All student email, Wednesday 2 September 2020

You may have seen in the news that we have opened a coronavirus testing facility on campus. The site is now open for students living locally, read on to find out how and when you can access it, with a reminder of the good guidance we should all be following in our daily lives.  This week we also share some video messages from academics who talk about what learning and teaching will be like in semester one.

If you have any suggestions for future issues, or any stories for us to shine a spotlight on, please email: studentcommunications@contacts.bham.ac.uk

 

Coronavirus testing site opens on campus 

As part of the preparations for the start of the new academic year and wider COVID-preparations we are pleased to advise that a new walk-through coronavirus testing facility has opened at the edge of campus (on South Gate Car Park, near to Sport & Fitness).

The facility, which is part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing, is open now, 7 days a week from 8.00am to 8.00pm and is open to students, staff and members of the community.  Anyone with coronavirus symptoms, however mild, can get a free swab test at the facility which takes less than a minute.

Although this is a walk-through facility you will still need to book a slot for a test or by calling 119.  It is really important that you book a test as soon as symptoms begin, however mild they are.  You will receive your results by text within 24 hours and this will confirm what you need to do next.

If you test positive then you and your household will need to self-isolate. Anyone testing positive will also be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them track their contacts.  Once the new semester starts we will also ask you to let the University know if you receive a positive test – and we will let you know how in a future update.

It is essential that we all work together in the fight against coronavirus and to protect our campus and local communities. Remember the five points below to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

1.         Get tested immediately if you develop symptoms of coronavirus, however mild

Symptoms include a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. You will need to arrange a free test via the NHS website or by calling 119. This is available to everyone in the UK, including international students. You can now get tested on campus, at the facility on south gate car park, but will need to book a slot before attending.

2.        Understand when you need to self-isolate  

If you do develop symptoms then you and your household must self-isolate straight-away. You should also self-isolate if you've tested positive for coronavirus, you live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive, or you're told by NHS Test and Trace that you've been in contact with a person with coronavirus. Self-isolating means, you cannot leave your home, other than to get tested, for up to 14 days.

Read further guidance here.

3.        Wear a face covering

You will be asked to wear a face covering in all University buildings (excluding your accommodation) on campus where a safe 2-metre social distance cannot be maintained, unless you have an exemption. You will be able to collect your own reusable University of Birmingham face covering after you have arrived, or, if you require one, a face-covering exemption lanyard and card.

4.        Wash your hands

You should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitiser at regular intervals. Handwashing facilities and hand sanitiser are available across campus.

5.        Keep Your Distance!

To help keep you safe, one-way systems are in place across campus where they’re needed including study space areas and the library.  At home, if you are living in private rented accommodation, you need to remember that the social distancing regulations apply there too!   Remember that you must not:

  • socialise indoors in groups of more than two households – this includes when eating out or going to the pub.
  • socialise outdoors in a group of more than six people from different households – and that includes your back garden! Gatherings larger than six should only take place if everyone is from exclusively from two households or support bubbles.

It is really important that we all follow these rules to prevent the spread of infection and avoid the possibility of further restrictions or a localised lockdown.  Further information about what you can and cannot do is available here.

You should also make sure you are registered with a GP (General Practitioner, a doctor) close to your term address to access health services and receive support for your mental and physical health if you need it. For international Students, the immigration health surcharge will entitle Tier 4 students to access NHS care in the UK at no additional cost in the same way as a permanent UK resident.

 

On Film: What will it be like in semester one?

Our academics joined us from their homes to answer our students' questions on what learning will be like for them in September. Find out more on our plans for teaching, our resources and how we'll conduct your lectures, seminars and tutorials.

Watch the film 

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