Covid-19 FAQs for Students

Please see below for the Covid-19 frequently asked questions for our current students:

Covid-19 FAQs for Students

A1. Yes, mass testing will be available at AECC University College to all students and staff.  

The Government is working closely with universities across the country to get students tested in order to help you return home safely for the winter break. So, for the first time, people who do not show any signs of Covid-19 will be encouraged to get tested. 

To ensure our students are able to return home during the ‘student travel window’ which has been set by the Government as the 3rd-9th December, we will be setting up a testing facility at Garnet Campus (which is the site across the road which we have recently acquired) which will offer rapid Covid-19 tests to students. 

A2. Testing will help to break the chain of transmission amongst students especially when they are infected and are not aware of it, helping to ensure the safety of their loved ones at home. 

A3. If you choose to participate in this free service, you will be tested with Lateral Flow Devices - these are quicker tests that produce a result within 30 minutes, however they require you to be tested twice within at least two or three days. Further details on how to book your time slot(s) to undertake your tests will be emailed to you soon. 

A4. This testing service is linked to the NHS Test and Trace. Your test result is sent anonymously to the NHS and you will receive the notification of your result via text message (as with tests currently). The University College does not receive the results.

A5.

- After you receive two negative tests, you will be encouraged to return home for Christmas as soon as possible. You do not need to self-isolate between these tests if you receive a negative result. 

-        If you test positive on either test, you will have to self-isolate where you currently are, by law, for 10 days. Due to the timing of the tests being available, this will still give you enough time to return home in time for Christmas. Since the roll out of lateral flow tests, the reliability of the results has proven to be so good that an additional PCR test to confirm the result is not needed. You’ll need to let the University College know you have tested positive and are self-isolating. 

A6. No, participating in this mass testing is voluntary. However, all students are urged to get tested to help protect themselves and keep their friends, families and home communities as safe as possible when returning home for the winter break.   

A7. At this moment in time, it’s not clear that the tests can be used for international travel. Our understanding is that they do not come with a certificate of results which some countries require – please check the requirements in the country you are travelling to. You can book for a test which does certificate the results for travel purposes privately at reputable retailers such as Boots or Lloyd Pharmacy. 

A8: We are pleased to confirm that we will continue to run our teaching, both face-to-face and online, as before with very few changes. Any change will be small and will be advised to you directly by your Head of School. The latest lockdown guidance will not affect intern students and those going onto placement in the NHS.   

We understand how important it is to continue running face-to-face teaching of practical, lab-based and clinical sessions, and remain in contact with you this way. We are totally supportive of the Government’s approach to keep Universities open and for clinically-focused courses to continue as before. 

A9. The Vice-Chancellor’s email of 13th November 2020 stated that face-to-face teaching will end on 4th December, allowing students to travel in the Government’s ‘student travel window’ which runs from the end of the national lockdown to 9th December.  

Please note, national restrictions are currently in place which includes restrictions on non-essential travel to reduce transmission of COVID-19 (for more information see here). This means that you should not leave your term-time accommodation during this lockdown period, except for specific purposes, including leaving home for education. 

A10. The Government guidance advises students to travel in this period because, having just finished a 4-week national lockdown, this is the safest time for you to return home. However, if you are unable to travel during this time, the Government advises that you undertake a further period of restricted contact either before or after returning home to minimise risk of transmission. 

A11. The local Health Protection Board are keen to remind students that you should stay at University during the lockdown period and not travel home. Government guidance states if you live at University, you must not move back and forward between your permanent home and student home during term time. You should only return home at the end of the semester for Christmas. We will publish further guidance regarding the end of term as soon as we can; guidance from the Government is awaited. 

We do appreciate that this is a stressful time. To speak to someone in confidence, please contact our Student Services Team at studentservices@aecc.ac.uk. Your Students’ Union is also here to help you. Please contact them on SUExec@aecc.ac.uk 

A12. The most important symptoms of Coronavirus are the following: recent onset of a new continuous cough, a high temperature, a loss of, or change in your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia). If you develop any of these symptoms, you must stay at home and arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19. Please do not come onto campus.

Please use the Covid-19 Symptoms Reporting Form to let us know you are self-isolating because you have symptoms, living with someone who has symptoms or tested positive or, have tested positive yourself. It is essential you keep us informed as we are working with Public Health England and Local Authorities to manage cases. 

Please be aware of other seasonal illnesses, such as meningitis and mumps, can start with similar symptoms. We encourage you to make sure your immunisations are up to date and to be aware of seasonal illnesses. For more information, please see the NHS website for mumps and for more information on meningitis please visit Meningitis Now which has specific resources for university students.  

 

A13:Please use the Covid-19 Symptoms Reporting Form to let us know you are self-isolating because you have symptoms, living with someone who has symptoms or tested positive or, have tested positive yourself. It is essential you keep us informed as we are working with Public Health England and Local Authorities to manage cases.  

You should also tell your housemates that you have developed symptoms and that they should also self-isolate; you can do so by giving them this information. 

Please be aware of other seasonal illnesses, such as meningitis and mumps, can start with similar symptoms. We encourage you to make sure your immunisations are up to date and to be aware of seasonal illnesses. For more information, please see the NHS website for mumps and for more information on meningitis please visit Meningitis Now which has specific resources for university students.   

If you are absent for any other reason, please email courseadmin@aecc.ac.uk    

A14. Yes, a family member can pick you up in a private vehicle to take you home at the end of term. Your family member will not be required to self-isolate because of this. However, you should both strictly follow the government’s coronavirus (COVID019): safer travel guidance for passengers

A15. You can share a car with other students or friends that live in your household or belong to your support bubble to travel home at the end of term. However, you should both strictly follow the government’s coronavirus (COVID-19): safer travel guidance for passengers. Note, this does not include someone from your teaching ‘bubble’. 

A16. Yes, as long as  you have not been informed by NHS Test and Trace that you need to self-isolate or a member of your term-time household has symptoms.  If you are using public transport you should follow the safer travel guidance This includes wearing a face covering unless you are exempt, planning your journey in advance to avoid busy times and routes, washing/sanitising your hands regularly, and keeping your distance while travelling where possible. 

A17. You  will only be required to take further measures at home (such as self-isolation) if you are informed by NHS Test and Trace that you need to self-isolate or a member of your term-time household has symptoms.  

A18. The Vice-Chancellor’s message of 13/11/2020 explained that we plan to start Semester 2 on time on 11th January 2021. We will restart face-to-face teaching again from 11th January 2021 and you are expected to be back in Bournemouth by this date. Once you are back by 11th January, if you are then required to self-isolate on your return it is essential that you will have completed your self-isolation by the w/c 25th January. All students must have completed self-isolation by week 3 of semester 2 unless there are exceptional circumstances. This is subject to change should government guidance require it. 

A19. On campus, the library will remain open. We will need to close the sit-down area in the canteen, but food from our onsite café Spine and Dine will still be available to take away to consume in your own home as outlined in the lockdown guidance. 

The safety measures we have put in place on campus are working. Thank you for being vigilant and following the guidance we have set out to keep our campus safe.

A20: If you have received the results from the NHS Test and Trace and your results are positive you will need to continue to self-isolate in line with Government guidance. Please let AECC University College know that you have tested positive by using the Covid-19 Symptoms Reporting Form. It is essential you keep us informed as we are working with Public Health England and Local Authorities to manage cases. 

A21: If you have received the results from the NHS Test and Trace and your results are negative you welcome to return to campus – please see more details below. Please let AECC University College that you have tested negative by using the  Covid-19 Symptoms Reporting Form. It is essential you keep us informed as we are working with Public Health England and Local Authorities to manage cases. 

You are welcome to return to campus as long as: 

  • Everyone you live with who have symptoms test negative 
  • Everyone in your support bubble who have symptoms test negative 
  • You have not been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace 
  • You feel well – if you don’t feel well, please stay at home until you are feeling better 
  • If you have not had diarrhoea or have been sick –  if this is the case, please stay at home for 48 hours after they have stopped 

A22. If you are feeling stressed or anxious at all during this time and would like to speak to someone in confidence, please contact the student services team at studentservices@aecc.ac.uk   

A23. In line with Government guidelines, cloth face-coverings are not required where sufficient social distancing measures are in place. Face coverings must be worn in indoor spaces where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet, for example, in corridors. Signs will indicate the areas on campus where the wearing of face coverings is mandatory, such as in corridors. If you are exempt from wearing a face covering under Government guidelines, the same will apply on campus.   

In practical sessions where Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required, you will be provided with this and instructed on how to use this. 

If you are exempt from wearing a face covering as outlined above, this does not extend to a clinical environment where PPE is essential. Therefore, there are no exemptions from wearing PPE if it is deemed necessary. You can read more about that on the Government website here. 

A24. There is new advice for those using the NHS Covid-19 app when wearing PPE. Those wearing PPE* should turn off their phones or turn off its tracing function so as not to be wrongfully notified. This is because the app cannot know if you are protected by your PPE and will assume you need to self-isolate if you have been close to someone with Covid-19. 

A message has now been placed in the app itself saying: ‘Your interactions at work should not be captured when you are wearing personal protective equipment.’ 

With this in mind, we are asking for all students and staff to switch off their mobile phones when they put on their PPE at the beginning of a practical session and turn their phones back on once their PPE is removed. 

 The NHS Covid-19 app is a free app which helps monitor the spread of Covid-19. To download this app please visit https://covid19.nhs.uk/ 

 

* Please note, wearing a face covering alone is not considered PPE 

 

A25. We have made a number of changes to keep all our students and staff safe:

  • We now have a one-way system around campus. Some staircases are marked as up only, some as down only and there are signs and arrows reminding you to keep left when walking along corridors.
  • There are sanitisers and cleaning stations throughout campus.
  • Physical distancing will be required on campus when teaching, and in areas of the library, IT study spaces and catering.
  • Contactless payments will be requested at the clinic, library and catering
  • Temperature screening has been installed through our CCTV at key points of entry onto campus. If someone appears to have a very high temperature, they will be required to undertake an enhanced health questionnaire
  • Screens have been put up at key points on campus including at the main reception desk and the library desk

Please remember to bring your ID cards so you can access the buildings on campus.

A26. We understand that you may have concerns about sharing your data with Public Health England (PHE), however under the Health Protection Regulations 2010, there is a clear statutory basis for your personal data to be shared. That statutory duty means that under GDPR there is a lawful basis for processing your data in this way. You are therefore unable to ‘opt out’ or withdraw your consent for your data to be shared.  

Our statutory duty to report this information protects individuals from health risk and could save lives. As this information is classified as Special Category data under Data Protection Regulations, we are processing this information under the lawful bases of legal obligation (Art6) AND Public Health (Art9) to share this vital information with PHE. Your data will be handled with appropriate security.  

Due to the statutory requirement placed on us and as a healthcare organisation, the lifesaving importance of limiting the spread of COVID-19, and our desire to ensure the highest level of safety for our students, staff and visitors, this processing activity is exempt from the usual right to opt out or request deletion or restriction of this processing activity.  

We hope you will respect the position we are taking so we can fully support all initiatives to operate in a responsible and safe manner. If you have any concerns about this processing activity please contact the Data Protection Officer. 

A27. Please use resources from Gov.uk or NHS websites. Here are a few key resources: 

  • Covid-19 Symptoms https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/ 
  • Understanding Covid Test results https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/what-your-test-result-means/ 
  • Getting a Covid-19 Test https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/
  • Self-isolation guidance https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/ 
  • ‘Rule of 6’/Meetings other safely: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing  

A28. The official channel for your timetable is online at https://timetable.aecc.ac.uk   

Login using your AECC University College credentials, and follow the instructions sent your AECC account from timetable@aecc.ac.uk 

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