with ensuring you have the best possible experience with us, we will need to continue to focus on keeping our community safe as we return this term. Covid has sadly not gone away and we all have a part to play our part in keeping cases low. We are also fully prepared in the event that cases rise significantly.

Face coverings

We are strongly encouraging and recommending that everyone wears face masks in crowded indoor spaces, including teaching spaces or corridors. These are optional, but wearing one can help keep each other safe – we also need to be mindful that both fellow students and staff may be anxious about coming back together, so we need to think of each other in how we behave in crowded areas.

Testing

Remember to keep on testing twice a week as you come onto campus – find out more about how you can pick up a kit and do your bit.

Vaccinations

I am really pleased so many of you have already had your Covid vaccines – we have an NHS bus on our Medway campus today for those that would still like to get theirs, and hope to have one on our Canterbury campus shortly (unfortunately today’s visit has been cancelled). Do watch out for the Government’s Grab A Jab campaign for walk-in vaccine centres too.

Good luck this term

There is plenty to look forward to in the weeks ahead outside of your studies, including our Virtual Employability Fest from 11-22 October featuring the South East Virtual Careers Fair on 20 October. For more information on this and all our events, keep an eye on the Student Guide, our student events calendar and our Kent Uni Student app. I hope you all get a chance to explore the best of what Kent has to offer and wish you all the very best for the rest of the term.

With all best wishes,

Richard

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

Grab a jab at a local drop-in clinic

#GrabAJab on campus this week from the vaccination bus

A walk-in vaccination bus is coming to our Canterbury and Medway campuses! Find the vaccination bus at the Gulbenkian or The Deep End during the first week of term.

You don’t need an appointment, just pop along and #GrabAJab. The vaccine offered is Pfizer and this can be your first or second jab. Your second jab needs to be 8 weeks after your first.

Canterbury campus #GrabAJab

  • *Due to unforeseen circumstances the vaccination bus is unable to come to Canterbury campus on Monday as planned. We will update when the bus is able to come to Canterbury hopefully later this week*
  • Tuesday 28 September 10.00-19.00 outside the Gulbenkian
  • Thursday 30 September 10.00-19.00 outside the Gulbenkian
  • Friday 1 October 10.00-19.00 outside the Gulbenkian

Medway campus #GrabAJab

  • Monday 27 September  10.00-19.00 –  bus outside The Deep End
  • Wednesday 29 September 10.00-15.00 – inside the Deep End

Should you get vaccinated?

Getting vaccinated is an important part of protecting ourselves, our friends, family and community from Covid-19. Current programmes have already shown that it prevents hospitalisation and saves lives. We recommend you get vaccinated against Covid-19.

More information about the UK Covid-19 vaccination programme is available online. You can also check out the NHS student vaccination FAQs.

covid test kit

Covid-19 regular testing: where to get tested on campus

Students and staff who are not showing Covid-19 symptoms (ie are asymptomatic) should get tested twice a week. It’s easy to get tested on campus; our sites offer walk-in testing so you don’t need to book an appointment. Or you can pick up a self-test kit from the test centres to complete at home.

Canterbury test centre

The Canterbury Asymptomatic Test Site (ATS) has moved from Sibson and is now located in The Old Bank, a building next to Security, formerly home to a branch of Santander Bank. The opening hours are 09.00 to 14.30 Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Medway test centre

The Medway Asymptomatic Test Site (ATS) is located in the Old Sports Hall (next to the Student Hub) on the Medway Campus.

Opening times are:

  • Monday to Thursday: 08.30 to 16.00.
  • Sunday: 12.00 to 19.00.

Find the Old Sports Hall on Google maps

If you have Covid-19 symptoms

Don’t forget, if you do have symptoms of Covid-19 however mild, self isolate immediately, book a PCR test and let the right people know. Follow either our student procedure or our guide for members of staff.

 

students sat at Canterbury labyrinth

Returning to Kent: Welcome back!

From Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience

I hope you have enjoyed your summer vacation and are looking forward to the start of the new academic year. There is a packed programme of events planned for Welcome Week and colleagues from both the University and Kent Union cannot wait to see you again.

Test to travel

If you are returning to campus from the UK, please make sure you get lateral-flow tested and receive a negative result just before leaving home. You will need to get lateral-flow tested again on arrival at Kent – once soon after you arrive and the second time within 3-5 days after.

You can order test kits online or pick them up from local pharmacies, and there will be test kits in the bedrooms for those of you staying in accommodation on the Canterbury campus. Otherwise you can pick them up from our on-campus test centres.

If you are returning from outside the UK, please see our international test to travel information and make sure that you comply with all relevant government test to travel requirements

Vaccination

You can help keep yourself, your friends and family safe by making sure you are vaccinated against Covid-19. If you can, please ensure that you are fully vaccinated before you arrive – we know many of you have already done so.

  • You can book vaccinations at local centres across the UK using the NHS vaccination booking siteor by looking out for their ‘Grab a Jab’ campaign.
  • We will have a mobile vaccination facility on campus during the week beginning 27 September 2021 – more details to follow.
  • Remember you are not fully vaccinated until two weeks after your second dose of the vaccine.

If you haven’t already, remember to register with a GP medical practice local to your term-time accommodation in order to access vaccinations and other free healthcare services.

Safety on campus

Whilst the majority of measures taken to restrict the spread of Covid-19 are now being relaxed in line with the latest Government guidance, the virus is still with us and we all have a continued part to play in keeping our community safe, both on- and off-campus. Most importantly:

Timetables

Our key priority in putting together this year’s timetable has been delivering as much face-to-face teaching as possible while ensuring we keep everybody safe. We want to make sure that everyone benefits from on-campus teaching every week where possible. We have been working with your subject leaders to ensure that on-campus teaching is allocated appropriately across different discipline areas.

You will begin to see your timetables appear on Kent Vision from next week, but these will be subject to change during the first few weeks, so please check regularly as your classes are confirmed. You will be able to find out more during Welcome Week about our teaching plans and activities for the Autumn term. Your full Spring timetable will follow later in the term, which will see the return of the majority of lectures on campus.

Our campuses are looking fantastic, and are more than ready to welcome you back. I look forward to seeing you all in the coming weeks as the next academic year begins.

Best wishes

Richard

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

Wing of aeroplane in the sky

Supporting you with coming back from overseas

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

I hope you are well and have been enjoying the summer break. As we get closer to September, we are focusing more and more on our plans for next year and what we can do to ensure everyone gets the best possible experience with us as we re-open our campuses. With that in mind, I am pleased to confirm that the University has agreed to cover the costs of a managed quarantine hotel stay for all Undergraduate and Postgraduate students arriving from a red list country, whether you are starting with us this year or are returning to continue your studies. 

At present, under UK government restrictions, those of you who are based in a red list country will need to quarantine for a period upon arrival in the UK. If this affects you and you are required to pay to stay in a managed quarantine hotel, we will put a credit in your account equating to the amount of the stay fee (currently set at £2,285) upon receipt of proof of expenditure. Full details of how to arrange this will be available on our International Welcome pages shortly. 

We are looking forward to seeing as many as possible of you back on campus and I hope this goes some way to making that easier for those returning from overseas. Do contact us via covidsupport@kent.ac.uk if you have any questions about this – do also join us at our WebChat this Thursday (19th)* if you can, where I will go through our plans in more detail. 

With all best wishes, 

Richard

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

*Find more Student Webchats and how to catch up on ones you may have wished online here.

 

Students sat at bench

Your views on the Autumn term

For the attention of all students returning to study 2021/2022 

I hope you are well and making the most of the summer break. My name’s Mica and I’m the new Head of Student Experience at Kent. I’ll be working closely with Richard Reece to make sure your time with us is as rewarding and enjoyable as possible – we’re really looking forward to opening up our campuses once more and welcoming you back in September. 

Returners Survey 

To do that as well as we can, I need to hear from you! We want to get your views on how you’re feeling about the new term – what you’re looking forward to, what you might be nervous about or what you’d like to see us do differently. We’ve put together a Returners Pulse Survey to get your feedback on a range of topics – this should take around 5 minutes to complete so do let us know your thoughts before the survey closes on Friday 3 September. 

Student WebChat: Thursday 19 August 

Alongside that, I’d also love it if you could join me and Richard at the first of a new series of WebChats to talk about how next year is shaping up. After months of remote learning, we’re determined to deliver as much in-person teaching as possible, while prioritising your safety throughout. Weekly face-to-face sessions will be at the heart of this, supported by large online lectures where these have proved to work well. At the WebChat, we will explain more about the thinking behind our plans and how we intend to transition to a full campus timetable by the Spring. 

Register your interest to join us from 13.00 – 14.00 on Thursday 19 August. You can also use the form to send us any questions in advance – I look forward to seeing you there. 

It’s been such a challenging year for all of us, and many of you may have mixed feelings about the weeks ahead. We are here to support you throughout and help you concentrate on the things that matter – shaping your future with us and making connections at Kent that last a lifetime. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the summer and we can’t wait to see our campuses come alive again when we come back together in September. 

With all best wishes, 

Mica  

Mica Rose | Head of Student Experience 

 

Kent Summer Fest cancellation and travelling home

For the attention of those students currently living or studying on campus or visiting to access campus facilities.

As many of you have already heard, yesterday we had to take the difficult decision to cancel all remaining non-essential on-campus student activities a week earlier than planned. This is due to a rapid increase in the number of positive cases of Covid-19 among students on the Canterbury campus. 

While we have no evidence that the rise in cases is linked to our events or the use of campus facilities, given the national picture and the number of you that are needing to self-isolate both on and off campus, we needed to take this step as a precaution.

We know how disappointing this news is, and we share your frustration that the ongoing pandemic has once again disrupted our plans to come together. For those who have booked onto paid activities, event organisers will be in touch soon with further details regarding refunds.

With the exception of those already self-isolating, we are now advising anyone who was planning to leave campus at the end of this week to travel home at the earliest opportunity to ensure we do all we can to minimise the risk of further cases.

Returning home

Walk-in on-site asymptomatic (symptom free) lateral flow tests are available in the Sibson Building from 09.30 – 19.15 daily where you can also pick up home testing kits.

If you do need to self-isolate, we will do everything we can to support you while you remain on campus.

If you need to stay on campus

For those of you who need to stay in accommodation longer for study or personal reasons, including KMMS students and postgraduates, the campus remains open providing essential services and support.

As you know, over the last 18 months we have introduced a considerable number of effective on-campus Covid-secure measures and the University and Kent Union will be continuing to provide a range of essential campus facilities and services including the Templeman Library, study areas, shops and Rutherford Dining Hall.

Staying safe 

Whatever your plans, please do remember that despite the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions, Covid-19 is still with us and it is vital that we all:

Thank you for your continued understanding in this, and for the exemplary way you have all approached this most challenging of years. I wish you the very best for the summer break.

Richard

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

hand sanitiser

Important Covid-19 update

There have been some important recent changes to the behaviour of the virus and to the advice that we need to follow in order to keep ourselves and our wider communities safe.

The Delta variant of Covid-19 is currently the most common in many regions of the UK including Kent and has changed how the virus is spreading. It has also changed the symptoms that are associated with infection with a headache, sore throat and runny nose now being commonly reported.

In young people, Covid infection can get mistaken for a cold or even hay fever.

Despite the relatively low-numbers of cases and the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions, Covid-19 is still with us and it is vital that we all:

Returning home

Please remember to get tested before leaving for home:

The FAQs below will help you understand what you need to do to keep you, your friends and family and our community safe.

I am sure we are all looking forward to the rest of the summer and hopefully some much improved weather. Please join us in doing everything we can to make sure we get to make the most of the summer and control the spread of Covid-19.

Please contact CovidSupport@kent.ac.uk if you have any questions or concerns.

Best wishes

Lucy

Dr Lucy Foley | Director of Student Services and University Public Health Lead

 

Revised Covid-19 FAQs

What are the revised symptoms of Covid-19?

People with Covid-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. People with these symptoms may have Covid-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue, muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat, congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea

What do I do if I think I might have symptoms?

If you think you might have symptoms of Covid-19, regardless of any asymptomatic (lateral flow) test results you may have recently had, self-isolate immediately, get a PCR test done and let us know. Not doing so may put you, your family and friends at risk.

You can book a PCR test online or by phoning 119. There are NHS PCR testing centres all over the UK. We have one in Rutherford Car Park on the Canterbury campus and in The Deep End at Medway.

Please do not go to an asymptomatic (symptom-free) testing centre if you have symptoms or are self-isolating.

See our guide on ‘What to do if you have Covid-19 symptoms or advised to self-isolate’.

What do I do if I’m symptom free?

Please get tested regularly. Asymptomatic (symptom-free) lateral flow testing should be carried out at least twice a week. Whilst it doesn’t completely rule out you having Covid-19, there is a good chance that positive cases will be detected and you can then take appropriate action.

Please do not go to an asymptomatic (symptom-free) testing centre if you have symptoms or are self-isolating.

You can order lateral flow home test kits online or pick them up from the Sibson Building on the Canterbury campus and The Deep End on the Medway campus.

A negative test result is not a guarantee that you do not have Covid-19.

You still to need to follow the NHS guidance on Hands, Face, Space, Test and abide by the Government restrictions on social gatherings – only 6 people or two households indoors and up to 30 people outdoors. Stick to the 2 metre rule whenever you can!

How can I get vaccinated?

The UK vaccination programme is now available free of charge to everyone over 18 years of age and current programmes have already shown that vaccination prevents hospitalisation and saves lives.

You can find out more about walk-in vaccination centres via the local media in your area, or use the NHS booking service online or by phoning 119.

For those of you travelling from term-time to vacation addresses, you do not need to have both vaccination appointments in the same place. You are free to book each one, or attend walk-ins, in different locations.

More information about the UK Covid-19 vaccination programme is available online and the NHS student vaccination FAQs are also now available, including more detailed information for international students.

What if I’ve been vaccinated?

You need to have had two Covid-19 vaccine doses to provide the recommended amount of protection against new variant Covid-19.

This protection starts approximately three weeks following your second dose.

Even when you have had both doses, you should still test regularly, follow the NHS guidance on Hands, Face, Space, Test and abide by the Government restrictions on social gatherings – only 6 people or two households indoors and up to 30 people outdoors.

Students sat at labyrinth at the Canterbury campus

End of term update

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

In recognition of last Friday being the end of term, may I begin by congratulating all of you on everything you have achieved during this challenging and remarkable time.

You have shown incredible levels of creativity, flexibility and dedication in the pursuit of your studies, and I know from colleagues around the University, along with Kent Union and GKSU, that many of you have also achieved tremendous things outside of your courses caring for and supporting others. Thank you for your contributions to our community this year.

Whilst many of you are on campus either enjoying Kent Summer Fest (despite the current weather) or continuing with your studies, we are all looking forward to welcoming most of you back to our campuses in September.

For those of you leaving us this summer – thank you again, and good luck for the future. Our Alumni Team will be in contact soon to let you know how to keep in touch with Kent and news of our ongoing services and support for all our former students.

Exam results

Now that all the summer examinations are complete, Boards of Examiners are working to finalise your end-of-stage marks and degree classifications. Their work includes taking into account all the details of circumstances which may have impacted on your performance, including Covid-19 and national lockdowns in accordance with our No Detriment measures.

The anticipated completion date for the boards is listed below and you will be emailed once your results are available on Kent Vision as soon as the decisions of the board relevant to you have been processed, so please allow a day or two for that to occur.

  • Undergraduate final year and diploma – Thursday 1 July 2021
  • All other undergraduate stages and foundation – Monday 19 July 2021
  • Postgraduate taught courses – Monday 19 July 2021

Support over the summer

Student support services, including student wellbeing and learning advice, continue to be available to you throughout the summer in the form of both online and in-person provision. You can find all our services via the Student Guide, as well as more information about our on-campus services and opening hours on both our Canterbury and Medway campuses.

In addition, the Kent Union and GKSU advice centres are both available to help across a range of areas including academic support, accommodation issues and wellbeing concerns.

Vaccinations

Thank you to all of you who have attended vaccination pop-ups or booked your appointments already. As you know, the UK vaccination programme is now available free of charge to everyone over 18 years of age and current programmes have already shown that vaccination prevents hospitalisation and saves lives.

You can find out more about walk-in vaccination centres via the local media in your area, or use the NHS booking service online or by phoning 119.

For those of you travelling from term-time to vacation addresses, you do not need to have both vaccination appointments in the same place. You are free to book each one, or attend walk-ins, in different locations.

More information about the UK Covid-19 vaccination programme is available online and the NHS student vaccination FAQs are also now available, including more detailed information for international students.

Please do continue to get in touch with CovidSupport@kent.ac.uk if you have any questions or concerns.

Best wishes,

Richard

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