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