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An update on Coronavirus

We are very aware that staff and students at Sussex will be interested in the emerging Coronavirus situation, as media coverage has increased and the implications on what this may mean, are shared by the Government and health professionals, in the UK and around the world.
 
The University has been sharing information regularly on the dedicated web pages for staff and students and we ask that you take time to read them. 
 
This includes advice on when to self-isolate following travel from certain countries, and a very useful self-isolation online guide from NHS 111. You can also access good hygiene advice from the National Health Service (NHS).
 
The NHS has provided the following information on how to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus:

Do:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • Always wash your hands when you get home or to work
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

Don’t

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

It is likely that over the coming days and weeks there will be many people associated with the University (who are on and off our campus) who will be tested for the virus, and in some cases based on the current predictions may receive a positive result.  The World Health Organisation (WHO) report that most people who test positive experience mild symptoms.
 
As you would expect, the University is stringently planning for a variety of scenarios. This work is being led by senior members of staff and is focused on the safety and wellbeing of our community.
 
To date, the University has:

  • Followed all official guidance and disseminated all relevant information to staff, students and visitors
  • Established a senior-level Covid-19 steering group, to monitor developments, prepare and action the University’s response for all scenarios
  • Cancelled any University travel to affected regions, in line with the latest advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)

Our scenario planning is looking at a range of matters including:

  • Working from home, sick leave and caring for others – policies and practical arrangements (such as technology)
  • Delivering core functions – such as food, security, medical and health – in the event of campus closures or part-closures
  • Delivering and assessing teaching and other key institutional activities
  • Extending or making changes to the academic year 

All students, staff and visitors to our campus should continue to follow official guidance, which you can find here:

  • For health advice, visit the NHS
  • For the government’s response, visit PHE
  • For information on travel, visit the FCO

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By: Sean Armstrong
Last updated: Friday, 6 March 2020

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