Covid-19 safety protocols at college – a message for our students and apprentices

A message for all of our students and apprentices from Principal Julie Richards as we prepare for the start of a new college year.

 

Firstly, I would like to offer a warm welcome to both new and returning students and apprentices.  As we prepare for the start of the new academic year, I would like to share with you our COVID-19 protocols which have been reviewed and updated based on the latest Government advice.  Please take the time to carefully read the following information.

 

As the number of new COVID-19 cases remains high, it is essential we continue to be ‘Kind, Respect and Protect’ each other and strictly follow our latest protocols.

 

1.     Symptoms

If you develop any of these symptoms (headache, runny nose, runny eyes, generally feeling unwell, sore throat, sickness, temperature, continuous cough, loss of taste and smell), you should self-isolate and arrange a PCR test.

2.     Face Coverings

The Government “expects and recommends people wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed spaces where you come into contact with those you don’t normally meet”.

 

Therefore, we request all staff, students, apprentices and visitors to wear a face covering in all communal areas on all college sites (including toilets, corridors and social areas).

 

Wearing a face covering reduces transmission and helps provide reassurance to everyone, particularly the more vulnerable who will be nervous about returning to college.

 

Anyone who wishes to continue to wear a face covering in class is encouraged to do so.

 

Face coverings will be available from main reception should anyone need a replacement.

3.     Lateral Flow Testing (LFT)

In line with latest Department for Education guidance, the college will be offering all students and day release apprentices two on-site lateral flow tests here at college (three to five days apart) for their return in September.

 

The on-site tests will be available at the Infirmary Road campus from Wednesday 8 September to Friday 17 September. 

 

A consent form for those wishing to receive an on-site test should be completed during enrolment, however, any student wishing to access an on-site test who has not completed a consent form at enrolment and would like to request an on-site test should contact us at helpline@chesterfield.ac.uk.

 

Students who have already consented and requested an on-site test will be contacted by the curriculum area with details of when to attend college for the first test.

 

Any other requests or queries relating to accessing an on-site test should be emailed to helpline@chesterfield.ac.uk.

 

Students who do not wish to participate in an on-site test should test at home and report the result the evening before their start date at college. 

 

Students/ day release apprentices will continue to be offered home testing kits for use twice a week. We highly recommend and encourage all staff, students and day release apprentices to continue to test twice weekly at home to help protect everyone at the college, alongside family, friends and the wider community.

 

Home testing kits will be available from the course tutor during induction (and from main reception prior to the start of term).

 

Please note: It is important that when testing at home, students and apprentices report the result, whether positive or negative, to https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result

 

PRIVACY NOTICE – All information relating to student/apprentice consent, including for those who have declined, will be held in the strictest of confidence.  Please refer to our data protection page for more information.

4.     Social Distancing

Social distancing rules were largely removed on 19 July, however Government guidance states people should still “consider the risk of close contact”.  Staff, students and apprentices should continue to maintain a safe distance of at two meters wherever possible.

5.     Ventilation

All study spaces need an adequate supply of fresh air.  This can be natural ventilation from doors (not fire doors) and windows.  Our cleaning staff will be opening windows to ventilate the college as they carry out their cleaning duties.  Where possible, your classrooms/workshops will be ventilated as much as practicable, before lessons and during breaks.

6.     Hand Washing

One of the easiest and most important ways to prevent the spread of a virus is to wash your hands frequently with soap and water. To eliminate all traces of the virus on your hands, please follow the step-by-step process below.

 

o   Step 1: Wet hands with running water

o   Step 2: Apply enough soap to cover wet hands

o   Step 3: Scrub all surfaces of the hands – including back of hands, between fingers and under nails – for at least 20 seconds.

o   Step 4: Rinse thoroughly with running water

o   Step 5: Dry hands with a clean cloth or single-use towel

7.     Self-Isolation

From Monday 16 August, students/apprentices who are double vaccinated, or are aged under 18 years and 6 months old, are no longer required to self-isolate.

 

Therefore, students/apprentices will be able to continue to attend college premises even if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. (NB: Anyone older than 18 years and 6 months and not double vaccinated will still be required to self-isolate).

 

Vaccination status – in order to qualify as double vaccinated, students/apprentices must have received their second COVID-19 jab at least two weeks before they came into close contact with the positive case.  For example, if you had your second vaccination on 10 September, you would be required to self-isolate until 24 September, if you are identified as a close contact of someone with the virus during that period.

 

The college recommends students/apprentices who have been in close contact with a positive case to immediately book a PCR test.  We strongly encourage all students and apprentices to continue to carry out lateral flow tests on a twice weekly basis and register their result.  Please remember to report positive cases and ‘close contact’ using the COVID-19 incident report, as this will help the college to manage our internal track and trace process.

 

In the event a student/apprentice is contacted by NHS Test and Trace, any other student(s) who has been in close contact with that person will be advised to carry out lateral flow tests for five consecutive days.  The student/apprentices may continue to attend college subject to receiving a negative result and remaining free from symptoms.

8.     Vaccinations

The Department for Education is encouraging all students and apprentices to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.

 

Students and apprentices aged 16 and 17, will be contacted by a local NHS service such as a GP surgery to book their vaccination appointments.  Some walk-in COVID-19 vaccination sites are offering the vaccine to people aged 16 and 17. You can check if a site is available near you online.

 

If you are aged 18 or over (or will turn 18 within 3 months) you can book your COVID-19 vaccination appointments online for an appointment at a vaccination centre or pharmacy, find a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site to receive a vaccination without an appointment or wait to be contacted by your GP surgery and book your appointments with them.  If you cannot book appointments online, you can call 119 free of charge.

9.     Work Based Learning

All apprentices and those undertaking work experience on employer premises should follow the employer’s guidelines in relation to COVID-19 workplace protocols.

 

These protocols will be reviewed throughout the first weeks of the new term and a further update will be provided at October half term.

For students aged 16-17, we encourage you to share this information with your parents/guardians/carers.

Thank you for your support as we prepare for a safe return to college.

Best wishes

Julie Richards

Principal and CEO

The Chesterfield College Group

Published by laverickd On 2nd September 2021

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