Test, Trace and Protect

The University's Test, Trace and Protect process complements the NHS and Public Health England process. It includes measures to ensure that students and staff understand the symptoms of COVID-19, when and how to get tested, how to report a positive test to the University, and a proactive programme of identifying and contacting anyone who might have come into ‘close contact’ with a confirmed case of COVID-19 on campus.

COVID-19 reporting form

The University's process includes a range of other measures we have taken to reopen campus safely, including COVID-building risk assessments before any space can reopen, social distancing measures and signage across campus, wearing face-coverings, enhanced cleaning and access to hand sanitisers, a bi-modal approach to teaching and blended approach to working at home and on campus.

To support staff and students to access a test, Birmingham is the first university campus in the UK with end to end pillar two testing capabilities. This includes the Local Testing Site on the edge of campus and the first University-based Turnkey Laboratory. The lab, based at the Medical School, forms part of NHS Test and Trace, joining Britain’s largest network of diagnostic testing facilities in increasing coronavirus testing capacity. The Birmingham lab is the first of the new facilities to open and will deliver over 3,000 tests per day over the coming months. As a city, Birmingham is also currently carrying out higher levels of testing than other cities, including London. It is important that the data below on cases at the University are read in this context. Academic colleagues in the University’s Institute of Applied Health Research are providing analysis of case data and expert advice on how to reduce transmission.

 
YOU MUST ISOLATE AND GET TESTED IF YOU HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS
Download the NHS COVID-19 app

General information

What are the main symptoms of COVID-19?

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms

How do I get a test?

If you develop symptoms please book a test at your nearest test centre – this could be the community testing hub on campus or a centre close to you where you live. Do not use public transport to travel to or from a test location.

You can book online via the Gov.UK website or if you have no internet access, or you cannot get to a test centre, you can call the NHS on 119 to order a test.

You and your household should stay at home (self-isolate) until the outcomes of your test are known.

The tests are quick, free and available to everyone with COVID-19 symptoms.

What do I do if my test is positive?

If you have a positive test you must continue to isolate at home for 10 days from when you started showing symptoms or for 10 days from your test date if you had no symptoms.

The rest of your household must continue to isolate at home for 14 days from when you started showing symptoms. The NHS has further information on self-isolating at home.

If you test positive, the NHS Test and Trace Service will contact you to identify anyone else that you have been in recent close contact with.

You also need to notify the University that you have had a positive test. This is so that we can identify any close contacts on campus and minimise the risk of onward transmission to staff and students.

For more information about what to do if you are staff or student visit FAQs below.

What do I do if my test is negative?

If your test is negative and you feel well, you can return to work or study. However, if your test is negative while you are isolating as a close contact, you still need to complete the 14 day isolation period. The negative test result does not reduce the period of isolation required.

If you are a member of staff you also need to notify your line manager as soon as you get your test result even though it is negative.

Further guidance from the NHS on what to do if your test is negative.

What is the University’s process for managing cases of COVID-19 on campus?

Every area of University has a Local Management Group (LMG) who are responsible for managing any positive case in their area. Our online reporting tool directly notifies the relevant LMG so that early action can be taken. For students living in our halls of residence, Accommodation Services are also directly notified. Based on the information submitted and further supportive discussion with the individual, the LMG considers the circumstance of each case and ensures appropriate action is taken, including any immediate action required by Cleaning Services and Estates, and tracing and contacting any UoB staff or students identified as a ‘close contact’.

Decisions are informed by discussion with the Test, Trace & Protect Oversight Group, working with the Birmingham City Council Public Health team and West Midlands Public Health England. All cases are reported to the University’s Oversight Group. Academics in the Institute of Applied Health Research are working with the Oversight Group providing expert advice on potential patterns and trends and how to reduce transmission.

What support is the University providing to students who are isolating?

All students who are self-isolating are being provided with wellbeing support from their College, especially around their studies. In University and partner accommodation students who have tested positive are being supported with regular wellbeing phone calls and complimentary food parcels. We are also providing support with ordering anything they need during their isolation. To maintain confidentially of individuals, we are not providing specific detail on cases to others. However, any student who is identified as being a close contact of someone who has tested positive is being told and offered support to self-isolate.

Weekly reported cases for University of Birmingham staff and students

We are publishing a weekly report on the total number of new reported COVID-19 cases among our staff and students from the first week of teaching on campus this Academic Year. The figures will be reported weekly, on Wednesdays, covering new cases in the previous seven days. As well as overall numbers, the data include a figure for those who have been on campus (not including student residences) in the two days prior to symptoms starting or testing positive because these are key factors for understanding and minimising the risk of potential on-campus transmission.

When comparing our data with other institutions, it is important to remember that we are a campus University with our own residences and direct access to testing on campus through the Local Test Site; our total data includes students in our residences, which may not always be the case elsewhere. In addition, the city of Birmingham is testing more than many other parts of the UK. Students in some of our halls of residence also took part in a trial of asymptomatic testing on Saturday 10 October which may also impact on the latest figures.

Academic colleagues in the Institute of Applied Health Research are supporting the analysis and understanding of reported cases and they support the University’s approach presented here to publishing these data on cases. All cases are submitted to the Birmingham City Council Public Health team and West Midlands Public Health England to ensure integration with the national test and trace programme. All staff and students are encouraged to download the NHS COVID-19 app to support early action in response to cases of COVID-19. 

COVID-19 staff figures, period of reporting: Wednesday 14 October to Tuesday 20 October
Total staff populationTotal number of staff who have tested positive in the last 7 daysSub-total of staff who have been on campus two days prior to symptoms/positive test*
Circa 8,000  12  3
COVID-19 student figures, period of reporting: Wednesday 14 October to Tuesday 20 October
Total student population (UK-based)Total number of students who have tested positive in the last 7 daysSub-total of students who have been on campus two days prior to symptoms/positive test*
 Circa 30,000  224  93

*On campus means any non-residential setting and may include office, teaching, research, study, retail and/or recreational settings. The current analysis of data does not indicate any on campus transmission, outside of residences, in this reporting period.

Information for staff and students

This section contains information and guidance for staff and students who have tested positive for COVID-19, have symptoms for COVID-19, or have been advised that they are a ‘close contact’ with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

1. I have received a positive COVID-19 (coronavirus) test result. What should I do?

Do not come onto campus to work or study. Please notify the University as soon as possible by completing the online form, where you will be asked to complete your personal details, together with details of your whereabouts on campus within the preceding 48 hours of developing symptoms/being tested. You will also be asked to provide information (as far as you are able to) about who you have been in contact with whilst on campus.

You will also be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace Service, which will ask you about your recent whereabouts and close contacts. 

Staff: Please inform your line manager by telephone or email as soon as possible following your positive test result notification and complete the online test and trace form.

2. What are the main symptoms of COVID-19?

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms.

For most people, COVID-19 will be a mild illness. However, if you have any of the symptoms above, stay at home and arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19 – go to testing to arrange.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 however mild, self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started. You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19 – go to testing to arrange. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

3. I have symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus) – what should I do?

You should stay at home and arrange to have a test as soon as possible to see if you have COVID-19 – go to testing to arrange. Please notify your line manager of your symptoms as soon as possible by telephone or email, together with confirmation of whether you have been on campus within the last 48 hours.

The rest of your household should also self-isolate with immediate effect for 14 days (or until the person with symptoms tests negative in which case they can stop self-isolating immediately).

Students: You will need to let the rest of your household know that they have to self-isolate with you. If you live in UoB-operated accommodation you need to alert your local reception desk via the accommodation portal or contact your local team directly.

4. I am being tested for COVID-19 (coronavirus) – what should I do?

Do not come onto campus to work or study.

Staff: Telephone or email your line manager to inform them as soon as possible and make arrangements to update your line manager by phone or email as soon as you have the test results. If you have attended the workplace in the 48 hours prior to developing symptoms or prior to being tested, you will be asked to provide information on where you have been and (as far as you are able) who you have been in contact with.

The NHS Test and Trace service will also ask you to share information about your recent close contacts.

Students: You do not need to tell us that you are waiting for a test. If you feel well enough, you can continue to engage with your online learning activities while you are waiting for your test results. If you are going to be self-isolating for an extended period see the question and answer below.

5. I am self-isolating – what should I do?

Do not come onto campus, it is important that you remain at home and do not leave the house until your self-isolation period has ended.

The government’s Test and Trace service alerts people if they have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus and as such, should stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days from the day they were last in contact with that person. In addition, household members of someone with symptoms will also need to self-isolate for 14 days (or until the person with symptoms tests negative in which case they can stop self-isolating immediately).

Staff: You should inform your line manager by telephone or email as soon as possible about the fact that you are self-isolating and the reason for this. You should also obtain an isolation note unless you are able to work from home in which case one is not required.

Students: If you are self-isolating for any reason other than a positive test then you can let us know that you are likely to be absent for a short-term period (up to two weeks) Each College has a notification process and you can contact your programme team to let them know. While you are self-isolating, and if you feel well enough, you can continue to engage with your online learning activities.

If you need any further advice or support you can contact the Wellbeing Officer for your School.

6. What should I do if I become unwell with COVID-19 (coronavirus) symptoms whilst on campus?

If you become unwell with coronavirus symptoms whilst on campus you should go home, self-isolate and arrange to have a test for coronavirus as soon as possible.

Staff: Please inform your line manager as soon as possible and then immediately inform your line manager of the result.

Students: Please follow the advice for “I am being tested” and “I am self-isolating”.

7. What is the NHS Test and Trace service?

The NHS Test and Trace Service was established in May 2020 to track and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The NHS Test and Trace service alerts people if they have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus and as such, should stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days from the day they were last in contact with that person.

If the NHS Test and Trace service contacts you, the service will use text messages, email or phone.

All texts or emails will ask you to sign into the NHS Test and Trace contact-tracing website.

If NHS Test and Trace calls you by phone, the service will be using a single phone number: 0300 013 5000.

8. What happens if there is a case of COVID-19 on campus – will the University carry out testing and tracing?

If we are made aware of a confirmed case amongst staff or students who are back on campus we will carry out our own contact tracing, seeking to identify as far as possible any close contacts and advising those people to self-isolate with immediate effect for 14 days.

The University process is in addition to the NHS Test and Trace process and therefore it is likely that individuals will also be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace team.

9. I have been advised by the University that I am a close contact of someone on campus who has tested positive. What should I do?

If you have been advised by the University that you need to self-isolate, you should remain at home for 14 days and not leave the house. Do not come on to campus during your self-isolation period.

You should not arrange for testing unless you yourself develop symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Staff: Contact your line manager and discuss with them if there is any possibility of you working from home during your self-isolation period. If your role is not able to be performed from home, you will need to obtain an isolation note.

Students: Please follow the advice for “I am self-isolating”.

10. I have been advised to self-isolate, but I feel fine and have no symptoms. Do I need to self-isolate?

If you have been advised to self-isolate either by the University or the NHS Test and Trace Service, it is vitally important that you follow this guidance and self-isolate at home for 14 days. You are at risk of developing COVID-19 for the next 14 days and as people can become infectious up to 2 days before symptoms begin, you could spread the disease to others if you do not go into self-isolation.

Even if you never develop symptoms, you can still be infected and pass the virus on without knowing it.

If you do not have symptoms of COVID-19, other people in your household do not need to self-isolate at home with you. This is different to the provision where, if you do have symptoms, members of your household will need to self-isolate for 14 days (or until you have a negative test result in which case they can stop self-isolating immediately).

Information for line managers

This section provides information for line managers to help support staff who are self-isolating and/or have tested positive for COVID-19 as well as how to contact your Local Management Group to advise them of a positive case.

1. What do I do if a member of staff is diagnosed with COVID-19?

Please take note of their:
  • Name
  • ID Number
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Date they became symptomatic or date test was taken
  • Whether they have been on campus in the preceding 48 hours prior to developing symptoms/being tested.

If the individual has been on campus within the preceding 48 hours prior to developing symptoms/being tested obtain as much information as possible regarding their whereabouts and any close contacts as the University will be required to do its own contact tracing. If the individual has not been on campus within the preceding 48 hours, there is no need to discuss their whereabouts/close contacts.

Request that the individual completes the online test and trace form as soon as possible.

Notify your Director of Operations (DoOp) for Colleges or Senior Officer for Professional Services areas immediately, particularly in the case of on campus presence within the preceding 48 hours to developing symptoms/being tested.

2. What do I do if a member of staff informs me that they have symptoms of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)?

If the individual has been on campus within the preceding 48 hours prior to developing symptoms/being tested obtain as much information as possible regarding their whereabouts and any close contacts as the University will be required to do its own contact tracing. If the individual has not been on campus within the preceding 48 hours, there is no need to discuss their whereabouts/close contacts.

Advise your Director of Operations (DoOp) in Colleges or Senior Officer (SO) in Professional Services areas as soon as possible.

Ensure that any close contacts identified are advised that there is a suspected case and to observe good hygiene and get a test if they develop symptoms themselves.

Ask the individual to notify you as soon as they get their test result. If this is negative, those previously identified close contacts can be advised that there has been a negative test result. The identity of the individual should not be revealed and must remain confidential.

If the individual is too unwell, or cannot work from home, the HR Covid-19 absence tracker should be completed to record that the individual has symptoms and this should also be updated depending on the test result.

3. What do I do if a member of staff informs me that they are being tested for Covid-19?

If the individual has been on campus within the preceding 48 hours prior to developing symptoms/being tested obtain as much information as possible regarding their whereabouts and any close contacts as the University will be required to do its own contact tracing. If the individual has not been on campus within the preceding 48 hours, there is no need to discuss their whereabouts/close contacts.

Advise your Director of Operations (DoOp) in Colleges or Senior Officer (SO) in Professional Services areas as soon as possible.

Ensure that any close contacts identified are advised that there is a suspected case and to observe good hygiene and get a test if they develop symptoms themselves.

Ask the individual to notify you as soon as they get their test result. If this is negative, those previously identified close contacts can be advised that there has been a negative test result. The identity of the individual should not be revealed and must remain confidential. If the test result is positive, immediately inform your DoOp/SO.

If the individual is too unwell to work, or cannot work from home, the HR Covid-19 absence tracker should be completed to record that the individual has symptoms and updated depending on the test result.

4. What should I do if someone becomes unwell at work?

If someone becomes unwell at work with coronavirus symptoms they should go home immediately, self-isolate and book a test as soon as possible via or by calling 119 if they do not have access to the internet.

You should obtain as much information as possible regarding the individual’s whereabouts on campus and any close contacts as the University will be required to do its own contact tracing.

Advise your Director of Operations (DoOp) in Colleges or Senior Officer (SO) in Professional Services areas as soon as possible.

Ensure that any close contacts identified are advised that there is a suspected case and to observe good hygiene and get a test if they develop symptoms themselves.

Ask the individual to notify you as soon as they get their test result. If this is negative, those previously identified close contacts can be advised that there has been a negative test result. The identity of the individual should not be revealed and must remain confidential. If the test result is positive, immediately inform your DoOp/SO.

5. What should I do if someone with COVID-19 comes to work?

If someone comes to work displaying COVID-19 symptoms, they should return home immediately, self-isolate and as soon as possible or by calling 119 if they do not have access to the internet.

You should obtain as much information as possible regarding the individual’s whereabouts on campus and any close contacts as the University will be required to do its own contact tracing.

Advise your Director of Operations (DoOp) in Colleges or Senior Officer (SO) in Professional Services areas as soon as possible.

Ensure that any close contacts identified are advised that there is a suspected case and to observe good hygiene and get a test if they develop symptoms themselves.

Ask the individual to notify you as soon as they get their test result. If this is negative, those previously identified close contacts can be advised that there has been a negative test result. The identity of the individual should not be revealed and must remain confidential. If the test result is positive, immediately inform your DoOp/SO.

6. If a member of staff is self-isolating – can I ask them to undertake work from home?

It is expected that where possible (providing an individual is feeling well enough and the responsibilities of their role enables working from home to take place), all efforts should be made for them to undertake some work remotely and this should be agreed between you and the member of staff on a case by case basis. Where they cannot work from home they should be asked to obtain a self-isolation note.

If the individual is too unwell, or unable to work from home, the absence should be recorded on the HR COVID-19 absence tracker.

7. What is the Local Management Group?

Local Management Groups (LMGs) have been established to coordinate and action immediate responses to reported positive cases of Covid-19 on campus amongst staff and/or students within each department/area.

LMGs form a key component in the University’s response and handling of positive cases of COVID-19 on campus. LMGs report to the Oversight Group who are responsible for the broad oversight of any positive cases on campus and any associated actions. The Oversight Group are also responsible for identifying any emerging patterns or clusters on campus and working with Public Health England to address these.

The LMG Lead will be the Director of Operations (or nominated Deputy) for Colleges, or Senior Officer (or nominated Deputy) for Professional Services functions.

Track and Trace Area Contact
 Department Main contactSecondary contact 
Academic Services Emma Robinson Jon Elsmore 
BMSU Caroline Chadwick  Emma Stringer 
CAL Rachel Allmark  Hazel Herbert
Ruth Butler 
Campus Services Simon Bray  George Wrigley
Einita Suman
CoSS Lorraine Gaytten  Yvonne Hackforth Williams 
DARO Gavin Maggs  Caroline O'Mara 
EPS Emma Melia  Jem Huggins 
Estates Trevor Payne  Kevin George 
Executive Support Division Mark Senior  Becs Lambert 
External Relations Cathy Gilbert  Alaric Rae 
Finance  Erica Conway  Danielle Edwards
Alisa Brown
Guild of Students Jo Thomas  Adam Sheridan 
HR  Gillian McGrattan  Louise Kindon 
IT Services Mark Gee  Daniel Lawrence 
Legal Services Carolyn Pike  Nicola Cardenas Blanco 
LES Bronwen Lord  Richard Marguerie
Helen Barlow
MDS Kate Bishop  Robbie Roberts 

Colleges

Professional Services