Emerson College (the College) aims to provide a safe, healthy and pleasant Campus environment for all staff, students and visitors.
This policy sets out the College’s management of Health and Safety matters in respect of Covid-19 and it will remain in force until the College’s Board of Trustees determine the situation no longer requires it.
The College immediately closed in March as advised back then by the government. All activities and courses have been suspended. Staff worked from home, a small team remained on site and many others have been on furlough. With the re-opening of the College we allow staff to carry on working from home where possible. A number of staff have been tasked to follow all the government advice and implement new measures and have also undertaken specific COVID training.
Sources of Information and Advice
The College aims to follow best practice in terms of restricting transmission of Covid-19. It complies with local and national Government instructions and advice as a minimum and may choose to go above and beyond legal requirements in order to limit risk of infection. The College seeks advice from local and national Government including agencies such as the NHS, Public Health England and the World Health Organisation and adapts its policy accordingly.
The College’s current understanding is that Covid-19 is mainly transmitted by:
- direct contact with a person who is infectious;
- contact with droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes;
- touching contaminated objects or surfaces and then touching your mouth or face.
The College therefore focuses on limiting the risk of infection by taking action in these areas through staff training, providing information to all staff and students. It is of great importance to us that all staff and students understand how to limit the risk of infection on campus.
The College’s Covid-19 Protocol is issued by the Director of Operations and it is kept updated on a regular basis. The College’s Covid-19 Protocol must be followed by all staff and students and is not optional.
The Protocol may include the following, though this list is not exhaustive:
- Limiting the number of people present in any space at any one time to ensure safe social distancing;
- Requiring distance to be maintained between individuals, with Government restrictions used as a minimum measure of safe contact;
- Limiting the provision of services (eg buffet or other hospitality services);
- Requiring the use of face coverings in public spaces indoors; Requiring use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in some circumstances (e.g. wearing of disposable gloves and/or face masks when cleaning).
- Requiring staff, students and visitors to declare any symptoms or submit to a temperature check;
- Requiring staff to work from home where feasible, in order to limit the number of people on the Campus
Compliance with College Covid-19 Protocol
All staff, students and visitors are required to observe the behaviours set out in the College’s Covid-19 Protocol. Failure to do so may lead to the immediate removal of any person from the site and, where appropriate, may result in disciplinary action against employees or conduct action against students. The College actively monitors compliance with its Covid-19 Protocal with any breaches reported to the Director of Operations in writing within 24 hours. The College maintains a record of any confirmed or suspected Covid-19 cases and reports them as required to Government departments or agencies.
Training and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Training is provided by the College to staff and students as appropriate. PPE is provided by the College to staff and students, together with relevant training, where it is identified as a requirement within specific hazard risk assessments. As part of the College’s sustainability commitments, wherever possible, PPE made from recycled materials will be sourced and, after use, it will be safely disposed of and the percentage recycled will be maximised.
Cleaning and hygiene
The College operates a frequent and intensive regime of cleaning and sanitising all public areas with particular attention paid to all touch surfaces. Alcohol-based hand gels are made available in all public areas. Advice on hand washing is displayed prominently around the Campus and especially in public toilets.
Suspected Cases and self-isolation
The main symptoms of suspected Covid-19 can include: a high temperature; a continuous cough; loss of taste or smell. Any staff member, student or visitor experiencing these symptoms is required to remove themselves from public areas immediately. They should comply with the latest Government advice about testing and self-isolating themselves in their home (or residence in the case of students). Separate advice is issued for students who need to self-isolate while living in residence at the College. Staff or students with suspected Covid-19 must advise a member of staff as soon as possible who will report the incident to the Director of Operations.
Staff and students who are unwell with suspected Covid-19, or who have come into contact with an infected individual or who share a household with someone who with suspected Covid-19, must not come onto the site (or beyond their accommodation for those students living in residence at the College) until they are fully recovered and have completed a period of self-isolation determined by the Government.
All staff who are self-isolating must inform their Line Manager as soon as possible that they will not be coming into work.
Where staff are unable to attend work due to school closures, shielding or carer responsibilities, these will be discussed on a case by case basis. College-related travel overseas is suspended for all staff and students for the duration of this policy, unless approved in writing by the Director of Education.
Staff and students who travel overseas for personal reasons must comply with relevant Government advice in operation at the time, including requirements to self-isolate on arrival in the UK if instructed.
Monitoring and Review
This policy is monitored on a continuous basis by the Director of Operations and recommendations made to the Board of Trustees at least once per calendar month for its continuation, modification or withdrawal.
Yvette Dellsperger, Director of Operations Steve Briault, Director of Education