Coronavirus as at 25 Feb 2020
We appreciate that the Coronavirus (or COVID-19) outbreak, and in particular the recent statements from the World Health Organisation regarding the increased risk of a potential global pandemic, will be a cause for concern for students and their parents and supporters as well as for staff.
The welfare of our staff and students is the University’s highest priority. We are continuously monitoring the situation and liaising closely with Public Health England, acting in line with their latest advice at all times.
Based on this advice the University is operating as normal.
Latest advice from Public Health England:
Whilst the risk to the UK has been rated as moderate to allow the Government to plan for all eventualities, the risk to individuals remains low.
Anyone who has travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing a cough or fever or shortness of breath, should stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.
Anyone who has travelled from Iran, specific areas of northern Italy, specific areas of South Korea and Hubei province in China should self-isolate and contact NHS 111.
Everyone should follow the same standard NHS advice to prevent the spread of colds and flu: wash your hands often with soap, and cough or sneeze into a tissue and dispose of this into a bin as quickly as possible.
There is no significant evidence to suggest that wearing a surgical mask prevents the spread of the virus.
Anyone with specific concerns about their own individual health should call NHS 111.
Anyone planning to travel abroad should follow the latest official advice.
Frequently Asked Questions
What precautions are the University taking?
The university’s Incident Response Team chaired by the Registrar is overseeing and monitoring the situation. The Group is meeting regularly to assess the impact and to determine appropriate actions. This includes liaison with Public Health England to ensure that the University’s approach is appropriate.
What is the risk to staff and students?
Based on Public Health England guidance the risk remains low, and there have been no confirmed cases directly connected with the University.
Should students continue to attend lectures and other teaching activities?
The University continues to operate normally and all students should continue to attend timetabled teaching as usual.
Given recent confirmed cases in the Brighton area should students go home?
None of the confirmed cases in the local area have any direct link to the University and none have proved positive. The risk to individuals remains low and the University continues to operate as normal.
Should staff or students with underlying health conditions take additional precautions?
Any staff or students with underlying health conditions who have any personal concerns should contact their GP or NHS 111 for advice.
Should staff and students wear masks?
In some countries the wearing of face masks is very common. Public Health England does not recommend the use of face masks but individual decisions to wear one should be respected unless doing so itself presents a health and safety concern
Who should students and staff contact if they are feeling unwell?
In the first instance they should call their GP or NHS 111 for advice. They should not attend their GP practice or NHS drop-in centre in person without first seeking advice.