Uni pledges: We’ll be safe and sound dur­ing Covid-19

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page - BY JAMIE LOPEZ

STU­DENTS and staff at Edge Hill Univer­sity will sign up to a com­mu­nity pledge as part of ef­forts to pre­vent a Covid19 out­break on cam­pus and across Orm­skirk.

Some res­i­dents have ex­pressed fear that the mass in­flux of stu­dents from across the coun­try later this month will ex­pose the town to greater threat from the virus but univer­sity bosses say that health and well­be­ing is their main pri­or­ity.

A host of anti-Covid mea­sures have been im­ple­mented at the univer­sity, in­clud­ing the in­stal­la­tion of hand sani­tis­ers in all build­ings, while an out­break man­age­ment plan has been drawn up in part­ner­ship with var­i­ous au­thor­i­ties.

All those within the univer­sity will be ex­pected to ad­here to Pub­lic Health Eng­land guid­ance on per­sonal pro­tec­tive equip­ment (PPE) such as masks as well as fol­low newly cre­ated one way sys­tems and sim­i­lar changes.

Deep cleans have been car­ried out ahead of the re­turn of some face-to-face teach­ing but stu­dents are ex­pected to main­tain so­cial dis­tanc­ing at all times. They will also be re­minded of their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in re­la­tion to pro­tect­ing the wider com­mu­nity, par­tic­u­larly those who are liv­ing in pri­vate ac­com­mo­da­tion and may there­fore be near to el­derly, frail and vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple.

The com­mu­nity pledge in­cludes prom­ises to fol­low PHE guid­ance; main­tain ap­pro­pri­ate dis­tance and hy­giene; wear a face cov­er­ing when re­quired un­less ex­empt; not at­tend­ing univer­sity if un­well with Covid-19 symp­toms or af­ter be­ing around some­one who has; and to raise and re­spond to con­cerns of Co­vid­i­nap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour.

Deputy vice-chan­cel­lor Steve Igoe said: “We want to as­sure ev­ery­one in the lo­cal com­mu­nity that their health and well­be­ing, as well as that of our stu­dents and staff, re­mains our num­ber one pri­or­ity. We are fol­low­ing the ad­vice from the Govern­ment on a daily ba­sis, en­sur­ing we are tak­ing a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of ro­bust ac­tions to re­duce the risks as­so­ci­ated with Covid-19.

“In prepa­ra­tion for the re­open­ing of cam­pus we are tak­ing all the nec­es­sary steps to im­ple­ment strict so­cial dis­tanc­ing mea­sures, we have in­stalled hand sani­tiser fa­cil­i­ties in all build­ings, are ad­her­ing to all of­fi­cial guid­ance on PPE in­clud­ing in re­la­tion to face cov­er­ings, and have put up clear sig­nage re­mind­ing ev­ery­one of their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. Ev­ery mem­ber of staff has also un­der­gone manda­tory train­ing on how to stay safe.

“We have de­vel­oped an Out­break Man­age­ment Plan in part­ner­ship with Pub­lic Health and lo­cal au­thor­ity part­ners to con­trol and pre­vent the spread of the virus, which out­lines mea­sures to iden­tify and con­tain lo­cal out­breaks and pro­tect the pub­lic’s health. This in­cludes ro­bust pro­cesses of what to do if a stu­dent, col­league or visi­tor de­vel­ops symp­toms on or off cam­pus and our plan sup­ports the na­tional track and trace sys­tem to con­tact close or di­rect con­tacts in the event of any pos­i­tive case.’’

Mr Igoe said: “All stu­dents and staff have been asked to ad­here to our com­mu­nity pledge which in­cludes in­for­ma­tion to sup­port mem­bers of the en­tire com­mu­nity. We are ask­ing ev­ery­one to work to­gether to keep each other safe by agree­ing to hon­our our com­mu­nity pledge and tak­ing per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity for pre­vent­ing the spread of the virus. You can find more about the pledge here ehu.ac.uk/pledge.

“With this wide range of mea­sures in place, stu­dents will be able to start the new aca­demic year un­der­stand­ing their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to en­sure we all look out for each other and re­duce any risks to our com­mu­nity.”

Edge Hill Univer­sity; in­set, deputy vicechan­cel­lor Steve Igoe

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