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Keeping safe at college: coronavirus FAQs 2021/22

Updated: 10.09.21

Keeping safe at college: coronavirus FAQs 2021/22

Updated: September 20th, 2021

1. What is Covid-19 and what are the symptoms?

The Covid-19 coronavirus is a new virus that has not been seen in humans before. Most people who have Covid-19 exhibit at least one of the following symptoms:

  • A new, continuous cough
  • A fever - a high temperature of 37.8°C or above
  • Loss or change to smell or taste.

2. How do I protect myself and help stop the transmission of the virus? 

Please stay up-to-date with the latest guidelines so that we can keep our college and wider communities safe. You can find the most up-to-date advice on the government website.

The key things to remember are:

  • Get vaccinated if you are 18 or over.
  • Meet up outside or if you’re indoors open windows or doors if you have visitors.
  • If you think you might have Covid-19 symptoms, take a PCR test and stay home.
  • Wear face coverings in crowded places to help protect others.
  • Check-in with the NHS Covid-19 app when you’re out.
  • Wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds with soap.
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve 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 touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

3. What should I do if I have suspected symptoms?

If you develop suspected symptoms, please do not attend college. You should stay at home, self-isolate immediately and get a free PCR test as soon as possible.

You can order a test online, on the NHS Covid-19 app or by phoning 119, or visit the government website. Please also report any symptoms of coronavirus to the College at the earliest opportunity. 

4. Who should I tell if I have coronavirus symptoms?

  • Students and staff should report symptoms by completing the College’s Covid-19 Report Form.
  • Please check the email sent to students on September 7th, 2021, which has more details.
  • If you are unable to access the form and need to report symptoms, please call the College’s customer services team on 0114 2602600.
  • Once you have had a coronavirus test, please contact your tutor to let them know the result.
  • When you are well, and no longer have symptoms, please let your tutor that you are returning to College to study.
  • Parents and carers of nursery children should inform the nursery of their child’s sickness and coronavirus test results and when their child is well, no longer has symptoms and is returning to nursery.
  • Any contractors and visitors who develop symptoms, and have been on our premises during the seven days prior to that, must report this to the College by calling 0114 2602600.

5. What do students for this academic year 2021/22 need to know?

Our Covid-19 Student Charter outlines our expectations of students whilst on campus to help to minimise transmission of the virus.

We are strongly encouraging all students to wear face coverings in communal and social areas, unless exempt, and to undertake regular home testing.

For more details, please read the email that we sent to new and returning students on September 7th, 2021.

It has some important start-of-term information including how to access timetables, details on how to book a Covid-19 test at our on-site test centres, which are open from Monday September 13th, 2021 until Friday, September 24th, 2021.

The email also contains details about our expectations of students whilst on campus in addition to covering Covid-19 testing guidance.

6. What are the main ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ in the Covid-19 Student Charter?

Please do:

  • Undertake regular testing before coming into college.
  • Follow our current guidelines on the use of face coverings.
  • Let us know if you are self-isolating or have tested positive.
  • Walk or cycle to college, if possible.
  • Use contactless payments, if you can.
  • Clear away your litter, put it in the bins, and wipe down surfaces.
  • Regularly wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Seek help if you are struggling with your mental wellbeing.

Please don’t:

  • Attend college if you have coronavirus symptoms.
  • Attend college if you should be self-isolating.
  • Share equipment such as pens, pencils and calculators.
  • Touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, if possible.

7. What should I do if a member of my household has symptoms or tests positive for coronavirus?

Please complete a lateral flow test, if any of the members of your household test positive for coronavirus or have symptoms. 

If your test result is negative, you will still be able to attend college as normal.

If you've been in close contact with someone who's tested positive for Covid-19 you can get a PCR test, whether or not you have symptoms.

Please do not attend college if you develop any symptoms or test positive for coronavirus.

8. Do I need to wear a face covering at the College?

We are strongly encouraging all students to continue to wear face coverings on campus in communal and social areas, unless exempt, and to wash their hands regularly.

We have taken this decision as Public Health England has advised that the Delta variant is highly transmissible. 

9. Do students need to do Covid-19 home testing?

It is vital to continue home testing twice weekly to help detect asymptomatic cases and prevent the spread of the virus. 

To ensure the safety of students and staff, we are asking everyone to take regular lateral flow tests before attending campus.

Lateral flow tests should be taken twice weekly, ideally after a weekend and after attending crowded environments/events.

These tests should only be used if you don't have symptoms of Covid-19. Should you have symptoms, please book a PCR test immediately.

If you've been in close contact with someone who's tested positive for Covid-19 you can get a PCR test, whether or not you have symptoms.

You should take two tests per week, with no longer than three to four days between your last test. You should continue to test during any holidays or annual leave.

Any students who choose to opt out of the testing process are declaring that they are not showing any symptoms of Covid-19 and should not be self-isolating for any reason when they are on campus.

10. What is the College doing to help keep students and staff safe?

Every step is being taken to ensure that the College remains a safe place to work and learn.

It's vital that we all continue to work together to help minimise transmission of coronavirus both on and off-campus.

For the new academic year 2021/22, we will continue to keep some measures in place so that when students attend college, they can do so safely.

  • Face coverings will continue to be worn in communal and social areas (unless you are exempt from wearing them). 
  • Students are being encouraged to take part in our on-campus testing facilities at the start of this term and to continue regular, twice-weekly, home testing.
  • Hand sanitiser dispensers are in receptions, classrooms and refectory areas.
  • Communal areas and classrooms will be cleaned regularly throughout the day.
  • Floors and surfaces will be regularly cleaned, and bins emptied. In classrooms, specialist wipes are available to clean IT equipment.
  • Students will be encouraged to use the stairs, if they can, rather than the lifts. 

We will continue to monitor the situation, in line with our ongoing Covid-19 risk assessment and review our plans according to the latest government guidance.

11. Does the College have a track and trace procedure in place?

Yes. The Sheffield College Covid-19 Track and Trace Policy provides guidance for our staff so they know how to support anyone exhibiting symptoms and take the necessary steps to contact anyone who has come into contact with the person affected on campus.

12. Where can I get Covid-19 testing kits?

You can collect free home testing kits from:
    •    City Campus - Sports Hall  
    •    Hillsborough Campus - Reception  
    •    Peaks Campus - Reception  
    •    Olive Grove Campus - Reception  
    •    Fir Vale Campus - Reception  
    •    Eyre Street Campus - Reception  

You can also order tests to your home through the government website.  

13. What happens if I have a confirmed positive Covid-19 test?

All positive results from rapid lateral flow tests need to be confirmed with a PCR test within two days. A PCR is a test that is sent to a laboratory to determine the result.

Please self-isolate immediately. If you test positive, your self-isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day you had the test, if you do not have symptoms) and the next 10 full days. Anyone you live with will also need to self-isolate at the same time.

You may need to self-isolate for longer if you get symptoms while self-isolating or your symptoms do not go away. For details, please read the NHS guidance on self-isolation.

All students and their households should report any positive test results by calling 119 or through this online formStudents should also inform the College.

  • Following a positive test, a confirmatory PCR test should be booked online here or by calling 119.
  • If your PCR test result is negative, you do not need to continue to isolate.

14. When should I self-isolate?

Self-isolate straight away and get a PCR test as soon as possible if you have any of the following three symptoms of Covid-19, even if they are mild:

  • A high temperature
  • A new continuous cough
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

You will also need to self-isolate if:

  • You've tested positive for Covid-19.
  • You're an unvaccinated adult (someone aged over 18 years and 6 months) who is identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.
  • Someone you live with has symptoms or has tested positive - unless you are not required to self-isolate. Please see more details below.

15. When don’t I need to self-isolate?

If you live with someone who has symptoms of Covid-19, or you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for the virus, you will not need to self-isolate if any of the following apply to you:

  • You're fully vaccinated - and 14 days have passed since your final dose of a Covid-19 vaccine given by the NHS
  • You're under the age of 18 years and 6 months old
  • You're not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
  • You're taking part or have taken part in a Covid-19 vaccine trial

Even if you do not have symptoms, you should still:

  • Get a PCR test to check if you have Covid-19
  • Follow advice on how to avoid catching and spreading the virus
  • Consider limiting contact with people who are at higher risk from the virus

Those identified as a close contact will still be informed by NHS Test and Trace that they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to take a PCR test as soon as possible. 

16. Where can I get more help?

  • Use the NHS 111 online service if symptoms become difficult to cope with, get worse or do not go after seven days.
  • The NHS 111 telephone service is available for people who are not online. Only call 111 if you cannot get help via the online service.
  • In an emergency (a life-threatening) situation, dial 999.

17. I have a safeguarding concern - what should I do?

If you have a safeguarding concern, please email immediately.

18. Where can I get more mental health information and support?

If you are struggling with your mental health, please contact staff or email

19. I am having problems accessing financial support - what should I do?

If you are eligible for financial support from the College and have any questions or concerns about accessing that, then please email

20. How do I find out more about the NHS Test and Trace Covid-19 app?

The free NHS Test and Trace Covid-19 app will help you see if you’re at risk from coronavirus. The app has a number of tools including contact tracing, local area alerts, and venue check-in, and uses technology from Apple and Google. If your postcode district

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21/09/2021 9:14 am
Keeping safe at college 2021/22