Living With COVID: Update for all students in Birmingham
Could this be our last Covid update?
For the last two years we have been living with Covid restrictions, testing, vaccinations, social distancing, and face coverings. For the last few weeks we have been living without many of those restrictions in England and we have been cautiously adapting to what it means to “live with Covid” as normally as possible.
So firstly, thank you
Thank you all for your cooperation and community spirit, thank you for looking after each other, and thank you for helping us all to stay safe and well. Thank you for supporting us with tens of thousands of tests in the Great Hall and at home, thank you to everyone who is now fully vaccinated, including the hundreds of you who got your vaccination jabs and boosters on campus – thank you all for your patience, understanding and support.
Vaccination has been the most important tool in getting back to normal and if you are still not fully vaccinated then we would strongly encourage you to complete the course - including the booster jab. You can find a local vaccination site, including local walk-in options here: Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
As expected, with the removal of remaining restrictions, there has been an increase in positive cases across the City of Birmingham and nationally – and many of you will know someone who has tested positive recently. That is why we are still taking a cautious approach and still have home test kits (Lateral Flow Kits) available on campus. In line with the UK Government position we will no longer be distributing FREE test kits on campus after 31 March 2022 and you will no longer be able to get FREE test kits from the NHS online ordering service. We would certainly recommend that you have a couple of boxes of kits at home (just in case) so why not order one online and then come and get another one from us – while FREE stocks last!
While we are still testing we would also encourage you to continue to report any positive tests to us as this is really helpful for us to understand any patterns of transmission and offer support.
Most importantly, if you are feeling poorly, have coronavirus symptoms, or any other symptoms – then please don’t come to campus and share your germs. Before, and after Covid, no one wants you to share their coughs and colds – so please do continue those considerate behaviours.
Again, from the end of March, to coincide with the start of the Easter vacation period, we will be starting to remove all the signage across campus encouraging the wearing of face coverings. Until then we are still recommending that you do so - particularly in busy spaces. Wearing a face covering will continue to be a personal choice and we would ask that everyone is respectful and understanding of those choices. We will still have in place some protective measures, including good ventilation, and we are continuing to recommend regular hand sanitising.
So, will this be our last Covid update? We certainly hope so…
Unfortunately, nothing is guaranteed and, of course, we will continue to work with our partners and with the Guild of Students to monitor the situation in support of the whole University community.
Thank you all.