Protocol for dealing with Covid-19 cases

Our number one priority remains the health and safety of our staff and students. As part of our return to campus planning, we have developed a detailed protocol for individuals and heads of department on what to do if you or a colleague have either a confirmed case of Covid-19 or display symptoms.

While it is important to have a protocol in place, it is important to stress that the advice remains that colleagues who can work from home should continue to do so. For those already back working on campus, we have carried out detailed risk assessments and have strict hygiene and social distancing measures in place in order to help prevent transmission of the virus from one member of our community to another.

The new protocol provides detailed instructions for individuals experiencing the potential onset of Covid-19 symptoms whether they are at home or in the workplace, and instructions for heads of department about what to do when receiving notification of a potential Covid-19 case. The protocol also covers the additional steps that may be required in specialist areas such as labs and workshops based on NHS advice. Finally, it acknowledges that additional actions may be required based on the case in question, taking into account the specific details of the work environment, such as layout, occupancy numbers, PPE requirements, and working practices.

You can read the protocol in full here

It’s really important that if you experience the onset of Covid-19 symptoms, you follow the protocol outlined above – to self-isolate and inform your head of department. We are reliant on you to help us stop the spread of the virus on campus and thank you in advance for following all instructions provided.

We have already shared the protocol with colleagues directly involved in return to campus planning and it will continue to be updated based on the latest government guidance. If you are working on campus or are due to return soon, you will have detailed instructions from your department about the safety precautions required for your area of work and on campus. Please help us keep our community safe by following these.
We have recently had three confirmed cases of coronavirus within our staff community. The cases were mild and we are pleased to say that the individuals concerned are recovering well. We were able to follow our agreed protocol to manage the recent cases and this will be followed in the event of any future suspected or confirmed cases of coronavirus on campus. Anyone impacted will be contacted through local channels.

We really appreciate everything you are doing and understand that the precautions in place may cause additional pressures, but please be assured that the safety of our University community is our top priority.

If you have any questions or are aware of any suspected or known cases, please speak to your head of department or email coronavirus@sheffield.ac.uk

With thanks

Tom Fleming, Director of Health and Safety

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

● a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
● a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
● a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal