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COVID-19 Daily Statistics

You will find information on the number of positive COVID-19 test cases for the New College of the Humanities community below. 

The numbers include all results from staff and students that have been reported to us. The figures are updated daily and on a Monday, we update the weekly figures.

Daily new cases 0

Weekly cases 0

Total cases 4

Data accurate: Tuesday, 24 November, 2020.

National COVID-19 testing programme

The UK government is introducing a mass testing system offering free asymptomatic COVID-19 tests for all Higher Education staff and students who are asymptomatic to facilitate travel over the Christmas period.

The College has decided to participate in this initiative to support staff and students to travel safely, along with hundreds of other Higher Educational Institutions.

The following is intended to inform you of the upcoming testing activity, which is planned to take place at 19 Bedford Square from Wednesday 2nd – Wednesday 9th December between 10:00-15:00 (excluding Saturday and Sunday).

Why and how is NCH involved?

We are keen to do everything we can to support the local, national, and international effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It will help in the safe travel of our staff and students over Christmas and assist in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

How do I register?

To register, click here and select your time slot. It is crucial that you book your test 24 hours before you intend to return home to ensure you are travelling safely. This also reduces the risk of further spread of COVID-19. If you cannot find a slot available the day before you are planning to travel, email covidreporting.student@nchlondon.ac.uk for assistance. Staff members should email covidreporting.staff@nchlondon.ac.uk.

Once you have registered, you will receive further information on what to expect when you attend the College for your test. Please book one 15-minute slot to confirm your appointment for a COVID-19 asymptomatic test at New College of the Humanities: 19 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3HH. Please put your full name- you will need to bring your student ID card with you as your identity will need to be verified on arrival at the test station.

How is the test taken?

Staff and students will receive guidance on how to take the test, supported by on-site staff. The test involves applying a swab to the throat and nose. The sample is processed on-site, and the results will be available within a few hours.

Do students and staff have to take part?

Participation is entirely voluntary, on an “opt in” basis, and individuals may withdraw from the testing activity at any point. Staff and students will be able to register to access the testing via the use of a doodle form.

The Government is advising that all staff and students take two tests three days apart however, one test would be sufficient to inform you before you return home.

We are not able to offer tests to housemates or family members of a member of College.

What happens if students or staff return a positive LFT result?

The student or member of staff would be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and given further information, but in essence they will be required to self-isolate, undertake a PCR test and follow Government guidance.

The College would not be informed by the NHS about any result but we would request that everyone test positive inform the College using the Staff absence reporting (self-isolating and COVID-related) or the Student absence reporting (self-isolating and COVID-related) forms.

This will allow the College to offer support and allow us to fulfil our reporting requirements to the Department for Education.

What happens if students or staff return a negative LFT result?

Staff and students can continue as normal.

If you require a second test to confirm the negative test you will need to book a follow up test three days later subject to availability. You should do this by calling 0204 504 0131.

How has the pilot been reviewed and agreed?

This testing programme has been approved by Exco.

What happens next?

The College will be sending key messages to all staff and students over the next few days. Any student or staff member can register here.

We anticipate that all Higher Education Institutions will be expected to participate in continued mass testing in order to allow students to return from the Christmas break and to resume their studies in January 2021.

We will share further information on this when we have it from the Government.

Best wishes,

Rob Fahrquharson

CEO

Below is some key information provided to us about mass testing as well as some more practical information supplied to us.

What are Lateral Flow antigen tests?

Lateral Flow antigen tests are a new kind of technology that could be used to test a higher proportion of asymptomatic people (those who are infectious, but not aware of this). This would better enable the Government/NHS Test and Trace to identify asymptomatic cases who are at high likelihood of spreading the virus and break the chain of transmission. The technology has already been validated – clinical testing phases are all complete and the Government has been rolling out different field tests and pilots to identify how to best use this new technology at scale.

Lateral Flow antigen tests detect the presence or absence of coronavirus by applying a swab or saliva sample to the device’s absorbent pad. The sample runs along the surface of the pad, showing a visual positive or negative result depending on the presence of the virus. The tests have been validated by Public Health England. They are safe and offer reliable results.

How is this different from the more commonly used COVID-19 test?

The test currently more commonly used in the NHS is the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test. All positive LFTs will require a confirmatory PCR test in accordance with current public health guidance. These are readily available to all individuals showing symptoms of COVID-19.

COVID-19 FAQ

For current students and staff members, please also refer to the Michaelmas Term 2020/21 COVID-19 policies and procedures guide and COVID-19 Health & Safety Policy and Procedures.

Teaching Arrangements from Thursday 5th November to the end of Michaelmas 2020

The UK’s Prime Minister announced the introduction of new national restrictions designed to control the spread of COVID-19. These restrictions commence on Thursday 5th November and continue until at least Wednesday 2nd December. We remind all of our students and staff that you must comply with the new restrictions.

NCH will deliver all teaching online from Thursday 5th November 2020

While the government has not announced the closure of universities, it has advised that “universities and adult education settings should consider moving to increased levels of online learning where possible”. Following this guidance, and in light of the College’s contingency plan for this eventuality, the College has made the decision to switch to online delivery of all teaching from the morning of Thursday 5th November until the end of the Michaelmas term.

Rest assured that the College remains committed to the principle of teaching in person, and we have received a very positive response from those students experiencing our hybrid model, which includes a significant proportion of in-person teaching. We look forward to recommencing face-to-face teaching as soon as it is safe to do so.

Student teaching & wellbeing support 

The College will provide full student teaching and wellbeing support online during this period of increased restrictions. In addition, we hope, subject to consultation with Public Health England, to provide a level of face-to-face student teaching support services at the College campus. The level of this support will be dependent upon a number of factors and we will communicate more details of the face-to-face offering during Reading Week.

Online Learning & Resources Hub

We would like to take this opportunity to remind you about the Online Learning & Resources Hub on Canvas, which provides information, tips and discussion boards. We encourage you to use these tools to support your online learning.

 

1. Is this decision in line with the guidance for UK univeristies to stay open?

2. Am I allowed to travel home?

3. How does this affect visa students?

4. How will my teaching be delivered and what will my timetable be?

5. Will I be able to come and study on campus?

6. What should I do if I am feeling anxious?

 

Face Masks

7. Will I need to wear a face mask or face shield in the building?

8. What specific masks should be worn?

9. Who will enforce the correct wearing of masks?

10. What if a student or staff member has health reasons for not wearing a mask, e.g. mild asthma? How will this be dealt with, and by whom?

General

11. Can I choose whether to attend the College in person or online? What flexibility will there be for students who are unable to travel due to flight restrictions?

12. What safety measures will be put in place during face-to-face activities to protect students and staff?

13. What kind of support will be available to me at the College?

University Events and Visits

14. I am thinking of applying to NCH and wanted to attend an event (open day, taster sessions etc.), are these events still running? 

Applications, Offers and Interviews

15. Are you still conducting interviews?

16. If I have any questions regarding my application or offer, what is the best way to contact the College?

17. Will the coronavirus pandemic impact my application?

International Students

18. I need a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK. In light of COVID 19 have there been changes to the application process of which I should be aware?

19. Will the two-year post-study work visa be in effect next year? (Graduate Immigration Route)

Buildings General

20. How will surfaces in the College be kept clean?

21. What measures is the College taking to promote better hand hygiene in its buildings?

22. How will the College manage social distancing within 19 Bedford Square?

23. How will the College manage ventilation and the flow of air around the building?

24. How will the College handle deliveries and contractor visits to prevent contamination?

25. Can the College have a one-way system similar to those introduced by peer institutions?

26. Will there be common areas available in the College?

27. Can I use the kitchens and bathrooms in the College?

28. How will staff and students know what is required to ensure social distancing at the College?

29. What will happen if somebody on campus develops COVID-19 symptoms?

30. What will happen in the case of an accident or emergency?

31. How can the College commit to only 30% of staff and student body being in the College’s premises at any given time, and which staff members will have priority and on what grounds?

Travel

32. How will I travel to the College?

33. I would like to cycle to the College but I don’t know where to park it.

34. I live too far away from the College to walk or cycle, and I am nervous about using public transport, what should I do?

About the Risk Assessment & Contingency Plan

35. What information and advice has the College considered in its planning?

36. How will any changes to the plan be communicated?

1. Is this decision in line with guidelines for universities to stay open?

Is this decision in line with guidelines for universities to stay open?

The guidance from the UK government is continually evolving, but highlights that “HE providers should increase the level of online learning” and only suggests retaining face-to-face provision in specific contexts such as clinical, medical, engineering and performance courses, which require principally practical or lab teaching, “and in as limited a number of situations as possible”. This implies that when moving to online teaching is feasible, it should be done. It is, therefore appropriate to move all of the College’s teaching online, and we are well-prepared for this.

2. Am I allowed to travel home?

The new UK-wide measures include travel restrictions for students living at university. Students are advised not to move back and forward between their permanent home and student home during term time. You should only return home at the end of term for Christmas. The government has advised that it will provide further guidance on the matter of travel towards the end of term.

3. How does this affect visa students?

On the basis of advice issued by the UK Visa and Immigration service, Tier 4 students are permitted to move to an on-line delivery of their programme. International students who require a Tier 4 visa to study at the College will be contacted by the College’s Tier 4 Team.

4. How will my teaching be delivered and what will my timetable be?

The College will continue to deliver timetabled teaching in real-time on Zoom throughout the 4.5 teaching weeks that remain of Michaelmas 2020. You will continue to have the opportunity to engage with your lecturers, tutors and fellow students during these Zoom classes.

5. Will I be able to come and study on campus?

The College is exploring ways to provide study space for students who wish to study on campus. Details of any arrangements will be shared this week.

6. What should I do if I am feeling anxious?

Student & Academic Services and Student Wellbeing are here for you. Please contact them should you need assistance with your student experience or wellbeing. You can contact SAS on sas@nchlondon.ac.uk and Student Wellbeing on studentwellbeing@nchlondon.ac.uk or you can contact either team by phone on 020 4504 0179.

We are also in regular contact with our recommended housing providers and are working closely with them to ensure your safety and wellbeing is of primary concern. We ask all students to keep in touch with us and to update your contact details if they change.

7. Will I need to wear a face mask or face shield in the building?

Yes.

Face coverings are now required upon entry to all of the College’s premises (applicable to the main campus and other hired spaces) and for the full period spent on-site.

Students will need to provide their own face coverings.

Face shields will be provided to staff in student-facing roles and will be mandatory.

A stock of emergency PPE will be kept onsite, including gloves and masks. These will be distributed by a member of staff.

8. What specific masks should be worn?

We are not specifying the specific type of face-covering to be worn. However, we will provide face shields to staff in student-facing roles, which will be mandatory. Should faculty wish to wear a mask in addition to the face shield when they are teaching, this is at their discretion.

9. Who will enforce the correct wearing of masks?

The requirement to wear face coverings will be written into the College’s policies. Responsibility for enforcement will be shared by all staff (academic and professional) as all employees have a duty of care responsibility for the health and safety of themselves and others under Section 7: Duties of employees in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

10. What if a student or staff member has health reasons for not wearing a mask, e.g. mild asthma? How will this be dealt with, and by whom?

Students and staff who are unable to wear a face covering will not be permitted into the College’s buildings.

11. Can I choose whether to attend the College in person or online? What flexibility will there be for students who are unable to travel due to flight restrictions?

We hope that our students will travel to London where possible, as our current plan is to open the College’s buildings

If it is not possible, due to travel or other restrictions, or sheltering, clinical vulnerability, or severe anxiety, or severe financial impact, for you to join us in London by the beginning of Michaelmas term, we will provide teaching and content online to support you to achieve the same learning outcomes, until you are able to travel to London. 

Returning students who wish to undertake their studies remotely during Michaelmas should complete this form.

12. What safety measures will be put in place during face-to-face activities to protect students and staff?

The health and wellbeing of our students and staff are of paramount importance to the College. 

We currently plan to implement an extensive programme of safety measures upon the reopening of the College’s buildings at the start of the academic year. These include but may not be limited to:

  • Staggering start and finish times allowing more face-to-face teaching sessions 
  • Significantly reducing the number of staff and students on campus at any one time
  • Strictly observing recommended social distancing guidelines wherever possible
  • Increased cleaning protocols
  • Working with our Landlord and Camden Council to provide more cycle storage
  • Ensuring there are sufficient additional sanitiser stations
  • Carefully signposted walking routes around the buildings 

We will continue to make adaptations based on the College’s ongoing monitoring of the development of the virus and in consideration of a range of factors including guidance from the UK government, Public Health England, the NHS, and our partner, Northeastern University, along with our key objective to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our students, staff and the wider community. You will find more detailed information in the Buildings section of this Q&A below.

13. What kind of support will be available to me at the College? 

Our full range of student support services will be in place, ranging from mental health services, pastoral, wellbeing, and disability support, while observing social distancing guidelines.

We are planning to run Freshers’ Week and welcome back sessions for returning students with the appropriate health and safety measures in place, with as much activity in person as possible. It is likely that some induction sessions may need to take place online.

14. I am thinking of applying to NCH and wanted to attend an event (open day, taster sessions etc.), are these events still running?

Yes. For the time being, we will be hosting all scheduled events virtually. To view the events currently running, please see here

 

16. If I have any questions regarding my application or offer, what is the best way to contact the College?

You can contact our friendly recruitment and admissions team via email on info@nchlondon.ac.uk. They will typically respond Monday to Friday between 9:00 am and 5.00 pm BST.

17. Will the coronavirus pandemic impact my application?

Our Admissions Team continues to process all applications within our usual timescales, and interview dates are available in the coming weeks.

We process all of our applications as soon as possible. Any delays that might arise may be for one of the following reasons: a delay in receiving your academic reference from your academic referee if your are a direct applicant, if we require further information from you in order to further supplement your application, or if you are looking to transfer into the second year and we need to cross-credit your modules in order to see if you are eligible for transfer. In these circumstances, one of our Admissions Team will be in contact with you to ensure that everything is in hand and to answer any queries you may have.

18. I need a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK. In light of COVID 19 have there been changes to the application process of which I should be aware?

For the latest information on visas applications please contact our Visa & Immigration Team via email on visa@nchlondon.ac.uk.

19. Will the two-year post-study work visa be in effect next year? (Graduate Immigration Route)

The UK Government has announced the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies. 

The Graduate Route will be available to international students who have successfully completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance and who have a valid Tier 4 visa at the time of application. 

The new route will be launched in the summer of 2021, meaning that any eligible student who graduates in the summer of 2021 or after will be able to apply for the route. This includes students who have already started their programme and therefore includes students starting in the 2020/21 academic year. 

This new graduation immigration route has not become a law and likely to be included in the set of new immigration rules the government is planning to publish later this year.

Further information about the new graduate immigration route can be found here.

20. How will surfaces in the College be kept clean?

Enhanced routine cleaning protocols will be delivered in accordance with the UK Government and Public Health England guidance. These enhanced protocols will include additional daytime cleaning and periodic cleaning of classrooms between classes and high touch point areas, including equipment. 

All cleaning will be conducted in compliance with government guidance on Cleaning in a non-healthcare setting found here. 

Anti-bacterial wipes will be provided in each office space for staff to wipe their work equipment regularly.

21. What measures is the College taking to promote better hand hygiene in its buildings?

Wall-mounted hand sanitising units (automated where possible) have been installed, with one at the main entrance, and a minimum of one per floor. They are positioned along all circulation routes. Soap dispensers (automated, where possible) are installed in every tea point and toilet. Signage will be put in place to remind everyone of their obligation to wash their hands to prevent the spread of the virus.

22. How will the College manage social distancing within 19 Bedford Square?

Restricting access to the premises

  • A new front door management process will assist with monitoring and enforcement of safe practices. 
  • Attendance at the premises will include a registration process, for example, class registration where there is a cap for face-to-face teaching and the agreed members of staff onsite.
  • No unscheduled visitors, students or staff will be permitted entry.

Managing the circulation of people in the building

  • Where possible, the College will implement separate points of exit and entrance. For example, at 19 Bedford Square, the main entrance will continue to be used as the entrance while the front basement fire escape will be used as the exit.
  • All persons attending the site will be provided with specific guidance to take the necessary precautions when using the staircases in the premises as occasional close contact may be unavoidable. This will be in a written format at the bottom, mid, and top of each staircase.
  • Face-to-face teaching will be scheduled for optimal flow management; for example, staggered start and end times.
  • Signage will be displayed to reinforce social distancing and circulation routes.

Space utilisation

  • Teaching room capacities have been reduced to adhere to social distancing. Floor markings will be placed to indicate chair locations.
  • Unused and unallocated furniture, marketing collateral, equipment and other items have been removed and stored to create extra space.
  • Social space will be appropriately restricted.
  • Students should not remain onsite for longer than is reasonably necessary to complete the tasks or learning for that day to avoid unnecessary interaction with others.
  • Teapoints and toilets are single occupancy only and will be cleaned regularly throughout the day. 
  • Tea points will only be available for drinking facilities, and all other equipment will be removed.
  • Staff meetings will continue to take place virtually. Where face-to-face is essential, social distancing restrictions will apply. 
  • All persons on site must take necessary precautions to avoid close contact. Physical contact is not permitted (hugs, handshakes, etc.) save for Health and Safety reasons.

23. How will the College manage ventilation and the flow of air around the building?

Windows will be opened (with restrictors in place) in all rooms to provide ventilation and fresh air. In addition, while the use of air conditioning and heating will be kept to a minimum and only if required, the recommended servicing of systems will be undertaken such as disinfectant fumigation.

24. How will the College handle deliveries and contractor visits to prevent contamination?

Contractors (e.g. window flower servicing, Konica engineer, electrical reader) will attend by prior arrangement only. No impromptu visits will be permitted for anyone. Contractors who are scheduled to work onsite must adhere to College policy on PPE, and the completion of a COVID-19 disclosure form will be required before entry.

Delivery drivers will not be permitted access to the premises, and deliveries will not be accepted at the main entrance. Delivery drivers will be directed to an alternative entrance/exit for safe leaving. Facilities will take all deliveries. During this period, we discourage students and staff from receiving personal deliveries at the College to support our efforts to maintain a safe and healthy environment for our community.

25. Can the College have a one-way system similar to those introduced by peer institutions?

Where possible, the College will implement separate points of exit and entrance and instruct everybody to stay to the right of the corridor or stairs that they use to manage the flow. For example, at 19 Bedford Square, the main entrance will continue to be used as the entrance while the front basement fire escape will be used as the exit.

26. Will there be common areas available in the College?

No. To maintain social distancing, there will be no social areas within the College. However, we anticipate that we will be able to provide independent study space for students locally.

27. Can I use the kitchens and bathrooms in the College?

Yes. However, the kitchens will be single occupancy and will only be available for drinking facilities, and all other equipment will be removed. All kitchens and bathrooms will be cleaned regularly throughout each day.

28. How will staff and students know what is required to ensure social distancing at the College?

The new policy arrangements will be communicated to all staff and students via the usual communications channels.

Returning and incoming students will be reminded of the 14 days self-isolation requirement for those travelling into the UK from relevant countries.

Before staff and students return to the premises, compulsory Return to Premises Induction Training will be conducted for all staff and students, to ensure that they understand the new ways of working.

All persons who come to the College will be provided with specific guidance on the necessary precautions when using the staircases in the premises as occasional close contact may be unavoidable. This will be in a written format at the bottom, mid, and top of each staircase.

29. What will happen if somebody on campus develops COVID-19 symptoms?

The affected individual will need to report any symptoms or feeling unwell to a member of staff, who will discreetly send the person home. They should then follow government guidance and stay at home, as well as self-isolate for 7 days.

Any person who has been in close contact with the affected individual will be made aware of the situation, however, the College will not disclose who has been affected. Those who have been in close contact will also be required to self isolate for 7 days.

The College will ensure any affected areas are restricted and adequately disinfected in line with government guidance on Cleaning in a non-healthcare setting.

The College reserves the right to close the campus for up to 72 hours if it is deemed a substantial transmission risk.

30. What will happen in the case of an accident or emergency?

The College will not ask staff and students to adhere to our COVID-19 policy in the event of an emergency, and all are advised to follow the existing procedures we have in place. Once the emergency is over the COVID-19 policy will come back into effect.

31. How can the College commit to only 30% of staff and student body being in the College's premises at any given time, and which staff members will have priority and on what grounds?

There are several ways in which the College will manage the capacity of staff and students in the building, including:

Reducing the total number of staff using the building: The first of these is only having staff in the building who need to be physically present. As such, the majority of professional staff whose work does not necessitate face-to-face contact with students will continue to work from home for the duration of Michaelmas. So, the Admissions, Apprenticeships, Careers, Finance, Marketing and Recruitment teams will usually work from home for the duration of Michaelmas. As a result, the proportion of professional staff working in the College will reduce to fewer than 30%.

Reducing the number of staff using the building at any one time: Student-facing professional staff may work in a rota in the College and have staggered start and end times. 

Managing access to the building: Attendance to premises will be managed by a registration process to ensure adherence to the cap. Students will not be allowed to remain onsite for longer than is reasonably necessary to complete their tasks or learning for that day and to avoid unnecessary interaction with others.

Using additional external spaces for teaching: The College intends to conduct some Michaelmas NCH teaching in some of the areas at CIEE, which were initially contracted for N.U.in teaching.

32. How will I travel to the College?

All staff and students are required to adhere to UK Government advice on travel, which can be found here. Remember, face coverings are mandatory when using public transport. Staff are encouraged to walk or cycle to work, wherever possible. 

34. I live too far away from the College to walk or cycle, and I am nervous about using public transport, what should I do?

The College has considered public transport with our timetabling requirements and we have made every effort to try to allow staff and students to avoid peak times where possible.

35. What information and advice has the College considered in its planning?

The College is continually monitoring the development of the COVID-19 pandemic. We consider a range of factors in our planning and the decisions we make relating to it. These include – but are not limited to – guidance from the UK government, Public Health England and the NHS, Northeastern University, and best-practice among peer institutions in the UK, including those in the local area, combined with logistical requirements and operational continuity.

36. How will any changes to the plan be communicated?

We will communicate any changes through the College’s usual communications channels, including email, CruNCH, NCHLondon.ac.uk, and in the case of urgent messages, via SMS. With that in mind, we remind staff to ensure that PeopleHR has their correct mobile phone number, and to check their NCH email regularly.