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.
We have made extensive plans to make the campus as safe as possible, as well as ensuring we comply with – or exceed – government guidelines and the 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 as a result. 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, social distancing, use of face coverings, physical barriers, navigating around buildings and planning ahead to track and manage any potential infections.
Enhanced cleaning will take place across campus before reopening, including all IT equipment used by students. 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 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 two-metre distance from others wherever possible.
In some instances, this will mean one-way systems, or signs showing you where to stand in a queue, for example – much like you see in shops and supermarkets. There will also be specific entrances and exits to buildings, so look out for the signs to direct you.
Please stay aware of your surroundings and others around you. People with reduced mobility or who have hearing or visual impairments, for example, may navigate one-way systems differently or might not be able to see or hear you. Everyone who uses our campus should be able to do so with consideration and respect – giving way to others and communicating politely will help everyone get around buildings safely.
The number of staff and students on campus will be significantly reduced. Class sizes will be based on one-metre plus in classrooms and lecture theatres, which is approximately 30% of normal capacity. In practical areas and workshops, they are based on two-metre distancing – approximately 20% of normal capacity. The figures are based on averages and may vary depending on different layouts of teaching spaces.
To ensure that we are able to deliver a safe teaching and learning environment, and maximise the amount of on-campus interaction, we require all staff, students and visitors to wear a face covering in all teaching spaces no matter the layout unless there is a legitimate medical or personal reason for exemption. We also expect them to be worn when staff and students move around buildings or use common spaces.
We will be constantly monitoring the guidance and may need to amend our strategy accordingly. Please also follow the government guidance about how to wear a face covering safely.
The virus spreads between people who are in close contact with one another. It spreads through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes. These particles can be inhaled into the nose, mouth, airways, and lungs and cause infection. In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk. Droplets can also land on surfaces and objects and be transferred by touch. A person may get COVID-19 by touching the surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. Spread from touching surfaces is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
The latest scientific evidence is that, when used correctly, wearing a face covering can decrease the spread of coronavirus droplets in certain circumstances, helping to protect others. Combined with two-metre social distancing (wherever possible), regular hand hygiene, and covering coughs and sneezes, face coverings can be an important tactic in controlling the spread of the virus.
Further information on face coverings is available here.
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning
Since the start of lockdown, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems across campus have continued to be inspected and serviced. DMU is following the latest advice from the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and our Health and Safety team to make any necessary changes to our existing systems in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
This includes measures such as increasing fresh air supply through mechanical systems, but also through keeping windows open more often and reducing the number of staff on-site where possible to improve airflow and reduce its recirculation in buildings.
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:
- DMU Safe Trace is a DMU-specific system which uses QR codes scanned on your smartphone (or via a webform) to check-in to locations on campus, such as teaching, learning and office spaces.
- If there is a confirmed case, we will be able to access location data based on check-ins 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 a webform.