How could I contract coronavirus?
According to the NHS, because COVID-19 is a new illness, it is unclear how the disease is transmitted from person to person but similar viruses have been spread through cough droplets or through touching a surface or object that has been contaminated, and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes (e.g. touching a door knob then wiping your nose).
It is very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.
What are the signs and symptoms?
The incubation period for this particular virus is between two to 14 days after coming into contact with it. This means you may feel perfectly well for up to two weeks before presenting symptoms. Those symptoms may feel much like the flu, but specifically features:
- A persistent, dry, cough
- Breathing difficulties
The government advises that if you have either of the following, you should begin to self-isolate:
- A high temperature - this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to take your temperature)
- A new, continuous, cough - this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes within a 24-hour window (if you usually have a cough it will be worse than usual)
Who is it most likely to affect?
No-one is immune to this virus, however it is likely to cause more severe symptoms in certain groups.
Everyone should do what they can to prevent the spread and protect one another, especially the over-70s, people with a long-term conditions, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.
This means saying indoors as much as possible, only going out for essential food shopping, as infrequently as you can manage, for essential work and for one exercise trip (walk, run, cycle) a day, either alone or with members of your household.
What should I do if I start to feel unwell?
If you – at any point – have a high temperature OR a new, continuous, cough, you must self-isolate for 7 days if you live alone. If you live with others, and you – or anyone else – has symptoms, you must self-isolate for 14 days.
There is now a helpful graphic - which outlines how long you should self-isolate for across a range of potential scenarios.
Do not go to your local GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. If your symptoms worsen, or you are no better after 7 days, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency call 999.
- Staying at home, not going to work or any other public area
- Staying at least two metres away from other people in your home wherever possible, and if you can, sleeping alone.
- Regularly washing your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds at a time
- Staying away from older people or those with long-term health conditions
- Getting food delivered at home
- Drink plenty of water and take everyday painkillers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, to help with your symptoms
- Do not shake dirty laundry
- If you have high-risk people in your household, for example an elderly relative, try to make arrangements for them to live with someone else for this time (i.e. friends or family)
- If this is not possible avoid them as much as you possibly can.
You must not have visitors to your home.
You can use your garden, if you have one. You can also leave the house to exercise once a day - alone or with members of your householf, but you must steer clear of anyone else you may encounter of that trip.
The BBC has produced a helpful video exploring self-isolation further.
Who should I notify when I cannot attend university due to self-isolation?
We have a duty to you and to the rest of the UCA community to know when somebody is unwell or concerned that they may become unwell.
Please contact us immediately by email to firstname.lastname@example.org (cc in your Programme Director) if you need to tell us any of the following:
- That you have been diagnosed with coronavirus
- That you are self-isolating because you have been told to by a healthcare professional
- That you are self-isolating because you are worried about catching coronavirus because you have a pre-existing health condition
- That you are self-isolating because somebody in your home or family has a pre-existing health condition
- That you are self-isolating because you have a persistent cough and/or high temperature
- You are away from campus for any other reason
When you contact us please include: your name, your student number, where you are staying while you are in isolation.
What should I do if I am living with someone who is self-isolating?
If you are living with someone who is self-isolating, then you, too, should be self-isolating on government guidance.
We hope that you feel able to support them in the same way that you would anyone who was incapacitated through challenging circumstances. While the coronavirus situation is ongoing, we are advising all our students to help protect their own health and wellbeing through hygiene measures, including:
- Staying away from communal areas and not sharing the space. Keep your own crockery and cutlery separate from each other
- Staying more than two metres away from each other at all times to prevent spread
- Regular handwashing with soap and water
- Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue if you feel the need to cough, or sneeze
- Using antibacterial gels and wipes
Should I be worried by students wearing protective face masks?
Please don’t be alarmed if you see other students wearing masks. Use of face masks is widespread in some cultures and advised by some governments. It is important that we recognise and respect this custom. The NHS states masks do not offer much in the way of widespread benefits.
How can I help to prevent the spread of the virus?
Good hygiene is the key to prevent the spread of the virus.
- Please wash your hands regularly, for 20 seconds with soap and water. Wash them when you arrive on campus and when you get home, before and after eating food, before and after using the toilet, and after any cough or sneeze.
- If you do not have access to washing facilities for whatever reason, use a hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60% alcohol content.
- If you are in our halls or shared private accommodation, it is CRUCIAL you keep all surfaces in communal areas clean, using antibacterial spray or wipes, and ensure all your crockery and cutlery is kept clean and not left out where it could be susceptible to coming into contact with germs.
- Ensure when you’re preparing food you keep kitchen areas clean.
- If you feel the need to cough, or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and as soon as you’ve used the tissue, bin it and wash your hands.
You may see some people choose to wear a face mask. This is their choice and for some people is part of their cultural response, so it is important to respect that choice. While the NHS states masks do not offer much in the way of widespread benefit, masks may bring peace of mind to the user.
From March 23, we are replacing elements of face-to-face teaching with online learning.
Workshops, studios, the canteens, Student Union facilities, clubs and societies and libraries are now closed.
Student accommodation remains open.
Students will be able to attend campus to continue their practical work, with small group teaching in studios on a technical basis and larger studio sessions split into smaller groups as part of social distancing procedures.
Face to face teaching will be replaced with online provision, via MyUCA.