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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.

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.

  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:

    • 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.
  2. University measures to reduce transmission

    Cleaning

    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 

      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.

      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.

  3. Face coverings

    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.

  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. 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.

    2. Please wear a face covering when you are in face-to-face teaching sessions whenever and wherever one-metre plus rules are in place, and we’re also encouraging staff and students to wear your face covering when you are on campus as a whole. This will enable us to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as possible in line with social distancing guidelines. 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.

      We recognise that for a variety of legitimate health reasons, some staff and students may not be able to wear face masks or other face coverings and we will work with them to ensure that their needs are supported and respected and government guidance is observed. More information on DMU’s guidance on face coverings will be made available soon.

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

    5. 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.

    There is a host of useful information on our FAQ webpage.

    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 measures

    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.

    What are the current rules for household mixing?

    In general, you must not meet people socially. However, you can exercise or meet in a public, outdoors space with people you live with, your support bubble (or as part of a childcare bubble), or with one other person. You should minimise time spent outside your home. When around other people, stay two metres apart from anyone not in your household - meaning the people you live with - or your support bubble. Where this is not possible, stay one metre apart with extra precautions (e.g. wearing a face covering).

    You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble. This applies to university accommodation in the same way as any other household and households cannot be mixed under the current UK Government guidelines.

    What are the current rules on social activity?

    You can exercise or visit outdoor public places with:

    • the people you live with
    • your support bubble
    • or, when on your own, one person from another household. Children under five, as well as disabled people dependent on round-the-clock care are not counted towards the limit on two people meeting outside

    There is further guidance on what exercise and other physical activity can continue during the period of national restrictions.

    Outdoor public places include:

    • neighbourhood streets, parks, beaches, and the countryside
    • public gardens and grounds (whether or not you pay to enter them)
    • allotments
    • outdoor playgrounds

    You cannot meet people in a private garden, unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them.

    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.