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Health and safety measures

The safety of students, staff and visitors is our number one priority as we reopen campus for the new academic year.

Despite the release of lockdown restrictions, we continue to implement extensive safety measure, ensuring we comply with – or exceed – government guidelines and we continue to follow wider advice from national bodies such as the NHS and Public Health England (PHE).

Here, we’ve outlined the health and safety measures that we have put in place. Please take some time to read through these, as we will also ask you to play your part by complying with all necessary measures to ensure everyone can have the best DMU experience possible.

Our approach covers cleaning, ventilation, use of face coverings, and planning ahead to track and manage any potential infections.

  1. Infection management

    DMU has a dedicated planning group that is working closely with Leicester City Council and the Director of Public Health to follow established protocols in case of a possible infection at the university.

    We will use the following approaches to manage potential cases:

    • If there is a confirmed case, we will be able to access location data based on our attendance monitoring system that we can use to work with Public Health England to reduce any potential spread.
    • If a student, member of staff or visitor tests positive, they will be expected to alert us via the DMU Safe Trace webform.
  2. University measures to reduce transmission

    Cleaning

    Enhanced cleaning is taking place across campus daily. Sanitiser spray and paper towels will be on hand for students and staff to wipe down shared equipment after use.

    An enhanced cleaning regime is in place as follows:

    • Toilet facilities including surfaces, fittings and touchpoints will be sanitised three times daily
    • Touchpoints such as door handles, push plates, lift controls, handrails and vending machine touchpads will be sanitised three times daily
    • Self-cleaning packs will be located next to all walk-up photocopiers, so that staff and students can clean them after each use
    • Teaching spaces such as classrooms, lecture theatres and studios will be sanitised daily, and all surfaces wiped
    • Laboratories and workshops will have floors cleaned daily, with regular cleaning of work surfaces and equipment by faculties
    • Breakout spaces will be sanitised three times daily
    • Computer labs will be sanitised daily and self-cleaning packs provided for users to clean keyboards, mice and screens after each use
    • Office desks, door handles and meeting rooms will be sanitised daily
    • Reception desks will be sanitised daily and self-cleaning packs provided
    • In kitchenettes, all floors and clear surfaces will be sanitised daily, with soap and paper towel dispensers provided
    • Showers (including cycle-specific areas) will be sanitised daily, with self-cleaning packs also provided
    • In DMU-owned student accommodation, washrooms and communal areas will be sanitised weekly, and touchpoints twice daily, with self-cleaning packs also provided
    • Self-cleaning packs will be available in every lecture theatre, classroom and seminar room so that staff can self-clean lecterns before ay face-to-face teaching. We will also have a new team of 15 daytime cleaners who will patrol the campus and sanitise areas and rooms if they are empty and deal with immediate issues

    Should there be a confirmed coronavirus outbreak, following consultation with our local PHE team the affected areas could be closed and secured for a minimum 72 hours, after which point an additional thorough cleaning process will take place. In some instances, a deep cleaning process will take place if an area is required to be back in operation within 72 hours.

    Hand sanitiser stations have been installed in all building entrances and key across campus, but we also encourage everyone to wash their hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and in line with NHS guidance

    Social distancing

    Social distancing remains incredibly important in stopping the spread of coronavirus. On campus, you'll see clear safety signage reminding you of the measures you need to take to keep a safe distance from others. Perspex screens in reception areas will remain in place.

    Heating, ventilation and air conditioning

    Contractors must provide risk assessments (including control measures for Covid-19) and complete the online induction prior to attending a site. These guidelines will help prevent the spread of Covid-19 depending on Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) or plumbing system-related factors and are based upon Health Safety Executive and Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers guidance.

    Increase air supply and exhaust ventilation

    • Operating times of systems have been extended to 24/7.
    • Exhaust ventilation systems of toilets are running 24/7.
    • Try to reduce the number of employees in one place (increase the air volume pro-capita).

    Use more window and door airing

    • Encourage staff to open windows (to the maximum, even when this causes some thermal discomfort).
    • It is important to keep windows and doors (excluding fire doors) open in different spaces; in order to achieve cross flows throughout the building.
    • Internal doors (which are not fire doors – sign located on door stating if a fire door) should be propped open when staff are present and closed/secured when vacating the room.

    Humidification and air-conditioning have no practical effect

    • No changes required.

    Safe use of heat recovery sections

    • Rotary heat exchangers (including enthalpy wheels) have been (temporarily) isolated.
    • Where heat recovery systems are employed, the supply air duct pressure is higher than extract duct pressure, so any cross contamination does not enter the building.

    No use of recirculation

    • Recirculation dampers on air handling units will be closed to ensure any virus particles do not re-enter a building.
    • De-centralised systems such as fan coil units or air conditioning split systems that use local recirculation, cannot be used.

    Duct cleaning has no practical effect

    • Small particles containing viruses would not deposit easily in ventilation ducts as they are normally carried out by operational airflow.

    Change of outdoor air filters is not necessary

    • From the filter replacement perspective, normal maintenance procedures are being followed.

    Air Conditioning (AC)

    • Split AC systems for use in cooling IT servers in rooms that are not occupied on a full-time basis, are remaining operational. Risk Assessment to be produced by Faculty/Department for the use of the room, considering occupancy and fresh air requirements.
    • A risk assessment needs to be produced by Faculty/Department where Split AC systems that must remain in operation for research, considering occupancy levels and fresh air requirements.
    • Split AC in single occupancy rooms can still be used.
    • Where rooms are fed by a separate fresh air source via mechanical means the split AC system will be run continuously.
    • In rooms containing split air conditioning and reliant on windows for ventilation, the AC has been isolated.
    • In rooms/areas fed by a main ventilation system and cooling is provided by local fan coil units will continue to be used.

    CO2 Sensors

    Teaching rooms with a floor area of over 50m2 that do not have automatically controlled ventilation systems will have a CO2 monitor fitted that monitors the CO2 levels within that room. If the CO2 level rises there is a traffic light system on the sensor and above the set limit the display will indicate RED where the following action is needed:

    • Open more windows
    • Open window wider
    • Open doors to room
    • Take a ‘session’ break

    These recommendations  compliment the general guidance for employers and building owners presented in the WHO document ‘Getting workplaces ready for COVID-19’. These guidelines are ‘fluid’ and will be updated in line with any recommendations issued by recognised industrial bodies i.e., CIBSE, BRE etc.

    If you are a staff member, you can read the full Covid-19 Estates and Facilities Guidance on DMUconnect (you will need to enter your single sign-on details). Here you will find some further staff related FAQs.

  3. Face coverings

    From 19 July 2021, we are strongly encouraging people to continue to wear face coverings in indoor spaces. This is to ensure we keep our shared commitment to each other and to make sure our community is as safe as possible. This applies to most indoor settings on campus, with some local exceptions and unless you are exempt.

    We will not be able to mandate the wearing of face coverings in teaching rooms or communal areas because there is no longer a legal requirement to wear face coverings in indoor settings or on public transport. However, these lifting of legal restrictions does not mean the risks from Covid-19 have disappeared. Although face coverings will no longer be required by law, the Government still expects and recommends them to be worn in crowded settings where you may come into contact with people you don't normally meet. This will include public transport and crowded indoor spaces unless you are exempt.

    We will be constantly monitoring the guidance and may need to amend our strategy accordingly.

    Sunflower lanyards and/or business card for exemption can still be worn/carried. Students can obtain them by making an appointment through MyGateway. Staff can collect from their directorate/faculty collection points.

    Please also follow the government guidance about how to wear a face covering safely.

    The benefits of wearing a face covering include:

    1. Cloth masks trap respiratory droplets that are released when the wearer talks, coughs or sneezes.
    2. Acts as a barrier to protect the wearer from inhaling droplets released by others.
    3. Prevent people who are asymptomatic from spreading the virus to others.
    4. The most effective cloth masks are made of multiple layers of tightly woven fabric like cotton. A mask with layers will stop more droplets from getting through or escaping from your mask.
    5. Continue to wear face masks in indoor public places and outdoors at crowded events or large gatherings – the more people wear a mask, the larger the benefit to everyone.
    6. In many cultures, wearing a mask when one is ill or has allergies is a sign of respect for others. Wearing a mask to protect yourself is normal, and simply good hygiene.
  4. Steps to limit Covid-19 transmission

    To ensure you have the best student experience possible, there are several things we are asking you to do to help keep yourself and others safe. We want to safeguard students and staff so that we all feel our campus is an inherently safe and secure environment in which to study and work.

    The World Health Organisation and the UK Government have advised that there are a few small steps that we should all follow to limit the transmission of Covid-19: 

    1. Be Safe, Get the Covid-19 vaccine - Now the majority of lockdown restrictions have been lifted, Covid-19 vaccination remains the most vital weapon in defeating the virus and protecting public health. Two doses of the various vaccines on offer protect against all of the variants and are highly effective at reducing hospitalisations and deaths. Vaccination is also having a positive impact on transmission rates. Therefore, the Government is increasing its calls for younger age groups and others not vaccinated to book their vaccine online or by calling 119 or get jabbed at local drop-in clinics wherever available.

      We strongly encourage all of our students and staff yet to be vaccinated to book your vaccine as soon as you are able to do so. Getting vaccinated is crucial to protecting yourself, classmates, loved ones and others in the community. Vaccination is also our collective passport to enjoying a more normal campus experience and to get back to doing the things we love in our personal lives.

      If you have any questions or concerns about getting the Covid vaccines on offer, please take a look at our ‘Be safe, get the Covid vaccine’ website.

    2. Twice weekly lateral flow testing - All students and staff are strongly encouraged to continue to get tested twice weekly (irrespective of vaccination status). Home testing kits are also available for collection from the Eric Wood learning zone (as well as other local healthcare providers and pharmacies). If you test positive in the lateral flow test you should book a PCR test online and self-isolate until you receive your result. You should also book a PCR test if you are suffering from Covid-19 symptoms at the earliest opportunity.
    3. Please maintain personal hygiene by washing your hands with soap and hot running water for 20 seconds when you arrive on campus and regularly throughout the day. There is soap in every washroom and hand sanitisers are available in all buildings. Please avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
    4. We are strongly encouraging people to continue to wear face coverings in indoor spaces. The Government still expects and recommends them to be worn in crowded settings where you may come into contact with people you don't normally meet. This will include public transport and crowded indoor spaces unless you are exempt. All students and staff will be provided with two reusable face masks.

      It is important that you always bring your face covering when you come to campus as it is your responsibility to protect yourself and others from the further transmission of Covid-19. Please wash your reusable face covering on a regular basis and put disposable face masks safely in a bin and wash your hands with soap.

    5. Please ensure that when you cough or sneeze you use a tissue and that you dispose of the tissue safely in a bin. If you do not have a tissue, then use your sleeve. It is important not to use your hands.
    6. Please be mindful of other students and staff when you move around the campus so that you follow government guidance on social distancing. This involves maintaining a safe distance between you and others as well as not congregating in corridors and door entry and exit points. Please comply with all signs.
    7. Please ensure that if you feel unwell with common Covid-19 symptoms such as a high temperature, a new and continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, that you self-isolate and follow government guidance which is available from the NHS website.

    If you have recovered from Covid-19 there is no current scientific evidence that you are 100% immune from contracting the virus again. Therefore you must continue to follow NHS guidance and our health and safety measures outlined on this website.

  5. Accommodation

    Our accommodation services have been working and will continue to work alongside UK Government guidelines, Public Health England (PHE) as well as local authorities at Leicester City Council.

    Here are some of the measures we're putting in place to ensure our accommodation complies with the latest UK Government guidelines on Covid-19, to make our accommodation a safe and welcoming place for all our students.

    We've enhanced our cleaning measures

    Our main priority is to keep all our students and staff as safe as possible. Enhanced cleaning measures have been put in place across the entire university, including all DMU-owned student accommodation.

    The enhanced measures include:

    • Washrooms and communal areas cleaned by DMU staff weekly with sanitising chemical
    • Touchpoints cleaned twice daily using sanitising chemical
    • Self-cleaning pack supplied for users to use
    • Hand sanitiser points
    • Comprehensive Covid-19 training for staff including all university cleaning staff

    Keeping your accommodation Covid-secure

    We are all responsible for keeping our campus and accommodation Covid-secure, with every student playing a part in keeping our community safe.

    There are some simple steps you can take to keep your new home and housemates as safe as possible:

    • Clean your home regularly with anti-bacterial cleaning products to minimise the risk of infection
    • Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds using soap and water
    • Use hand sanitiser regularly
    • Cover your coughs and sneezes
    • If you have symptoms, stay as far away from other members of your household as you can
    • Discuss house rules early on – things are likely to run more smoothly if you have a shared agreement to Covid safety and are comfortable with each other's behaviour
    • Communicate with each other on what works best to keep your household safe
    • Wear face coverings when needed - think of your housemates when out and about, they are now your household

     

    You'll be part of a new household

    Once you have moved into your accommodation, you and your new flatmates will be considered as a single household under the current UK Government guidelines. You will be expected to follow the latest UK Government advice to limit the risk of infection for yourself, your flatmates and the wider DMU community.

    Social distancing is not required within your accommodation unless you or a housemate is self-isolating. This means that within your household, you are not required to wear a face covering. However, in communal spaces, shared corridors, or events where you will be socially distanced and meeting other people you may be required to wear a face covering.

    We will be looking out for you 24 hours a day

    Our on-campus security team are on site 24 hours a day so you can relax knowing that help is always available.

    There are plenty of staff to deal with any situation that arises in terms of security and support including emergency welfare support.

    Students can ring security day or night by calling 0116 2577642.

  6. DMU's test and trace service: DMU Safe Trace

    DMU Safe Trace is an institution-led test and trace service, aiming to minimise the transmission of Covid-19 between DMU students, staff and visitors

    To make Safe Trace effective, and to minimise your risk of having to self-isolate or becoming infected with Covid-19, we request individuals visiting campus complete the following actions:

    1. Report any confirmed positive COVID-19 tests using the Safe Trace Notification Form

          • Sign in to MyDMU, and open the Safe Trace tile (please ensure you are using the most up-to-date version of the app)
          • Scan the QR code wherever you see one on display (it will look like the below)

    1. If you're a student, record the number on your desk (if there is a number on your desk, note it down or take a photo and keep for three weeks)

      By recording your seat number, you could avoid two weeks of self-isolation – without seat number information, a positive coronavirus case could result in the whole class having to self-isolate, as it is impossible to know who was sitting near the positive person

    2. Follow social distancing rules, wear a mask, maintain a two-metre distance where possible, regularly wash your hands

    Further details about how DMU use your QR data can be found via our Safe Trace Privacy Notice.

    In some of our buildings, particularly ones used by the local community, alongside Safe Trace we also have NHS QR codes on display.

    These work in a very similar way to the Safe Trace QR codes, helping to anonymously monitor movement and stop the spread. Please scan them with the NHS COVID-19 app.